Ever since the first game in this genre – Pac-Man, was released in 1980 until now, casual games went through many changes and have increased their numbers exponentially. Starting from the first arcade machines in the past, nowadays they can be played from every possible digital device, be it your phone, tablet or even Smart TV. Today people play video games more than at any other point in history and the market and the titles with it has increased enormously.
What are casual games?
In its essence, all casual games are video games with simple mechanics and basic rules which get progressively harder as you play them. They don’t require many skills to be played as usually the whole game can be controlled with one or two buttons. Those type of games have really quick playtime. Usually, it takes between 10 minutes and an hour to finish such a game and if you have to abandon it, you can do that at any time.
Casual games are easily digestible but can require many hours of mastering. Their main advantages are that you can play short sessions and still experience the full joy out of it.
If you are not a hardcore gamer and you are not really interested in committing all of your time into games, but from time to time you still have the desire to play something, the casual games are just the right thing for you. They are usually mobile or browser-based which means and really easy to access. As long as you have a device and internet in front of you, you have a wide variety of games from which you can choose. They can have any gameplay and you will find them in every category.
Genres of casual games
With the ever-growing number of new titles, each day more bizarre and unorthodox titles appear. But still, the mass number of casual games can be divided into several historically established genres:
- Puzzle Games: usually simple problem-solving games, such as word-puzzles, combining games, and other logic-provoking challenges
- Adventure Games: endless runners or ‘push-the-right-button-at-the-right-time’ games that are fun and dynamic
- Strategy Games: the ever-so-popular tower defence games or time management games. Skilful thinking and planning ahead are the best qualities these games require.
- Arcade and Action games: since the birth of Pac-Man, maybe the most popular genre of them all. Hand-eye coordination and reaction-time are crucial in those games.
- Card and board games: Since ancient times, these kind of games are the most popular time wasters. From Backgammon to Solitaire games and trick-taking card games, card and board games are always an entertaining method of killing boredom.
Why are casual games so popular?
One thing is for sure! People love playing casual games! But why are they so popular?
Let’s begin with this – casual games don’t require your full attention. They can be picked up and left off at your presumption and are perfect for when you have a limited time in your hands! They are those video games that you play when you have a little extra time in your hands and don’t know what to do with it. For example, while waiting for the bus to reach your station or in those few minutes when you are drinking your morning coffee. Right before going on your daily tasks. Also while watching a TV or while you are on your work break.
Another thing about the casual games is that you can find them in every possible category that you can think of! No matter, if you like adventure games, card games, puzzle games, strategy games or whatever else different category games. For certain you can find a casual game that will easily get addicted to. There is just no way that you won’t be able to find the right one for yourself!
Last, but not least, casual games are easy to play but really hard to master. You can try endlessly to beat your high score or the high scores of your friends. Repetitive playing is not only enjoyable, it is encouraged.
Best casual games
Loved by million players around the world, embedded into modern day culture, and even included in cinema, Candy Crush is a traditional casual game where a single level takes no more than 5 minutes to complete or fail. Combine gems of the same colour to eliminate them, Tetris-style. Each new level brings new formations, new power-ups, and new challenges. Thousands of duplicates were made, in the search for the same fame. The game even set a new genre in the puzzle games – match-three puzzles.
Spades is one of the most popular trick-taking card games. Paced, combinative, and taking hundreds of hours to master, this is one of the best casual games one can play in about 15 minutes. A wonderful match-making platform ensures you find quality opponents and partners. Working perfectly for any device out there, this game makes it easier to be played from the couch, in front of the PC, or even in the loo. A lovely community behind it, this casual game brings something more than game satisfaction, it makes you new friends!
A perfect example of the endless runners, Temple Run is a beloved classic in the genre. The concept is that you are a <insert your chosen hero here>, who is on a quest to acquire a valuable and ancient golden idol from an Aztec temple. Of course, there are some unexpected complications and you must run, run, run. There are obstacles to dodge, traps to jump over, and of course coins to collect. The game doesn’t have a finish so everytime it ends with your death. The point is to try and reach a new high score. Simple, yet addictive, this game will make you hate monkeys.
Although similar to Candy Crush, Bejeweled is actually marketed as a tile-matching puzzle game. Developed as a Flash game, and later picked up and distributed by Microsoft, it peaked its popularity alongside Facebook. It is easy to start a game, levels are fast, and satisfaction after completion is enormous.
What do you do when there’s a zombie on your lawn? Apparently, start planting flowers. At least that’s the idea behind the creators of this game – PopCap Games. Yes, the same guys who made Bejeweled. It looks like they are quite successful producing world-popular casual games. This time they explored the aspect of Tower Defense strategy games and they did quite well. Plant the right plants and keep your home safe against zombies in this fun casual game.