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

Fer.al Fer.al
"If you leave an area during a quest, you must start the quest from the beginning when you play it again."

Pokémon UNITE Pokémon UNITE
"Pausing is unavoidable as this is a multiplayer game, however, the matches are timed to 10 minutes. Players are discouraged from abandoning matches with Fair Play points."

Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
"Can't pause in the middle of a puzzle"

Mech Arena: Robot Showdown Mech Arena: Robot Showdown
"It's an online PvP"

Dead by Daylight Mobile Dead by Daylight Mobile
"Again its an online 4v1 game you can't pause when in a match but you dont need to be constantly online"

Infinite Lagrange Infinite Lagrange
"Multi-player real-time live strategy continual universe"

Merge Defense 3D Merge Defense 3D
"There are checkpoints every 20 to 50 levels."

Dungeon Crusher: Soul Hunters Dungeon Crusher: Soul Hunters
"Mostly this isn't applicable. However, in the Dungeon Draft game mode, a match can take 45 minutes to an hour, and cannot be exited without penalty."

F1 Manager F1 Manager
"Yes, but it's a part of the gameplay on a versus only software."

Does not Commute Does not Commute
"Have to buy the "premium" version of the game in order to continue from a checkpoint."