Gaming is a great way to pass the time, but there are certain multiplayer experiences that can eat into hours of your day and so aren’t really suited to bite-sized play sessions.
If your schedule is pretty busy, but you still have a few spare minutes available each day for interactive entertainment, why not check out one or more of the following games which won’t monopolize your time?
Collectible card games
There is a cavalcade of collectible card games out there which offer online play as a selling point. The advantage of many games in this genre is that when you get into a match with another person, the duration tends to be under the 10-minute mark, and there’s no story or cutscenes to get in the way of the action.
Blizzard Entertainment’s long-standing stalwart of the scene is Hearthstone, and it benefits from having a solid new player experience, a free-to-play model that doesn’t force you to part with cash, and an appealing aesthetic that’s both friendly and approachable, as well as being tied into the wider Warcraft universe.
Gwent is another example, this time expanding upon the card game found in The Witcher franchise.
It’s arguably more strategic than Hearthstone, taking much of the randomness out of the equation in favor of a battle of wits. And with games lasting as little as 5 minutes, it’s great for slotting in any time of day.
Online casino games
Web-based gambling has been around for a long time, but it’s only just making a splash in the mainstream across North America, thanks to legalization and regulation in a growing number of US states.
A quick visit to NewCasinos, the iGaming capital for players of all backgrounds, is a good place to get started, as you’ll find information on the latest and greatest brands to enter this space. Then you can visit the casino site of your choice and get into the action.
Casino games can last almost no time at all, with slots being the best example of this; whenever you spin the reels, the symbols will only take a few seconds to align, and you’ll know almost instantly if you’ve struck it lucky or missed out.
Even if you decide to get into a different type of online casino game, such as poker or blackjack, hands rarely play out over more than a few minutes, which again meets the needs of a busy individual.
The fast-paced nature of shooters can sometimes belie a much more involving online play scenario, and yet if you want to jump into a game, play a round or two and then get on with the rest of your life, there are definitely titles out there that tick all the boxes.
Steer clear of the likes of Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone, as these are FPS variants that tend to take 30 minutes or more at the least to play out once a round is underway.
Instead, stick to the standard Call of Duty experience, with simple deathmatch face-offs being optimal in terms of brevity.
There are also many other great FPS games with online functionality today, including Halo Infinite and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Some games are not about quick reactions and pinpoint precision but rather about your ability to use your wits to get under the skin of other players and work out what they’re thinking.
The best example of this is Among Us, a game that took the world by storm and inspired a number of copycats in its wake.
The basic idea is that you join a group of other players as astronauts on a spaceship, with between one and three being selected as impostors. It’s the job of the non-impostors to root out the interlopers before they are killed sneakily.
Among Us will take between 10 and 15 minutes to play through a game, although when larger group sizes are involved, this can balloon, so aim for smaller groups if you’re pushed for time.
Battle royale game
We already talked about CoD: Warzone and Apex Legends, which both fall into the broad battle royale genre, but said that because of the game length, they aren’t suited to short sessions of play.
Thankfully there are some multiplayer elimination-style games out there that do offer quick, fun sessions, and the pick of the bunch is Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout.
The accessibility is unbeatable, with simple controls allowing you to guide your jelly-like, colorful character through obstacles in a field of 50 other players. Over a few rounds, this is whittled down until just one champion is crowned.
Games in which cooperation is the aim, rather than competition, are less common, but there are still some stellar examples that let you join forces to achieve a shared goal.
In terms of short but sweet multiplayer sessions, the Overcooked series is a great choice, with the second game supporting online play for up to four different people.
In each round, you and the other players have to prepare dishes in a restaurant kitchen by picking up ingredients, cooking them, combining them, and sending out the orders to the awaiting diners.
It sounds simple, but it can become blissfully chaotic as things get more hectic. And of course, since every round is timed, it won’t keep you from your other appointments.
Last but not least, sports games have a lot to offer both in terms of online fun and quick play sessions. There are all the usual simulator-style games for sports like football and basketball, but our recommendation here is a more kinetic and arcade-style experience; Rocket League.
It’s soccer, but with remote control cars, the satisfaction of using your vehicle to nudge a giant ball into a goal is unbeatable. So get out there, test drive some online games, and don’t let your spare time go to waste!