I watch a fair amount of Twitch.tv. It’s my go-to evening entertainment, when I don’t play videogames myself.
Besides the assorted variety streamers I subscribe to, there are some “Magic Online” streamers (mostly AspiringSpike and DemonicTutors), the occasional cryptic crossword one (see my site for more), and lately competitive “Tetris” (CTL & CTM). Their commentators are entertaining and the action is very exciting. Waiting for a longbar to drop to get that tetris in, is pure adrenaline.
Now I won’t start streaming myself. Neither will I begin playing Magic Online (again, because fuck WotC) nor Tetris for that matter (I lack the skills) but some games presented by the variety streamers make me dust off my Steam account, grab my 360 controller and go for it.
I noticed a pettern there. I like to have three games simultaneously in rotation, which differ in genre but mostly differ in length needed to play them.
The shortest at the moment is “Brotato”. It replaced “20 Minutes Till Dawn” and is a game in the vein of “Vampire Survivors”. You shoot monsters, collect XP and/or materials, get better gear, shoot a lot more monsters. So many monsters. Due to the fixed time frame of 20 to 30 minutes, I can easily squeeze in a run (or two, if I fail early enough) between work and other variants of procrastination.
The longest is “Graveyard Keeper”. Closely related to “Stardew Valley” and other work-simulations, I really like the carrot & stick variant in this one (Hail comrade donkey!). There are certain tasks you have to fulfill and they are just out of reach enough that you know what you have to do, but it will take not too much time or effort that it becomes a slog. It will take time, though, which is why I prefer to play it at the end of the day. For most nights in the past week, the motto was, once it’s “Tagesschau”-time I will start digging.
Last but not least, the in-betweener, where I want to play a game with more meat than “Brotato” but not really fuck around for hours like in “Graveyard Keeper”. Metroidvanias and platformers fill this gap perfectly. You play a level or two, progress a bit and feel satisfied. Titles I have enjoyed recently were: “Shovel Knight”, “The Witch & The 66 Mushrooms”, “Axiom Verge”, and “Hollow Knight”. As soon as I finish this sentence, I will return to “The Ramsey”, where I am a hamster with a popcorn-gun.