Have you ever wondered what a casual game is? Do you know why they are called casual games? Maybe you can guess what the answer is but if you are not certain then this article will help you find all the answers. Over the years I have played many games and I consider myself a gamer. However, I am not a picky player and I like trying new things whenever I can. That’s how I got all my knowledge about games and especially casual games.
So, What is a casual game? When we say that a video game is a casual game, we usually refer to a specific type of gameplay. They are simple games that require little mental investment from the gamer. They are often underestimated by hardcore gamers and, on the other hand, they have diehard fans that adore to play them every day.
Since I am a gamer that loves to play and read about video games I decided to write about this topic. Bear with me, even though the topic seems clear and uninventive it is, none the less, interesting and even economically relevant for the gaming industry.
Casual Game Characteristics
They are not a genre of games but a principle of gameplay and in-game mechanics. That means that any game type can be turned into a casual game just as long as it can “dumb down” its mechanics enough. However, most of them have key features across the board. Those features are the following:
- Their gameplay is simple.
Casual games are usually based on click motions or swipes. That also means that they usually have no depth to them and you won’t have to make any tactics. Think of Fruit Ninja and the slashes you have to make and that is the simplicity I am talking about.
- They are familiar and recognizable to many different people.
One famous example of a casual game is the world-famous Windows game Solitaire. That is what I mean by familiarity when people see the game, they instantly understand what it is about and what they have to do. Think of all the different variations of the Tetris there are or any other type of simple game. Once the formula is figured out it gets replicated countless times and it always stays interesting and stimulating for someone.
- They don’t demand too much of your time.
Casual games are meant to be played when you are having a break at work, or as you are waiting for your bus. They are often played over the phone or some other portable device. They are intended for players that don’t want to invest too much time into playing games or effort for that matter.
- You can progress through them with ease.
The leveling system is simple and you can progress through it with ease. You will not have to spend too many lives on levels in casual games.
- They are advertised in demo versions.
Try and remember all the different video game ads you saw. You must remember the ones where the as shows you what kind of move to make to start a new game. That’s how most casual games get advertised. Their developers make single step demos of the game like an advertisement for potential gamers.
All about Casual Gamers
Before we conclude this topic, I would like to talk about one more aspect of casual games. The internet is full of references to casual gamers. When you read about them there are two possible ways you can understand what and who those people are. I will go over the different characteristics but as you will see it is hard to determine what “rank” of gamer someone actually is.
Now, the most obvious answer to this question is that casual gamers are people that like to play casual games. That is one way you can look at the term. There are gamers that never play “real games” they just play the ones we talked about in this article. They can play them over social media platforms or over their phones. Whatever medium they choose the end result is the same they only play the casual games. One example of such a casual gamer is my grandmother and she plays phone games all day long, I tried to show her other games on the PC but she is not interested. The casual games she has on her phone are enough.
On the other hand, the gaming community is full of talk about casual gamers as a subgroup of video game fans. They are the people that buy world-famous video games like The Witcher or Dark Souls and they play them on occasion. They don’t spend too much time immersed in the world of gaming and they are also not so well informed about the trends and statistics of the industry. They can play casual games as well; the point of the matter is not the game type but the time they devote to the games.
Those are the two ways you can look at casual gamers. Have in mind that most of us belong somewhere in the middle. So, there is no need to be too fussy about the terminology as I have noticed some gamers are on our forums.
Top 25 Best Casual Games Of All Time
Determining the best casual games depends on a lot of factors. First of all, you have to think about the developers and the gaming platforms that distribute the games. When you take into consideration all the different factors that contribute to a game’s success a lot of confusion can entail. Believe me, I have been there several times. So, I don’t want to complicate things and the following list is just one selection of famous casual games. There are millions to choose from and most of us rank them by our interest’s and tastes so there is no need to be exact.
- Peggle. This is a puzzle game made in a casual edition.
- Cute Knight. This game is a life simulator that builds on the middle ages fantasy world.
- Fish Tycoon. You are the owner of a fish store and you have to care for your collection.
- TalesRunner. This is a multiplayer game that builds on a fantasy theme.
- Doodle Jump. The famous doodle games have loved the world over. Save your favorite alien as he navigates through space.
- The Office. This game is based on the hit series, all fans should give it a try.
- Domino Master. The game is based on the well-known game of dominoes.
- The Princess Bride Game. This game is based on the movie Princess Bride.
- Mainichi Issho. This is a game that was, until recently, only available on the Japanese market.
- Microsoft Flight. This game is made for all lovers of aviation.
- Stephen King’s F13. A game that owes up to its title, even though it was not created by the author.
- Viva Cruiser. This game was created to promote Viagra.
- Mafia Wars. A mafia themed game.
- Inkvaders. This is an alien invasion game.
- Wreckateer. This is another puzzle game that uses the medieval theme.
- Aqua Vita. In this game, you get to manage an interactive aquarium.
- Drawn: Dark Flight. This is a hidden object adventure game.
- Wandering Willows. A game that lets you build a virtual village.
- Emerald City Confidential. This is a click adventure game.
- Airport Mania: First Flight. One more flight game.
- Plants vs. Zombies. The game lets you stop a zombie invasion.
- Drawn: Trail of Shadows. Another game in the Drawn series.
World of Goo. A physics-based building game.
What Is Hyper Casual Game
Hyper Casual Games follow the same logic as regular casual games. The only difference as you probably guest is in the simplicity of the game. The hyper version is made to be played with simple taps and swipes nothing more. The more noticeable difference between them is the simplicity of the graphics. Hyper casual games usually made with simple shapes and nothing more.
They can be played with a simple move of the finger and people love to replay them over and over again. Even though you basically do one thing continually. One excellent example of such a game is Sky Ball and we all know how addictive it can get. Similar to the regular casual games the hyper versions have a lot of marketing potential as they are played by millions of people all over the world.
The Monetization(Making Money) Of Casual Games
One can ask the question of how can there be any profit in casual games since most of them are free? That is true but that doesn’t mean that people cannot make money off them. There are many versions of indie casual games, developed by gamers. But, most of them are made to get you hooked and in the process, they will serve you tons of advertisement. Nothing is really for free.
There is no exact way to determine how many people play casual games all over the world in one single day. But if you think about it most people have some version of such a game on their computer or phone and they play it now and then. There is a lot of marketing potential in those numbers and that is where the profit lies. The advertisement can be about new games but it can be for any other number of things. The developers rent out time to interested parties and you are targeted as you progress through the levels of the game.
Casual games are world famous games played by millions of people. They should not be underestimated even though they are simple in their design. Most people like to have something to do when they are waiting or they want to rest. That’s where these games come in, they help us kill time and they are stimulating. They are played along the way and you can enjoy them every day for a couple of minutes. We all have our favorite casual game and even though it makes us do the same thing we come back to it over and over again. They are truly a godsend during boring nights at work or when we have some time to kill.