Work means something different to all of us, but to many of us, the work day involves some periods of down time. If you find yourself with nothing to do in between meetings, or if a coworker is taking their sweet time to respond to you, you might think about picking up your Switch for a brief gaming session. But a story-heavy game will only lead to disappointment when that coworker calls you back in the middle of a cutscene. Instead, you need a game that’s easy to pick up and play for a few minutes, like one of these 12 titles.
This list is inspired by Redditor Certain-Ad-2118. Their job essentially involves talking on the phone, with two to three minutes in between each call. They took to r/NintendoSwitch looking for games that could fill those short bursts of time, and the subreddit answered their call. I picked what I thought were 12 of the best suggestions for the situation, but let us know in the comments if you have a favorite you don’t see here.
Of course, you could play any game at work, thanks to the Switch’s sleep mode: You might play two to three minutes of, say, Breath of the Wild, get a call, put the Switch to sleep, and start it up again when the call is over. It’s doable, and fine, but not the same. What OP was looking for, and what this list focuses on, are games with mechanics that lend themselves to quick sessions, whether that’s because they play in short rounds, or because you can make a lot of progress in only a few minutes’ time.
Hades - Launch Trailer - Nintendo Switch
Capnthermostat suggested a recent indie favorite: Hades. The game is a roguelike dungeon crawler, seeing you fight through rooms of enemy hordes. As the name implies, Hades is a game based on Greek mythology: You’re fighting your way through the underworld as Zagreus, the son of Hades, coming across many familiar characters (and baddies) along the way. Dying isn’t discouraged, either. In fact, it’s expected, which makes casual Hades play easy. Every time you die, you keep some of your progress, so you’re never start from zero.
You could die, head into a meeting, then start a round again, stronger than before you present the latest quarterly report.
Slay the Spire
Slay the Spire - Launch Trailer - Nintendo Switch
DarkRenamon recommended the “deck building, roguelike dungeon crawler,” Slay the Spire. Is that enough genres for you? According to IGN, the game only takes about an hour to get to the top, so it doesn’t require a huge time investment to see success. Every time you die, you learn a little more about what makes a run work. You don’t get stronger, mind you—just smarter. The game is different on every run, meaning you’ll always need to discover new strategies with each play. Be warned: It’s addicting.
Dicey Dungeons Launch Trailer
Knuc85 enjoyed Dicey Dungeons for quick bursts of gameplay. The game’s individual battles are quick, allowing for sneaky game sessions in between work calls, emails, or whatever else you’re actually supposed to be doing. Dicey Dungeons use dice as a game mechanic: Your dice rolls affect your abilities during combat, which gives each battle a fun, fate-based twist.
Into the Breach
Into The Breach Review
Foobarturtle’s suggestion was Into the Breach, a turn-based strategy game that can be taken in bite-sized chunks. It does require a level of attention, however: Different characters have different abilities, and the various terrain types offer varying challenges on each island. But once on the battlefield, it’s up to you to figure out how to evade enemy attacks and win the battle at hand.
Loop Hero Launch Trailer
Suggested by PecosBillIsBack, Loop Hero makes for easy at-work play because the central premise is letting the game play itself. Each level offers up a blank map: Your character auto-fights against the various enemies, and earns rewards from each battle. Those rewards can be used to flesh out the level’s map, which, in turn, offers up rewards of their own. It becomes a tad more involved as you keep playing, but never so much that a work call would severely disrupt your flow.
Civilization VI: How to Start a Game - Gameplay Trailer - Nintendo Switch
Czpl offered up the latest entry in the famous Civilization franchise. Civ VI’s turn-based gameplay makes for an easy pick-up-and-play game. You can take your turn in minutes, then get back to work while your opponents take theirs. Who knows: By the time 5 o’clock rolls around, you may have conquered the world.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
What Is Animal Crossing: New Horizons? A Guide for the Uninitiated
There are few AAA games more casual than Animal Crossing. The game even syncs with the Switch’s clock, meaning it’s morning in-game when it’s morning for you, and nighttime in-game when the real sun has set outside. Many in the Reddit thread suggested Animal Crossing, but OpenForPeople in particular pointed out AC’s fishing might be the best aspect for a quick two- to three-minute game break.
Super Monkey Ball
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania - Launch Trailer - Nintendo Switch
Redditor Yummie00 suggested quite a few games, but my favorite suggestion of the bunch is Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania. It’s a blast of nostalgia for anyone who enjoyed a Super Monkey Ball game in the past, but its simplicity makes it accessible to anyone looking for a quick dash of fun (or frustration).
Super Monkey Ball has you guiding your monkey ball through a course, scooping up bananas and other collectables along the way. The courses are typically short enough to cover a brief break from work, although they do ramp up in difficulty quick. Just remember to take a deep breath before hopping on an important call.
Grindstone Nintendo Switch Review
Grindstone is a gory, cartoony puzzler, which makes it perfect for a quick gaming session between responsibilities. If you’ve played a popular puzzler before, you won’t have much trouble navigating Redditor ninouri’s choice, but make no mistake: This ain’t Candy Crush. You’ll be killing creatures, employing RPG upgrades, and running to the inn for a health-replenishing beer.
Stardew Valley - Trailer (Nintendo Switch)
Stardew Valley, like Animal Crossing, is a chill game. Whether you have all day, or three minutes, the game is ready for you to farm, build relationships, mine, and fish to your heart’s content. Unlike Animal Crossing, Stardew’s clock runs fast, so it doesn’t take long to finish one day’s work (although it is longer than the two to three minutes we’ve discussed). In any case, there’s plenty of small tasks to accomplish before real work gets in the way. Stardew Valley is one of many games recommended by Redditor TheLazyLounger.
Let’s Play: Picross S8 [2-Player]
If you’re looking for a simple puzzle game to pass the time, any of the Picross games should do, according to ShadowLitOwl. In Picross, you’re faced with a grid with numbers on the axes. These numbers tell you which squares in the grid you should fill in. When you have filled in the correct squares, you solve the puzzle. There are a lot of Picross games out there to play. You can stick to simple versions, or go with themed ones, like Pokémon Picross, or Mario’s Super Picross for the SNES.
Baba Is You
Baba Is You - Release Date Trailer - Nintendo Switch
Schmattywinkle’s suggestion, Baba Is You, is an inventive iteration of the block pushing puzzler. In the game, you’ll find simple phrases define the rules of the world. WALL IS STOP means you can’t go through the wall, or ROCK IS PUSH means the rocks are movable. However, you can move these phrases around to change those rules. Push STOP away from WALL, and you can now walk through walls. It’s very creative, and the puzzles get complicated. Don’t be surprised if you’re thinking about your latest level while taking that next work call.
More from Lifehacker