Best Switch Games For Short Play Sessions

It used to be that we’d take our 3DSes with us on holiday, public transit, and to hospital waiting rooms, because it was easy to pick up and put down a game on this tiny little handheld, and to put it into sleep mode whenever your attention was needed.

These days, we’re more likely to take a Nintendo Switch with us whenever we know there will be long periods of downtime, and though a Switch isn’t quite as portable as the chocolate-bar-sized 3DS, it can still fit in a bag or a very large pocket, if you’re lucky. There are plenty of games on the Switch that slot in perfectly to a 15-30 minute session, too — so we’ve assembled a few of the best right here!

It’s worth noting that pretty much any roguelike or puzzle game makes for great short play sessions, but we’ve tried to keep it a little varied, with online multiplayer games, story games, and even RPGs that work really well in short bursts. Enjoy!

Slay the Spire (Switch eShop)Slay the Spire (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Humble Bundle / Developer: Mega Crit

Release Date: 6th Jun 2019 (USA) / 6th Jun 2019 (UK/EU)

Craft a unique deck of cards, encounter bizarre creatures and discover relics of immense power in Slay the Spire! Choose your cards wisely! Discover hundreds of cards to add to your deck with each attempt at climbing the Spire. Select cards that work together to efficiently dispatch foes and reach the top. Whenever you embark on a journey up the Spire, the layout differs each time. Choose a risky or safe path, face different enemies, choose different cards, discover different relics, and even fight different bosses!

It’s incredibly easy to boot up Slay The Spire, take on a couple of fights, and dip out again. Just try to remember what your strategy plan was…

Gnosia (Switch eShop)Gnosia (Switch eShop)

Publisher: PLAYISM / Developer: Petit Depotto

Release Date: 4th Mar 2021 (USA) / 4th Mar 2021 (UK/EU)

Gnosia is a sci-fi social deduction RPG in which you will engage in discussion with a variety of unique characters, with the aim of identifying the Gnosia among the group. Players will have to use what information they can gather during the discussions to ascertain whom they think is Gnosia and then vote to put them into cold sleep. As you progress, your abilities will improve – but so will those of the crew.

The timeloop nature of this one makes it easy to play an entire round in about 15 minutes!

Dicey Dungeons (Switch eShop)Dicey Dungeons (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Distractionware / Developer: Distractionware

Release Date: 15th Dec 2020 (USA) / 15th Dec 2020 (UK/EU)

In Dicey Dungeons, a fast-paced deckbuilding roguelike, you’ll fight monsters, find better loot, and level up your heroes as you work together to take down the Goddess of Fortune, Lady Luck herself. Balance your carefully planned strategies against the unknown of a dice roll.

Battles are quick and simple, so you can easily play through a few in 10-20 minutes.

Cozy Grove (Switch eShop)Cozy Grove (Switch eShop)

Publisher: The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild / Developer: Spry Fox

Release Date: 8th Apr 2021 (USA) / 8th Apr 2021 (UK/EU)

Cozy Grove measures out its game sessions in snack-size portions, with gorgeous artwork and genuinely laugh-worthy dialogue. As a Spirit Scout, you’ll wander the island’s forest each day, finding new hidden secrets and helping soothe the local ghosts. With a little time and a lot of crafting, you’ll bring color and joy back to Cozy Grove.

This one is literally designed for 15-30 minute play sessions, and it will actually tell you to come back another time when there’s nothing more to do.

Baba Is You (Switch eShop)Baba Is You (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Hempuli / Developer: Hempuli

Release Date: 13th Mar 2019 (USA) / 13th Mar 2019 (UK/EU)

Baba Is You is a puzzle game where you can change the rules by which you play. In every level, the rules are present as blocks you can interact with; by manipulating them, you can change how the level works and cause surprising, unexpected interactions.

It’s incredibly easy to play this one in bursts, but don’t be surprised if you spend an entire 10 minute session just staring at the screen and trying to think really, really hard.

