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20 Games to Play When You Finally Accept That Your Reading Attention Span Is in Shambles

So it’s 2024 and you can’t even glance at the cover of a book without taking a frenzied scroll break – don’t worry, this is totally normal behavior these days. As it turns out, it’s now completely acceptable and cool to be bad at reading, and I can confidently tell you that most of us gave up the tedious habit ages ago.

Look on the bright side; countless video games need playing and your brain is far too fried to spend any more time on long, annoying books. Thankfully, I’ve gone ahead and made a list of 20 stimulating games that are sure to keep your defective brain humming for hours to come, assuming you’re still reading this.   

Post Void

I challenge anyone here to get further than level 5 in this demented boomer shooter. And if you do get further than that please don’t tell me about it—I’ll become very upset and hunt you down to break your computer in a fit of jealous rage. That’s probably what the main character from Post Void would do, anyway.

The whole game feels like someone fed every Doom speedrun into an AI and made some poor soul watch the results like the guy strapped to a chair in A Clockwork Orange. Suffice it to say, your remaining attention span will be quickly dissolved after playing this one for a few minutes.  

Beat Saber

Inspired by the best parts of the worst Star Wars movies, Beat Saber lets you live out the off-the-walls slashing and slicing Jedi fantasy that was instilled in most of us by the end of George Lucas’ prequel trilogy. Glowing, metallic cubes fly at you endlessly as you swipe your legally distinct laser swords through the air, stacking up endless combos to the music of your choice.

I’d like to think this is what those helmet-wearing Padawans were seeing in Yoda’s child soldier training room from Episode II, but the reality was probably way, way more boring than Beat Saber

Vampire Survivors

Sometimes you just need to take a well-deserved break from that strange, folded thing in your head we call a brain. I can only assume developer Luca Galante had exactly that in mind when creating indie megahit Vampire Survivors.

Gameplay only requires the use of one analog stick for movement and the occasional button press for menu selections or pause-–that’s it. Just walk your character around the boundless map and watch your auto attacks knock down countless monsters while numbers go up. Just be sure to invest in a towel or two for when the blinking stops and the drooling starts.


I am currently in a Factorio support group and can no longer look at the game without risking my mental health, but it’s perfect for this list so I’m adding it. Just be aware that this game is no joke when it comes to dopamine drip, and there’s no greater hubris than that of a person who believes they’ve optimized ore production beyond improvement (they haven’t). Factorio is a dangerous drug, so approach it at your own risk and prepare to forget everything else entirely. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 


Thumper is one of those games that “actually kinda feels like drugs, man,” or at least it sincerely tries to approximate the vibes of a caffeine-infused LSD trip, which is good enough for me. Skate along the game’s nightmarish highway as a silver, musically inclined beetle while twisting shapes and faces try to turn you into bug shrapnel. All of this while booming, constant drums and deep synths echo through the game’s vast soundstage to impressive effect. 

Baldur’s Gate 3 Inventory Management

You know as well as I that this qualifies as a game in its own right. Seriously, when’s the last time you stopped and actually took inventory of the sheer number of Smokepowder Bombs and miscellaneous scrolls in your character’s backpacks? I promise you that you can put all of those into a pouch of their own, or better yet, just actually use one in battle for once. Do you even know roughly how many healing potions you have? Or have you been carrying around a Potion of Hill Giant Strength in a bag alongside three shortswords and a Mugwort? Go on, give this medieval minigame a try. 


So, they finally made that ninja-sprinting-alongside-your-parents-car game that you used to play in your head as a kid. You know, the one where the really fast guy is running alongside your family’s car on the highway, bounding over fence posts and mile markers? Well, it’s not exactly about a person running next to your parents’ car, but Canabalt features a businessman desperately sprinting across high-rise rooftops in fantastic side-scroller action, daring you to jump and dodge all sorts of debris along increasingly difficult levels. Why does he run? I don’t know. Why was that guy running alongside your parents’ car all those years? 

Burnout 3: Takedown

One of the best arcade racers ever created, Burnout 3: Takedown offers action-packed racing and equally bonkers crashes. As if made for people who suck at or just hate racing sims, the game basically rewards the most illegal, insane driving you can think up. Run other cars off the road for points, almost certainly killing their drivers, break through every barrier and gate you see, and destroy your own car for fun because at the end of the day, it’s just about speed and destruction, baby. 

Forza Horizon 4

If you don’t own a PS2 or a 360 or don’t feel like emulating any of the Burnout games, I’d highly recommend snagging a copy of Forza: Horizon 4. Yes, I know the fifth one is out, but I like the British accents in 4, ok? This one arguably takes a bit more skill than Burnout but rides on the idea that constant rewards and level-ups are what makes a racing game enticing. Is that true? I don’t know, but it’s the same concept that keeps me playing a hell of a lot of Call of Duty, so maybe they’re onto something here. 

