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

WWE SuperCard – Multiplayer Card Battle Game WWE SuperCard – Multiplayer Card Battle Game
"Pausing during matches doesn't usually work properly. It usually kicks you back to home screen."

Legend of the phoenix Legend of the phoenix
"Time in the game moves irrespective of what you choose to do"

Gardenscapes Gardenscapes
"You can't save in the middle of your match-3"

Head Ball 2 Head Ball 2
"Cant pause, but its normal for online games (if this is an online game that is.)"

Call of Duty®: Mobile Call of Duty®: Mobile
"You cant pause it, just like any online multiplayer game."

Delicious World - Cooking Game Delicious World - Cooking Game
"every time I have paused a level, when I re-open the game I have to start again, meaning you lose a life and whatever else you've used to pass it"

LEGO® Legacy: Heroes Unboxed LEGO® Legacy: Heroes Unboxed
"You cannot leave the level without either completing it or forfeiting victory."

Lords Mobile: War Kingdom Lords Mobile: War Kingdom
"you cannot save the game or pauseit, you cannot delete the account, castle you have created."

Candy Crush Saga Candy Crush Saga
"unable to save game; quitting a game will automatically be recorded as a loss"

STAY STAY
"The game time continues even when the app is closed (but can be bypassed by changing phone's system time)"