FEZ (Switch eShop)FEZ (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Polytron / Developer: Polytron

Release Date: 14th Apr 2021 (USA) / 14th Apr 2021 (UK/EU)

Gomez is a 2D creature living in a 2D world. Or is he? When the existence of a mysterious 3rd dimension is revealed to him, Gomez is sent out on a journey that will take him to the very end of time and space. Use your ability to navigate 3D structures from 4 distinct classic 2D perspectives. Explore a serene and beautiful open-ended world full of secrets, puzzles and hidden treasures. Unearth the mysteries of the past and discover the truth about reality and perception. Change your perspective and look at the world in a different way.

Jump in, jump around, and jump out again — FEZ makes for a great bitesize play session, as each of the levels are quite small and self-contained.

A Monster's Expedition (Switch eShop)A Monster's Expedition (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Draknek & Friends / Developer: Draknek & Friends

Release Date: 5th Aug 2021 (USA) / 5th Aug 2021 (UK/EU)

From some of the best puzzle designers in the world comes A Monster’s Expedition, an adorable and relaxing open world puzzle adventure for monsters who love to learn about humans. By pushing trees over to create pathways, you’ll explore hundreds of islands near and far to learn about the history of “humanity”.

Any of Draknek’s games — including Bonfire Peaks and Cosmic Express — make for brilliant, if frustrating, short-session games.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo

Release Date: 20th Mar 2020 (USA) / 20th Mar 2020 (UK/EU)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a game that’s all about constantly improving things — whether that’s the exhibits in the museum, your home furniture layout, or your own cooking skills. There’s a myriad things to do here, and the real challenge will be keeping it to only 20 minutes.

Popping into your island for a bit is always a nice way to unwind, or you can take on one of the Happy Home Paradise house designs if you fancy!

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Minit (Switch eShop)Minit (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Devolver Digital

Release Date: 9th Aug 2018 (USA) / 9th Aug 2018 (UK/EU)

Minit is a peculiar little adventure played sixty seconds at a time. Journey outside the comfort of your home to help unusual folk, uncover countless secrets, and overcome dangerous foes, all in hopes of lifting a rather unfortunate curse that ends each day after just one minute.

There is literally no better game to play for a short while. You can play this one in ONE MINUTE SESSIONS.

Neon White (Switch eShop)Neon White (Switch eShop)

Publisher: Annapurna Interactive / Developer: Angel Matrix

Release Date: 16th Jun 2022 (USA) / 16th Jun 2022 (UK/EU)

Neon White is a lightning fast first-person action game about exterminating demons in Heaven. You are White, an assassin handpicked from Hell to compete with other demon slayers for a chance to live permanently in Heaven. The other assassins seem familiar, though… did you know them in a past life?

Neon White’s speedy play makes for action-packed game sessions, which will make you feel like you’ve achieved loads in just a short time.

DOOM (Switch)DOOM (Switch)

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks / Developer: Panic Button

Release Date: 10th Nov 2017 (USA) / 10th Nov 2017 (UK/EU)

DOOM makes it clear from the outset that you aren’t the prey, you’re the predator. Encounters with foes never come in ones and twos, but in tens of enemies. If you aren’t careful, they’ll make short work of you. Unlike most modern-day shooters, in DOOM, your health doesn’t regenerate. Instead, you’ll have to earn it, just like the good old days. DOOM is one of the best first-person shooters we’ve ever played, and is certainly the best in its class on Switch. There’s a certain magical quality about having a game this good on the go.

Sometimes, when you’re stuck on a bus or in a waiting room, you just want to rip and tear. DOOM will always be there for you.

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 (Switch)Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 (Switch)

Publisher: SEGA / Developer: SEGA

Release Date: 8th Dec 2020 (USA) / 8th Dec 2020 (UK/EU)

Much like its predecessor, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 combines Sega’s Puyo Puyo series with The Tetris Company’s… um, Tetris. Players can choose to play either mode in solo play, or can combine them both in the strange Fusion mode, where both Puyos and Tetrominos drop into your playing area at the same time. The main heart of the game for solo players, as in the original, is the Adventure mode. Just like before, Adventure is a lengthy story mode where a variety of strange and eccentric characters get involved in a bizarre plot about the worlds of Puyo Puyo and Tetris colliding.

While we tend to think that PPT2 is best played with friends, Tetris itself is always a fantastic time-filler, and this one’s no different. You can also pick up Tetris Effect, if you want something a bit more serious.