One Sitting Games

For me, finishing a game in one sitting can be a pretty special experience. It takes a certain type of game and a certain type of day.

I remember the day I played through Her Story all in one go. I got so wrapped up in that mystery and my notebook that was filling up with clues and hypotheses. When I finally got to the end and decided I was satisfied and walked away, it felt like I had finished a very brief part of my life.

What are your "one sitting" game stories? I'm really curious to know what sorts of games inspire this in people.

I just recently played Heisei Pistol Show without realizing its creator is actually pretty popular in indie circles for their other games. That one was excellent, and very short! We need more games that are loud and messy and absurdly focused on exactly what it needs to be for its own sake. Oikospiel is another one of my favorites for basically the exact same reasons.

More traditionally, _Moon Crystal_ is a Famicom game that looks great and gets out before it overstays its welcome. It was released incredibly late in the console's life, so it has the benefit of learning from past games' mistakes and actually feels fair and thoughtfully designed compared to other Famicom action platform games. It's not the best game ever or anything, but I consider it in the upper echelon of Famicom games like _Mr. Gimmick_ (another good one to check out).

Also, um, play all the _Kiki Kaikai_ games please.......

I finished Untitled Goose Game in one sitting the night it came out. Beat the main story and went back and completed many of the challenge objectives. Mostly haven't played it since, still love that game and think about it often!

See also:

I played through Adios in one sitting before work one day and I have never truly stopped thinking about it. It‘s maybe three hours long if you’re really pushing it and I think it‘s got some great storytelling in it, both in dialogue and environment. It’s pretty cheap, give it a go sometime.

Really enjoyed Gris, Journey, and Gorogoa. All take 2-4 hours, I think, depending on how long it takes you to figure things out.

@“Mnemogenic”#p103378 Undertale. It might take like 10 hours but it's the best way to kill a lazy sunday that I can think of.

I guess I'm allowing bathroom and snack breaks.

I'll also say that when I got Vanguard Bandits I played it for over 50 hours without sleep and beat it twice, and man, I was having a _good time_.

I really adore a one-sitting game. It‘s been said on the show, but A Short Hike is a perfect little thing. I second @“edward”#1011 on Gorogoa, too (I did that in one sitting on a Christmas Eve, what a singular work of art and illusion). Sayonara Wild Hearts is essentially a pop album in video game form, so it’s roughly album length. Donut County and Pikuniku are breezy little anti-capitalist guys. Wide Ocean, Big Jacket is a game that I just remembered I should've posted in our “actual good relationships in games” type thread. Speed Dating for Ghosts is a good Halloween date.

On the less (tonally) breezy side, Iron Lung and Paratopic are big dreadtime recs.

And I hope people will keep coming with more specific shouts on this front, but playing through NES/Fami-era platform and action games with rewind enabled or, even better, arcade games that allow uninterrupted continues with unlimited (digital) quarters is one of my absolute favorite things to do in video games. So many arcade games become half hour, stress-free bits of digital tourism. I love nothing better than to credit feed through an STG for the first time. On the console front, there's a bit more pushback but it still makes games that previously felt insurmountable into a one-sitting experience -- just last night, I rewound my way through Sunsoft's Journey to Silius. That clocked me 1 hour and 15 minutes well spent.

What about when you play through a shooter or a fighter enough times that it becomes a one sitting game?


This reminds me of when I was at the hospital with my son for a long time so we watched a playthrough of Donkey Kong Country and it took less than two hours.

The person playing never even lost a life!

Fitz Packerton

[The Portopia Serial Murder Case](

I was recently thinking about Fairune, originally on the 3DS but also now on Switch! It‘s a very concise but well thought out game that looks like Zelda-ish games but actually plays more like Ys. It’s probably close to a one-sitting game, I guess depending on how much is a sitting for you!

I do like a one-sitting game! One that pops into my head straight away is Rain on the PS3, I played through that on a rainy weekend morning a couple years back and had a nice time.

have to really wrack my brain to think of some…

back in the days when it was new, I finished Tower of Heaven in one go. nowadays it's nothing special/dime a dozen, but back then, I was a teen, and it was a spiritual experience lol

Meta Knight Mode in Kirby's Nightmare in Dreamland has no save option, requiring you to beat it in one sitting.
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I definitely played *A Short Hike* in multiple sittings.
Parappa, Rez, Lammy are all good

Practically all arcade games... Most recently I had fun playing through House of the Dead for the first time with a buddy on an original restored CRT cabinet.

A Little to the Left was one of my favorite games of last year. It‘s about 3-4 hours full of super aesthetically satifying puzzles. The point of the game is to put things in the right place, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Also that GBA Warioware game that just dropped on the Nintendo Switch is a great game you can blast through in one sitting.

Dog Days, preferably with a bud


@“onefiftythree”#p103571 Dog Days, preferably with a bud

another good bud 1 sitting game (b1sg) is _bubble bobble_.

there's a class of game that are by nature complete in a sitting. a good one is _pacman ce_.

a fighting game single player mode can usually be finished in a sitting if the difficulty can go low enough.

actually, most arcade games can be cleared in a sitting if the machine is in freeplay, and can be great dumb fun if the game is right, for instance the metal slugs.

recently i recommended both _inside_ and _superliminal_ precisely because they're one-sittingable.

here's a silly story: the summer before the dreamcast came out, hollywood video offered dreamcasts to rent, with _sonic adventure_. i think you might've had a choice of game, but in any event i chose _sonic adventure_ to play over a weekend. but since the rental didn't include a vmu, and since the dreamcast didn't have built in storage (which surprised me), i couldn't save. so i just beat it in one sitting. i'm not sure if i 100%ed it, but i got enough _sonic adventure_ that weekend to never play it again.

you know what game should be completable in a sitting? _pathologic 2_. with all its interesting choices and their interesting consequences, it would be nice if you could finish a playthrough in 2 or 3 hours. but then they might've had to cut out some of the walking...


@“treefroggy”#p103516 back in the days when it was new, I finished Tower of Heaven in one go. nowadays it’s nothing special/dime a dozen, but back then, I was a teen, and it was a spiritual experience lol

i'm older but same, blew my mind that something so sublime could be a flash game. still an absolutely killer all-time soundtrack too

@“ttzop”#p103610 late teen, like 16-19, I don‘t remember. It felt like the first good indie thing since Cave Story & La Mulana to me at the time. Now there’s thousands lol

One cool thing is I think Project M, Project Plus or whatever it's called, comprehensive SSB Brawl hack, added a Tower of Heaven stage!

This topic got me to update my list on Backloggd: single sitting games that rocked me. They all tend to be short games with strong stories, like Firewatch and Adios. Sometimes they have a strong visual tone that stuck with me, like The Music Machine or Paratopic.

Metal Gear Solid 3's also on the list. I finished that in a single sitting on the weekend it released. I was completely fried by the end of it but I was so strongly hooked into the story that I couldn't put it down. I also very much remember thinking "oh, this has got to be the end" and finishing the game hours later at dawn.

I cannot recommend FRANKEN enough if you have a love for short and comedic RPGs. Took me around three hours to complete and is an easy ride from start to finish. A lot of laughs were had.