Play these brief and candy 2023 video games earlier than 2024 will get busy


At first of the 12 months, I at all times like taking part in by way of shorter video games. I do know that in only a few weeks, a nonstop flurry of sport launches will occupy all my time, so I wish to slot in as many as potential whereas I can. Shorter video games can have an essential place this 12 months as chasers between AAA releases, a lot of which appear to be prolonged RPGs this 12 months.

Final 12 months had loads of hidden gems that you simply most likely haven’t performed but, so when you’ve got a few hours to spare this 12 months in-between the releases of video games like Remaining Fantasy VII Rebirth and Dragon’s Dogma 2, then contemplate checking any of the next seven video games out. We’ve additionally listed how lengthy it ought to take you to beat every one primarily based on stats from HowLongToBeat.

Sonic Superstars

Sonic appears in his water form in Sonic Superstars.

How lengthy to beat: 5 hours

The primary sport I’ve overwhelmed in 2024 is Sonic Superstars. Despite the fact that I gave Sonic Frontiers a low rating, I don’t hate Sega’s iconic blue hedgehog. In reality, should you’re uninterested in Tremendous Mario Bros. Surprise and are simply in search of a brief, but satisfying platformer to play in your Swap, operating by way of one among Sonic Superstars’ levels as Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, or Amy is an entertaining approach to spend a while. Though it stops and begins its fast-paced platforming with stage gimmicks and particular stage portals too typically, at its finest, Sonic Superstars lives as much as the legacy of titles like Sonic Mania. It options co-op as nicely, so you possibly can play along with your children or different family members.

Sonic Superstars is out there now for PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Sequence X, and Nintendo Swap.


Venba, Paavaran, and Kavin enjoy dinner together.
Visai Video games

How lengthy to beat: 1.5 hours

Whereas it’s one of many shortest video games on this checklist, Venba was additionally one of many finest video games of 2023. Anybody who comes from a household of immigrants will determine with some a part of this temporary, but charming story about maintaining tradition alive throughout generations by way of components that transcend language, like cooking. For many who love a compelling narrative-focused indie sport, Venba is a feature-length sport definitely price squeezing in when you’ve gotten a second.

Venba is out there now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Sequence X/S, and Nintendo Swap, and it’s a part of the Xbox Recreation Cross sport catalog.

The Making of Karateka

A screenshot from The Making of Karateka.
Digital Eclipse

How lengthy to beat: 4.5 hours

As an interactive documentary concerning the creation of some of the influential Apple II video games ever, The Making of Karateka shares lots of similarities with a museum exhibit you’d go to in particular person. Specifically, you possibly can spend as a lot or as little time there as you need. The Making of Karateka’s story will nonetheless be compelling to those that solely spend a few hours skimming every timeline. This setup makes it straightforward to choose up and put down at a second’s discover. For those who discover your urge for food whetted, you possibly can then spend extra time coming by way of each doc and sport construct that The Making of Karateka comprises.

The Making of Karateka is out there now for PC, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Sequence X/S, and Nintendo Swap.


An alien structure appears in Cocoon.
Annapurna Interactive

How lengthy to beat: 5 hours

Many video games try and reside as much as legacy indies like Limbo and Inside, however few actually have met these expectations. Cocoon, which comes from the lead gameplay designer of these classics, Jeppe Carlsen, is without doubt one of the few video games that does. It’s a brief, however mind-bending puzzler the place you primarily push round orbs. These orbs comprise worlds that gamers can then soar between, and that results in Cocoon’s most placing moments. If you wish to really feel good and have your thoughts blown by some artistic puzzles, then Cocoon is price its temporary time funding.

Cocoon is out there for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Sequence X/S, and Nintendo Swap. Like Venba, it’s included in Xbox Recreation Cross.


The player hangs from a cliffside in Jusant
Do not Nod

How lengthy to beat: 4.5 hours

Climbing is a mechanic current in lots of video video games, however few make doing in order intricate an expertise as Jusant. This journey is about scaling a large tower in a world the place water has disappeared. An engrossing, dialogue-free story, Jusant is extra concerning the journey than the vacation spot. You get the cling of utilizing the controller’s triggers to grip any handholds you could find as you climb up. It additionally options essentially the most spectacular rope physics I’ve seen in a sport since The Final of Us Half II, and so they truly come into play for lots of platforming challenges on this sport. For those who’re in search of a meditative sport to play between hectic RPGs. Jusant is a wonderful alternative.

Jusant is out there now for PC, PS5, and Xbox Sequence X/S, and is a part of Xbox Recreation Cross.


Emmett talks to a friend through video chat in Videoverse.

How lengthy to beat: 5 hours

One other brief narrative-focused expertise that may make you nostalgic and emotional throughout temporary interludes between 2024’s must-play video games, Videoverse is an underrated gem. An ode to early web boards and Miiverse, Kinmoku’s Videoverse can be a poignant eulogy for pre-Elon Twitter. It asks gamers to discover and expertise an old-school social community freed from all the luggage platforms like Fb and X at present carry. I anticipate this sport will stay well timed all through 2024.

Videoverse is out there now for PC.

A Highland Track

Moira climbs a wall in A Highland Song.

How lengthy to beat: 3.5 hours

As a December 2023 launch, you may not even learn about A Highland Track, but it surely’s among the best indie video games of final 12 months. A coming-of-age journey a couple of younger lady navigating by way of the Scottish Highlands, A Highland Track is an exquisite expertise that might probably present some aid for you throughout 2024’s extra hectic moments.  Though it’s meant to be replayed, even should you solely undergo the three-and-a-half-hour journey as soon as, you’ll discover that it’s an entertaining musical platform that offers a few of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s mechanics a contemporary feeling by presenting them from a 2D perspective.

A Highland Track is out there now for PC and Nintendo Swap.

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