What do Justin Bieber, Wayne Rooney, and more than 20 million people all over the world have in common? They all play Temple Run! But in the world of casual gaming, Temple Run isn’t the only one successful. In fact, it’s one of the many that are gaining strong momentum over the past year. These include Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds, and Cut the Rope.
Wait, What Is a Casual Game?
The term “casual game” is very broad (and you’ll know some of the common categories later on). As its name implies, it’s intended or appeals to gamers who don’t want to be bothered by a lot of techniques and tricks in order to win.
There are many reasons why people love casual games:
They’re easier to play
As mentioned, they’re not as complex as hard-core games like Prince or Persia. For instance, the characters are few. In Angry Birds, you deal only with the birds and pigs. With Temple Run, there’s the hunter and the demonic monkey.
Second, the mechanics are straightforward. If you’re going to play Bejeweled, then all you have to do is to match the same shapes in order to accommodate more jewels on the screen. It’s almost the same direction if you’re playing Zuma. If you’re trying to play Bookworm, then you just need to spell out names you can form out of the scrambled letters. In Cut the Rope, you simply feed Om Nom candy by cutting the rope.
Nevertheless there’s still a certain level of complexity so you don’t end up feeling so comfortable and eventually bored with the game. Normally, the challenges are expressed in several levels. You have to complete the first level before you move on to the next. Some also implement certain physics such as Tiny Wings.
They’re much cheaper
If you’re going to compare hard-core and casual games, you’ll realize you’ll be able to save more with the latter. Again, you have to go back to their design or structure. They’re simpler and thus easier to make. They also don’t ask for a lot of money for promotion and distribution.
As a matter of fact, if you can check out both Android and iTunes Store, some casual games are available for free. If they are a freemium, the game itself doesn’t cost you anything but only the “coins” or other items you need to play the game very well. If they are paid apps, they cost between less than a dollar to $3.
They can be played anywhere
A perfect example for this is the Angry Birds. This casual game has grown tremendously, thanks in part to its flexibility. You can already play it almost everywhere. The game has been designed mainly for iOS, so it’s already downloadable in iPhones and iPads. However, it has also branched out to Google Chrome Store (where it’s available for free) as well as to Facebook.
This type of mobility or flexibility isn’t something that can be accomplished so easily with hard-core gaming since they are more intricate.
They’re many games to choose from
As we mentioned a while ago, there are many different types of casual games. These include the puzzle game like Collapse! and Bejeweled. They can also be strategy or management game, as in Diner Dash or Cake Mania. If you want a more serious challenge, you can try adventure games like the Nancy Drew series or hidden object game (where you can cross various levels, traps, or doors to search for items on the list). They may also refer to Peggle, Feeding Frenzy, and Plants vs Zombies, which are all action and arcade game.
They don’t demand a lot of your time
One of the reasons for their popularity is they don’t tire you out. This is because you can halt or pause the game anytime you want, and usually there’s no need to go back from the start. You can basically continue even when you’re on the road.
Casual games are hip, fun, simple, yet a bit complicated to add some challenge in your game play. Moreover, they’re cheap. As long as these elements are maintained, we can definitely expect more casual games to succeed in the coming months.
How about you? Tell us why you love casual games!