Can't Pause or Save

The game does not allow you to stop playing whenever you want.

Many games have "save points" that you must reach before you can safely save your progress and stop playing. If these "save points" are too far apart, this dark pattern can appear. Forcing players to continue playing longer than they want to, just so they can save their progress, is a waste of the player's time.

It should be noted that many classic games, such as Pac-Man or Super Mario Bros, could not be saved because the technology to do so had not been invented yet, so it's not fair to label these games with this dark pattern. Modern games that have the ability to save should not unreasonably prevent you from doing so. By preventing you from pausing gameplay they are forcing players to stay in the game longer than they would have otherwise, resulting in a negative experience for the player.

Most online multiplayer games can't be paused because it would affect the other players. This is understandable. However, these types of games should provide frequent opportunities for players to step out safely without causing negative repercussions. This is often accomplished by having timed matches, so you know what you are committing to when you enter the game.

Sometimes games combine this pattern with social pressure to keep playing so you don't let down your teammates. This combination can create a unhealthy powerful drive to keep playing without breaks for long periods of time.


Examples

Food Street - Restaurant Management & Food Game Food Street - Restaurant Management & Food Game
"No pause but the food items are timed"

Cat Game - The Cats Collector! Cat Game - The Cats Collector!
"The game will keep moving forward whether you take part or not. There’s always artificial scarcity in that time."

Mini Mini Farm Mini Mini Farm
"the order board refreshes every two minutes, so if you’re working on an urgent order you might not want to stop until it’s cleared"

Mystic Messenger Mystic Messenger
"I don't remember if you can suspend a game in progress if you know you're not going to be able to interact with it that day, but I don't think you can."

MARVEL SNAP MARVEL SNAP
"Since matches are online versus other players you cannot pause the game while you are in a match (which is fair though)."

Papa's Mocharia To Go! Papa's Mocharia To Go!
"You can pause the game whenever you want but you can't save your progress mid-day (in-game days are the game levels). You have to restart that in-game day's orders if you quit part of the way through."

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
"its an online multiplayer game where you can't really pause unless in a custom match. You also cannot save your game progress in the middle."

Stealth Master Stealth Master
"Cannot save while playing."

Trench Warfare 1917: WW1 Game Trench Warfare 1917: WW1 Game
"Cannot pause during a game."

Survivor!.io Survivor!.io
"You cannot exit out of a game without being forced to forfeit your rewards."