Is it possible to finish five high-quality games in only 24 hours? Indeed it is!
A little over a month ago, Brittnie went to visit her Dad for a weekend. We’re married gamers who spend a lot of time together, so on the rare occasion when we’re separated, there’s always a question of what to do with the time. She had stated the goal of finishing off a couple of DS games while she was gone, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to challenge myself: five games in only 24 hours, leaving the following day for recovery before she returned.
- The games all had to be considered “high quality”, meaning they were critically, commercially, or culturally successful.
- “Completion” meant playing through the main portion of the game, and excluded any extra levels, hidden challenges, or anything similar.
- No speed runs; the games had to be played at the same ”standard” pace I play through titles.
- I had to have already played through each title at least once.
- Difficulty levels were kept at default.
I knew I had to choose the five games wisely…they had to have short playtimes, while still being highly entertaining. After making my five choices, I had to figure out the order (which I wouldn’t allow myself to modify later.) Once I had all that figured up, I got a real good night’s sleep on Friday, had a solidly healthy breakfast in the morning, then got started.
8:00 AM - Trine
I decided to start with Trine, as it offers up exciting action with some simple puzzles thrown in as a way to get my brain going. I had played through Trine once before, but surprisingly my playthrough this time was about the same length: I polished off the game in just a few minutes over five hours, taking a break at 11:00 AM for lunch. Factor in a couple of bathroom breaks, and it took me from 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM to finish the game. We’re off to a great start!
After a 30 minute break of getting a brainpower boost by playing some Sudoku, I started up a real challenge.
2:00 PM – Misadventures of PB Winterbottom
I had played PB Winterbottom once before, and although I admittedly remembered the solution to a couple of the weirder puzzles, most of it was like going through the game for the first time all over again. I beat this one a bit faster than I did in my first playthrough, but not by much! Completing all the main doors/finishing the story took me just under two hours, with no food or bathroom breaks. The time was now about 4:00 PM.
A bathroom break, snack, and a brisk walk later, I was on to the next title!
4:30 PM – Mirror’s Edge
Mirror’s Edge is a game that holds a special place in my gaming memories. My first playthrough was done entirely in between turns (and while people napped) during an extended Civilization IV LAN party. I have no idea how long it took me to get through it the first time, but I clocked in a little under six and a half hours on this playthrough (including a bathroom break and a real quick dinner break.) It was every bit as awesome as it was the first time I played it
By the time the credits rolled on Mirror’s Edge, it was shortly before 11 PM. I decided now would be a good time to re-energize myself for the home stretch, so I gulped down a 16 oz Red Bull while spending some time on our stationary recumbent bike. After a real quick shower, I sat down to take on what I knew would be the easiest game in the whole challenge.
11:30 PM - Portal
Once you get used to the mind-bending way that Portal works, getting through the game is exceptionally easy. I ran into a couple of snags early on before I had a chance to wipe away the cobwebs (this all happened prior to Portal 2 being released, mind you), but other than that I had no problem. I pounded this one out in about an hour and thirty minutes, talking smack at GLaDOS the whole time.
It was now about 1 AM, and I only had one game remaining. Honestly, I was a bit nervous…I wasn’t sure if I was going to make the deadline, but I pushed on. I took a quick walk outside while gulping down a bottle of water, came back in, queued up some South Park DVDs, and prepared for the final game in the challenge.
1:30 AM – God Of War: Chains of Olympus
As soon as I started going through Chains of Olympus, I was glad I had saved such an intense game for last; I was already worn out and almost ready to give up, but as soon as the fighting started, I knew I could do it. I battled through enemies, chained attacks, and faced the gods. In the end, I managed to finish off the playthrough in five and a half hours, including a bathroom break. My epic gaming session officially ended at 7 AM, a full 23 hours after it had begun.
I fell into bed, exhausted but triumphant. I honestly can’t remember if I dreamed or not, but I DO know that I slept until about three in the afternoon the following day. I knew this challenge would be tough, but I didn’t realize the physical effect it would have on me…had I done this a few years ago, I likely would have barely even been tired towards the end. It’s amazing what a difference being in your early 20′s vs being in your late 20′s makes! All in all, it was an awesome experiment, one that I hope to replicate again sometime in the future.
If you ever find yourself with an entirely open weekend, I recommend you take the five games in 24 hours challenge, whether it’s with the same games listed above or an entirely different set of games. It’s a great experience!