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

Arcaea Arcaea
"World Mode does not let you retry songs. Certain songs disable pausing entirely."

The Walking Dead: Survivors The Walking Dead: Survivors
"There is no pausing or saving in the game"

Ensemble Stars Music Ensemble Stars Music
"you can pause the rhythm game element and technically leave the game whenever, but you can't "pause" the events the happen. like the other "play by appointment" review states, you have to be constantly playing if you want the event rewards, so in that way, you can't "pause""

Last Fortress Last Fortress
"The game is always playing in the background"

Age of Z Age of Z
"I wishbi could pause or save. But if I leave my progress will be destroyed by in game players"

Dream Hopper Dream Hopper
"If you're doing a wish, you can't pause the game, you have to leave it running"

Dice Dreams - Roll the Dice, Become the Dice King Dice Dreams - Roll the Dice, Become the Dice King
"Although all actions are saved, you can be attacked or stolen from when you're not playing."

Water Sort Puzzle - Sort Color Water Sort Puzzle - Sort Color
"the level must be completed to save progress, no in level saving"

Tiny Tower Tiny Tower
"You can pause or save, but there are always things appearing and depleting (like, every 30 seconds), so it feels like you have to have it on all the time."

War and Order War and Order
"Live 24/7 servers"