The staff here at Lords of Gaming varies wildly in age range, from early 20’s to mid-40s. Fundamentally, that means that the amount of time we have to dedicate to gaming each year also varies wildly. There are constant conversations amongst the staff about what games should we be playing. We all have our favorite genres of course, but games that provide high-density experiences are always sought after. These are games that whether you spend a ten-hour marathon or a 20-minute chunk, you get something out of them. They are games that recognize that we go out of our way to play games and they give us back memorable experiences. With that said, here are the winners of Lords of Gamings 2023 Golden Lance Award for Game That Most Respected Your Time.
Winner: Super Mario Wonder
Super Mario Bros. Wonder has around 70 main story levels. Then another 10 special world levels and 20 badge challenges. To really dominate the game you will need to beat all 100 levels but, you do not have to if you do not want to.
HowLongtobeat.com is an aggregate of player time. HLTB lists Mario Wonder as around 10 hours for the story, 13 hours for the story and some extras, then 20 hours to 100% complete the entire game. The playtimes come from an average over over 1,000 players.
In a year full of 100 plus hour RPGs, Mario Wonder feels like a relief. Yet at the same time, it is not short on content. The 100 levels are short, dense and action packed. Plus you have the typical Mario worlds. With that, you are moving from a cloud level to a tree level, to a water level, to a desert level, and so on and so forth. Every level feels unique and meaningful. For sure Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a packed, and valuable 10 to 20 hours of gaming (if you want).
Runner Up: Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon
From Software’s reputation developed on open-world games, but their latest entry delivers a more condensed title. Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon gives its players mission lists for the story, one-on-one duels, and multiplayer matches. Each one takes a reasonable amount of time, generally no longer than ten or fifteen minutes.
Anyone who’s felt overwhelmed with time commitments to From Software, then use Armored Core VI as your entry point.