The designer of Down used the term parent break, which is probably the perfect description of them for me. They are a way for me to take a quick breath when I don’t have time or space for even a five-minute game that requires any real thought. Games like Down or Muses or Ambagibus fill that niche.
For me at least, brevity is only part of the equation. Not having to think hard is also part of it. Very short games like Murderer’s Row or Orchard, which I enjoy a lot, feel too much like ‘real’ games. There has to be a zen ritual quality to parent break games :D
And here’s the thing. If it were not for PnP, I would not have any games that fit this description. Sorry but I wouldn’t pay money for them. The cost of time and materials is small enough that they really are next to nothing.
I did buy Onirim when it came out, which is a purchase well worth making. But not only does it take longer to play, it has a _lot_ more decisions.
My explorations of PnP over the last couple years have been interesting. Exploring this little niche of Parent Breaks is not one I expected.