This week's edition of What Do You Think? isn't just something I've been pondering lately, but something I've always wondered how other people felt about for my entire gaming life. It's pretty straightforward: what do you think of short games?
Ok, maybe it's not so straightforward, as "short" can mean a lot of different things in games. In level-based games, shortness can really stick out. I'm reminded of when Bean's Quest [$2.99] launched back in 2011, and we called it "a fun five minutes." Bean's Quest had the look and mechanics firmly in place, and with its bouncy-centric gameplay it proved unique from the many, many other platformers on the App Store. It did everything right… it was just so bleedin' short.
Well as you might now, Bean's Quest continued to evolve with lots of updates, culminating in a massive finale early last year that brought the game's level total up to a whopping 50 including a final boss fight. A far cry from the paltry 8 levels the game originally shipped with.
However, even in its original short state, Bean's Quest was excellent, and it was hard not to recommend that platformer fans pick it up. But this is the App Store, where there's a never-ending stream of games available for free or 99¢, and many of the games themselves are never-ending, like Doodle Jump or Temple Run, providing endless fun. At $2.99 Bean's Quest was a tough sell with its "five minutes of fun."
Personally, I've never been that concerned with game length. I'd rather play an amazing game that's only a couple of hours than play some 100+ hour game that's stuffed with backtracking or grinding just so it can say it's a 100+ hour game. Just give me the good stuff, you know? I don't need all the extra fluff to justify my purchase.
Then again, and this harkens back to a What Do You Think? from a couple of weeks back about sandbox games, it is kind of sweet when you can buy a game that you can literally play for years. That's just plain wild. Although, grownup Jared has far less time to sit and play video games for hours at a time than little kid Jared used to have, so I actually really appreciate a game I can sit down and beat in a reasonable amount of time. I'm sure other aging gamers such as myself feel the same.
So, what do you think TouchArcade community? Does the length of a game factor into whether or not you'll buy it? Do you feel unsatisfied if a game is really good but only lasts for a couple of hours? Or do you just take the experience for what it is, and move on to the next game? Let us know how you feel in the comments below.