Every multiplayer gamer has been there. Everyone is sat waiting in the lobby except one friend. They probably won’t be long enough to fit a full game in but currently, you’re just sitting on your hands. Here are 5 of the best quick games to open up in a new tab and play while you wait for the slowpoke to get in the game. The games listed are all small enough to run in another tab, quick enough that you can play a worthwhile amount in 5-10 minutes and most importantly, a lot of fun to play.
How can it not be a fast game if it’s got speed in the name? SpeedRunners is a simple concept that provides boatloads of excitement and intensity. Players have to move far enough ahead of their rivals that the screen no longer covers the trailing players. To do this, you employ the typical range of dashes, special items and skilful movement to build and maintain your speed over the course of a short looping race. If the race starts to take too long, the screen will start to shrink until one mistake will be enough to take a player out of contention.
The game loads up exceptionally quickly and each round is subdivided into a series of races. It’s also super simple to learn and quick to get into. You are unlikely to feel you shouldn’t have bothered loading it up even if you only get the chance to play for 2-3 minutes. The only problem is if you quickly load this one up while you wait, you might not ever want to start the game you were going to play.
2. Duck Game
Duck Game, it’s a game about ducks…
Okay, I’ll add a little more. This quick, quirky and action-packed game is perfect for playing a few rounds while you wait to start up a bigger game. The titular ducks engage in violent shootouts with a variety of crazy weaponry. Rounds can take a minute or two or might be over-and-done-with in seconds if every player plays aggressively and tries to make it a race for the best guns. If you want to make it a quick game, try to avoid spending too long choosing your duck’s hat and outfit, otherwise everyone might have to be waiting even longer whilst you get your style on point.
Compared to SpeedRunners, I typically find Duck Game takes a little longer to go from booting it to action. However, it is still pretty quick and perfect if you need to wait a little longer since the different maps and weapons promise a lot of variety.
3. Lethal League
Lethal League is a very unique game that involves using a baseball bat to defeat your opponents, but not by hitting them. Instead, you need to hit the ball into them, something that requires them to be unable to hit it back or avoid it. Initially an easy task, it quickly becomes nearly impossible to time as the pace of the ball rapidly increases and every hit feels like a minor miracle. This game is particularly good for smaller groups. Only having 2-3 players is no problem in Lethal League and 1v1s are often the most dramatic games.
If you are looking for a game for when there are only 2 players in the lobby waiting for a third, Lethal League should be your go-to. However, it is an addictive game and one that gets more and more fun the better you get. This might be one to also play for longer periods to get the most out of the short competitive games with friends.
4. Ultimate Chicken Horse
Another unique party game, Ultimate Chicken Horse typically takes a little longer than the others on this list. If someone messages ahead to say they’ll be 10-15 minutes late, this should be your go-to game to play while you wait. It requires precise platforming skills but also doesn’t take itself too seriously. You can probably guess the silly tone from the title alone. Each player chooses an animal and must use them to traverse a map, typically a sheer drop between two points.
At the beginning of each round, players place objects that can either aid or impede movement. Each player wants to make the map hard enough that the other players cannot complete the level but not so hard that they themselves cannot complete it. Not only that, but each map is also a race with points handed out according to a number of factors.
Maps get more and more interesting as they go on and more objects are added. You do need a few minutes more than in other games to really get the most out of Ultimate Chicken Horse. That being said, each round really doesn’t take more than 10 minutes, so you can be back to a bigger game pretty quickly. It’s the best quick game to play while you just need to wait another 10 minutes for the last player to get ready.
5. Stick Fight: The Game
Stick Fight really doesn’t take much explaining. Like Duck Game, it draws clear inspiration from old flash games you might have used school computers to play during lunch. It really does very little to innovate on the classic formula but it has essentially perfected it. Rounds are incredibly short, you can finish a fight in less than a minute from launch and the physics engine keeps everything tactical and interesting.
Each player controls a very rudimentary stickman and must dash to grab various weapons, usually guns, and begin shooting their rivals whilst avoiding environmental hazards. Combat is frenetic and usually ends very quickly. However, in a short space of time, there is room for both skill and strategy. Even alliances form, usually around each player shouting “TRUCE, TRUCE, TRUCE!” when they realise the block below them being destroyed spells mutual destruction.
The only problem is the game has a strong tendency to bug out, with different players seeing different things on-screen. However, rounds are so fast that one buggy round never feels like the end of the world. More than any game on this list you really can fit a game into any length of time, even if it has less long term appeal.
If you are a player that usually just sits around and waits, have a go at these games in a new tab. All of them are very cheap on the store of your choice and some like Ultimate Chicken Horse can even be played over streaming. Check them out and get the most out of your online gaming time with your friends.