The Best Short-Form Games for Sci-Fi Fans
Scified2023-12-28 16:49:14
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The concept of science fiction has existed long before video games. But as gaming became more popular in the 1980s and 90s, the genre of sci-fi was in a unique position. After all, what bodes better for gaming than futuristic, tech-based worlds that stretch as far as the imagination can take them? In other words, it was no surprise when sci-fi video games took off.

Some of gaming’s earliest standout hits stemmed from the genre. From the arcade-era Space Invaders to early PC projects like Half-Life to console hits like DOOM, sci-fi had instilled itself as a main player in the gaming space. Fast forward a few decades and this trend hasn’t let up. Some of the most expansive and innovative new projects of the last few years cover sci-fi, including Portal 2 and Death Stranding.

Given the hefty content in sci-fi projects, it’s no surprise that many of these works take a lot of diligence and perseverance to complete. Some sci-fi titles, like EVE Online, are designed to be infinitely playable, while others like Mass Effect took well over a decade to complete. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t bite-sized variations available to gamers.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best sci-fi-inspired minigames on the market. First up, online slots.


The Nitropolis series is a virtual slot that can be found at online entertainment platforms, which means it's a digitized version of a physical slot. The game comes from ELK Studios and focuses on four clans of animals that are vying for control of a post-apocalyptic world called Nitropolis. To survive, the clans must maintain control of Nitro supplies, which fuel their vehicles and machinations. As players spin the reel, they’re taken to the frontlines of the battle between the Dirty Dawgs, Pug Thugs, Gritty Kitties, and the Rogue Rats.


This mobile game is story-centric, following the adventure of a young woman named Alex. Players must help Alex as she navigates her local island and discovers an increasingly worrying series of paranormal events. The gameplay mechanics are straightforward, as the game focuses more closely on mysterious events rather than complex battles. Just keep in mind that, like many titles on this list, Oxenfree is horror-adjacent.


If you’re interested in highly unique graphics and have limited experience playing complex titles, then Morphite is a great choice. This game takes players to foreign planets where they explore stunning environments and uncover new forms of alien life. Given its boxy and colorful visual approach, just about everything in this game is intriguing, pulling players in as they casually explore planet after planet and immerse themselves in imaginative new atmospheres. Because the game lacks a more urgent goal, players don’t have to worry about completing any objectives as they wander.


This minigame takes only around three hours to complete. Still, we think it’s worth mentioning on this mini-games list thanks to its highly absorbing storyline. As with many sci-fi titles, mystery abounds on a spaceship in Tacoma. Players must navigate an abandoned vessel and try to piece together what happened to its crew. The magic is in the storyline and the cast of memorable, touching characters, which add a level of depth and meaning to this title that reviewers can’t get enough of.


Decrypt is the shortest minigame on this list, as it usually takes around an hour to complete. It’s also the most horror-centric, so tread lightly if you normally avoid jump scares and survival themes. Once again, players are taken to an abandoned ship where they must figure out what happened—but unlike in Tacoma, players in Decrypt won’t find themselves uncovering any heartwarming tales. Instead, tension continues to build in this short but sweet space romp.


Let’s round this list off with a romance-sci-fi crossover. In Machinarium, players enter a kitschy and steampunk world of robots. They navigate this unique world as Joseph, an optimistic robot on the hunt for his long-lost girlfriend. With limited dialogue and a simple touch-and-click setup, players are treated to a highly unique and memorable adventure—plus, a meaningful love story that fits perfectly within its sci-fi setting.

Written by ChrisPublished on 2023-12-28 16:49:14
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