If you’re looking to start the New Year off with a quick game that you can beat in just a few hours, look no further! These ten games all clock in at under 12 hours, making them a great choice for starting off a year filled with gaming and fun. Plus, they’re all available via Xbox Game Pass, meaning that subscribers will already have access to them!

If you don’t already have Xbox Game Pass, it can be purchased for PC, Console, or both. Subscriptions can be purchased via the official Game Pass website and come in a variety of monthly and yearly options. If you’re already a Game Pass subscriber, make sure to check out these ten short, fun games available to play in 2023!

Donut County

In this clever physics-based puzzler, mysterious holes have begun appearing in the ground – and you control them! Described as a “reverse Katamari Damacy,” Donut County involves using holes of ever-increasing size to suck up everything from trash and toys to trees and houses. Plus, you can interact with a variety of hilarious animal characters as you attempt to learn just where the holes came from and why they are so eager to devour everything in their path.

Length: 2 1/2 hours

Available For: Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass for Console

Sea of Solitude

 Sea of Solitude Receiving "Director's Cut" Switch Port

An atmospheric adventure game, Sea of Solitude takes place in a beautiful yet chilling world inhabited by monsters with unexpected origins. Protagonist Kay struggles to overcome her inner loneliness as she explores a mysterious flooded city both by foot and by boat. Along the way, she will meet monsters, solve puzzles, eliminate tainted memories, and eventually come face to face with the hardest monster of all to defeat: herself. Can light overcome darkness? What does it mean to be human? Consider these quandaries and more in Sea of Solitude.

Length: 3-5 hours

Available For: Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass for Console



This beautiful but dark science fiction adventure examines the realities of life in the wake of a large-scale catastrophe. An everyday family is forced into a perilous search for safety as aliens invade their world and life as they know it is changed forever. The gameplay of Somerville blends traditional adventure elements with platforming segments and physics-based puzzles, allowing for a varied playing experience throughout its brief runtime. Its story is told entirely without narration or dialogue, allowing players to become fully immersed in the game’s atmosphere.

Length: 4-5 hours

Available For: Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass for Console

Beacon Pines

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This quirky mystery stars Luca, a curious young jackalope, who – together with his friends – begins investigating the dark secrets behind the titular town. Luca is convinced that “Perennial Harvest,” the new company promising to rejuvenate Beacon Pines’ failing industry, is up to something – but he has no idea just how deep the conspiracy truly runs. Despite its short length, Beacon Pines features branching story paths with multiple endings to experience.

Length: 6 hours

Available For: Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass for Console

A Memoir Blue

Possibly the shortest game on this list, a single play-through of A Memoir Blue can clock in at just around one hour. Described by its developer as “an interactive poem,” A Memoir Blue tells the story of star swimmer Miriam as she explores her childhood memories and undertakes a personal journey centring on themes of success, growing up, and the strength of the love between mother and daughter. It features stunning music and a unique combination of 2D and 3D art and animation.

Length: 1 hour

Available For: Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass for Console


The latest in the growing trend of live-action “full motion video” games, Immortality is a darkly twisted mystery in which players comb through footage to discover the truth behind the sudden disappearance of actress Marissa Marcel. It explores the romance, stress and scandal of the Hollywood of days past as seen through film clips, interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and more. The compelling mystery at the game’s core will leave players guessing until the very end.

Length: 6 1/2 hours

Available For: Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass for Console



Sure, the act of unpacking and organizing your stuff may not sound like fun – but anything can become fun when turned into a video game format. Described as a “zen puzzler,” the laid-back Unpacking tells the story of major events in a character’s life through the different times she had to unpack and organize her belongings in new rooms. Each of the game’s eight stages lets players experience the wonder and joy of opening unlabeled boxes, rediscovering forgotten beloved possessions and memories, and personalizing a brand-new living space.

Length: 4-5 hours

Available For: Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass for Console



Developer Playdead became known for their fast-paced puzzle platformers with Limbo. INSIDE, their second release builds on this theme and improves on everything that made Limbo great. It stars an unnamed protagonist exploring a bizarre “2.5D” world as he attempts to avoid guards and learn the secrets of a sinister scientific lab. Although it has a fairly short runtime, INSIDE features two endings, allowing for a surprising amount of replay factor for such a short game.

Length: 3 1/2 hours

Available For: Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass for Console

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion


This game is…well, pretty much exactly what the title says. Players take on the role of the titular Turnip Boy, who is accused of tax evasion and must defeat a government run by the most corrupt vegetables. It is an action-adventure game with RPG elements, and pays homage to many classics of the genre such as the Legend of Zelda series. Turnip Boy’s absurdist humor, snappy writing, and willingness to both satirize and praise the games that inspired it will keep players laughing the entire time.

Length: 2-3 hours

Available For: Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass for Console

Escape Academy

games might have missed 2022 escape academy

Love escape rooms? Ever dreamed of being the very best – the ultimate escape room master? Now, players can train for that title by attending the titular Escape Academy and solving a variety of escape rooms designed by real world experts. Despite its short runtime, this game is absolutely packed with escape room experiences that will leave any fan of the puzzle genre feeling both challenged and satisfied. Escape Academy offers both single and multiplayer gameplay for that true co-op escape room experience.

Length: 4-6 hours

Available For: Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass for Console


These are just a few of the short but enjoyable games available on Xbox Game Pass – and more are being added every month. Before you dig into any of 2023’s lengthier offerings, why not start your year off by putting aside a few hours and trying out one or more of the games on this list?

What are your favorite short games available on Xbox Game Pass? Which titles would you like to see added to a future version of this list? Comment below and let us know!

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