Is there such a thing as a 20-minute legacy game?
March 1, 2020 1:25 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a game that: can be played by two players; gives both players a chance to play equal roles (EG neither spends the whole game as DM); has some sort of pre-created story; and takes less than an hour to play. Does such a thing exist?

Just to clarify "pre-created story"... Of course, all games kind of have a retroactive story when you describe them afterwards. And there are many games (like Dixit) that involve players telling stories. But by "pre-created story" I mean some sort of story that has been consciously shaped by the game designer. Examples include:

– 221B Baker Street, where each game involves unraveling a mystery;
- Pandemic Legacy, where individual game might unfold based on the player's actions, but pre-written developments between each game create a feeling of an overall multi-game arc;
--Escape rooms in a box (EG the Exit: The Game series), where there's a feeling of forward movement through the story as you solve puzzles.
--Most RPGs

But it seems like all of the above take an hour or more to play (or, in the case of RPGs, require one player to be GM)

Are there any shorter games that meet all my requirements?
posted by yankeefog to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Sorry, one more clarification: by "less than an hour" I mean less than an hour per individual play session. It's totally fine if each game is part of a longer campaign. Basically, we're looking for something we can squeeze in after our kids are in bed, and then pack up completely until the next time we've got some gaming time.
posted by yankeefog at 1:31 PM on March 1, 2020

7th Continent plays very long (and is very story-driven) but it has a "save game" feature that means you can pack it up at any time and then pick up where you left off on another day.
posted by Paragon at 2:49 PM on March 1, 2020

Not sure if this ticks your boxes, but there's Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger, which you can play a chapter at a time.
posted by wintersweet at 2:55 PM on March 1, 2020

Fog of Love is story-driven in the individual scenarios, designed for two players specifically, plays in approximately an hour or less, has relatively little setup, and there's a longer 'arc' in the Supernatural add on at least. Here's an excellent review from Shut Up and Sit Down to see if this kind of thing might fill the need!
posted by FatherDagon at 5:28 PM on March 1, 2020

I doubt you'd finish any of the eight cases in Mythos Tales in an hour, but my vague recollection is there wouldn't be much to pack up to split them into two or three sessions each. SU&SD review.
posted by Wobbuffet at 6:54 PM on March 1, 2020

Is the Arkham Horror card game pre-created enough? The scenarios are usually pre-set, but obviously the outcomes and the specific game actions can... uh... vary wildly. Most of the time you can play a session in well under an hour, although it's easy to spend way too long tinkering with the decks, and it's co-op.
posted by Scattercat at 8:51 PM on March 1, 2020

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! I will check those out.
posted by yankeefog at 4:46 AM on March 3, 2020

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