Perhaps you're eager to enter the world of gaming but not quite sure where to start. Or are you looking for a fun game to pass the time without committing to hours completing quests and battling enemies? Maybe you want to indulge in the nostalgia of games from times gone by. No need to look any further – casual games are perfect for you.
Casual games keep things simple and fun. Unlike most "hardcore" gaming options, when they do have a plot, it is very basic. The rules and gameplay are as easy as it gets, so you don’t have to invest too much time in understanding how to play. In addition, the short session times make these types of games perfect for your break time.
This category of games is targeted at a broader, more mainstream audience than a lot of video-gaming titles, which appeal to a more niche demographic: people who like to dedicate a lot of their time to gaming. The short and fast-paced nature of casual games makes them perfect for commuters or anyone with a hectic lifestyle. You can easily stop the game and resume later, or complete one more round in a short amount of time.
Casual games are often characterized by:
In order to appeal to the widest audience possible, many casual games tap into mechanisms we are already familiar with. Casual games can fall under any of these categories:
While the concept of match 3 is simple - match three of any one element on screen - it is tremendously flexible and has produced some of the most popular games. They tend to be intuitive and lend themselves to a leveling up structure.
The best games in this genre have innovated with live ops events and meta-games. Some even combined the simple match 3 concept with elaborate decoration and narrative based meta-games, helping to capture a wider range of players. These features also make it constantly exciting for players to get back into the game and provide a sense of progression.
We will never get bored of a good puzzle or riddle! Using logic or knowledge to piece together clues and find solutions is one of the activities humans enjoy most. Previously available in puzzle books or newspapers, the proliferation of smartphones further improved access and variety in this area of gaming. It has now become one of the most popular categories of casual games and includes word puzzles and crosswords, Sudoku, and even jigsaws.
This is arguably a subcategory of puzzle games, but has a massive audience of its own. You will typically need to find items hidden within a picture in order to win, usually working against the clock.
So many household names in board games are based around facts and quizzes. That’s evidence enough that we love testing our knowledge by remembering interesting and sometimes obscure trivia. The quiz format is easy to shorten or lengthen, so it lends itself well to casual gaming.
The most innovative games in this genre have tried to incorporate elements from game shows with live events and even popular hosts. Through these games, you can compete with players across the world from the comfort of your home and win tangible prizes!
Similarly to puzzle games, the advent of mobile gaming has given a lot of traditional games a new lease of life. You can now play chess, mahjong or any of your favorite card games on mobile apps. The best thing about these games is that you’re no longer limited to people in your immediate surroundings. Whenever you want, you can play against the AI, against your friends, and against players worldwide.
Some refer to idle games as incremental games or as clicker games. They take their names from the style of play: you usually have to do little more than click a button or the touchscreen, and there’s very little skill involved. Games in this genre usually encourage passive gameplay allowing the game to continue even when you stop (thus, “idle”) so you have something to look forward to when you return.
The emphasis in a hyper-casual game is on how easy it is for the player to pick it up. There is rarely a back story of any kind. They can be classic arcade games, but they take many forms. These games usually hinge on one mechanic - tap, steer, swipe, etc.
People often love hyper-casual games because they are free or inexpensive and because they can be picked up and put down without any impact on the gameplay.
Casual games started off in the arcades before moving onto the PC and then the web. The big boom of casual gaming, though, began with the rise of smartphone usage and the development of mobile games. Casual games are the perfect match for mobile users who appreciate the ease of use and are just looking for some entertainment in their spare minutes here and there.
Cost can be a factor too: many interesting casual mobile games might cost just a dollar or two to purchase. There are several great F2P games that fall within the casual gaming category, too. There are now both online and browser-based games that you can play as well as offline games – either pre-installed on your device or downloadable. All you have to do is decide what type of game interests you, and then start playing!