BPM: Bullets Per Minute

This one combines the best of your favorite workout playlist with 2016’s Doom. BPM: Bullets Per Minute is great for those folks who miss Guitar Hero but feel embarrassed about holding a fake, plastic guitar to play a video game from 15 years ago. It’s also great if you love movement shooters with a heavier emphasis on the shooting. Pick this one up and be sure to put some headphones on because the mostly original soundtrack is absolutely kickin’. 


When I say I think that you should play Borderlands, I mean you should really play any of them because they’re all great—yes, even the third one with the annoying lead antagonists. The first through the third, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, and even Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel; all offer an adrenaline-pumping looter shooter experience that is guaranteed to soothe your stimulation-craving noggin for a disgusting number of hours. 

Hyper Demon

I’d only recommend Hyper Demon to those who’ve truly gone beyond the pale in search of high-stim games—I’m not sure how to describe this one other than telling you there’s no HUD, no story, and the most nightmarish figures from your dreams will be brought to life to ensure you never escape your night terrors. Essentially, this one will have you seeing sounds and hearing shapes, and thankfully it’s pretty cheap on Steam right now. 


I didn’t say the list was just video games, did I? Run around trying to grab your tired, adult friends in a desperate dash to not be “it.” The world becomes a blur as you reconnect with your childhood, remembering more innocent times, like the days before you messed up your last serious relationship.

Sprint too fast and you’ll probably trip over your own feet, dodge too slow and you might smack your head on a fence post or telephone pole. Plus, now that you’re older, those injuries carry a lot more weight and could cause serious damage to your worn-out body–just the right amount of tension and excitement to occupy you endlessly!

The Finals

I don’t know about you, but I’m goddamn sick and tired of battle royales being the predominant packaging for current AAA online shooters. Enter The Finals, a cracked-out, hyper FPS that pits four teams of three against each other. The environments are fully destructible and allow for extremely creative objective-based play, making every match feel as fresh as the last. It’s also free, just don’t take it to heart when a group of 15-year-olds fly past you faster than your old-man sensitivity settings can handle.


Fans of Greek mythology rejoice! If you somehow haven’t played Hades yet, that’s okay! Now is the perfect time to get into it ahead of the sequel set to release later this year. And don’t even think about looking away from the screen in this one — it’s an excellent roguelike and has brilliant flourishes of dating sim to boot, not that you’ll ever slow down enough to enjoy any of that wordy character development. 


Nidhogg is weird as hell, and pretty much perfect the perfect way to settle a disagreement with any friends who dares think their twitching brain is any more correct than yours. Take control of a pixelated guy in a Morphsuit as you fence your way across four unique maps, each with its own soundtrack and animated background. The swordplay is surprisingly nuanced and responsive, but simple enough that anyone can pick it up after a while. There’s also an aggressive single-player mode for those of you who are so distracted you’ve pushed everyone out of your life. 

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk

Yeah, you could just emulate Jet Set Radio Future instead of playing this spiritual sequel, but Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is no joke. The music, characters, zones, and UI all seem like they could’ve come straight out of Smilebit’s development archives. If you’ve never played a Jet Set game, and haven’t a clue what I’m talking about, it’s basically like if they took any of the good Tony Hawk games, made your character snort a bunch of Adderall, then set them loose in a futuristic Tokyo. The cel-shaded graphics are great, too. 

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun

Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun has something to do with being a Space Marine and instigating badass shootouts for a guy called “The Emperor.” Clearly, I have no idea what is going on in the world of Warhammer 40,000, and that’s fine as far as Boltgun is concerned. Have you played any Doom games aside from Doom 3? Then you’re covered. Simple, punchy, heavy-feeling guns unleash explosive bolts into endless meatbag enemies hell-bent on overrunning you. Keep moving and shooting, or you die. 

Hi-Fi Rush

This game received tons of praise and still feels like a sleeper hit. If I had better rhythm I’d probably have it up for my personal 2023 game of the year — who am I kidding, I’d still cast my vote for Baldur’s Gate 3 — and it’s got an incredible polish that shows throughout the whole 10-hour campaign. Even when you feel like you’re messing up, Hi-Fi Rush still makes you feel like you’re not sucking too much wind, and that’s something I can appreciate as a person who may or may not watch YouTube videos while also playing games. 


The absolute classic about smashing pesky rodents! Those who didn’t see this one coming might need to consider whether their attention span is truly gone for good. You should be foaming at the mouth just glancing at the image of the soft hammer above, getting recklessly excited to smash the heads of those stupid little moles with all of your strength. The game’s cartoony critters and goofy sound clips beckon you to hammer those annoying animals’ heads with the speed and fervor of all the gods, rewarding you with precious tickets as long as you just keep hitting their heads. 

PETA hates this game but your muscles will love it, your brain won’t let you stop until you’re tuckered out, and there’s even a tangible reward in the form of tickets that can be exchanged for cool prizes. Play this one until you get kicked out, because if you’re doing it right you inevitably will be.

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