A CASUAL GAME is a video game targeted at or used by casual gamers .
Casual games may exhibit any type of gameplay or genre. They are
typically distinguished by simple rules and by reduced demands on time
and learned skill, in contrast to more complex hardcore games . They
typically impose low production and distribution costs on the
Casual games are often played on a personal computer online in web
browsers , but are also popular on game consoles and mobile phones .
Casual gamers are typically older than traditional computer gamers,
and more often female, with over 74% of casual gamers being female.
* 1 Overview
* 2 History
* 3 Genres
* 4 Distribution
* 5 See also
* 6 References
Most casual games have similar basic features:
* Simple gameplay, like a puzzle game that can be played entirely
using a one-button mouse or cellphone keypad
* Familiarity, like a card game or board game
* Allowing gameplay in short bursts, during work breaks or, in the
case of portable and cell phone games, on public transportation
* The ability to quickly reach a final stage, or continuous play
with no need to save the game
* Some variant on a "try before you buy" business model or an
Every month, an estimated 200 million consumers play casual games
online, many of whom do not normally regard themselves as gamers , or
fans of video games.
If sold at retail, casual games may have low prices to encourage
impulse purchases , with colorful packaging and point of purchase
sales displays. Others are free on-line or free to download and try
(but may provide a revenue by in-game advertising ). Commercial
studios create downloadable games, primarily available on the PC.
These games are typically addictive and are limited trials to
encourage casual gamers to buy a permanent "deluxe" version for a
small price (typically $20 or less). Recently, 100% free "full
licensed versions" of casual games have become available through
Independent "indie" game developers often create free games for
online play. These games have a wide range of gameplay styles, can be
played on almost any computer, and have often been written to be
played from within a web browser , using Flash or Shockwave . Their
action, graphics and sound are often limited in contrast to
downloadable titles, but can display advanced features such as 3D
capabilities and multiplayer modes.
Namco 's arcade game
Pac-Man (1980), which debuted during the golden
age of video arcade games , is considered to be the first "casual
game". It is estimated to have been played more than ten billion
times during the 20th century, making it the highest-grossing video
game of all time.
Game Boy was released with Tetris as a free
pack-in game. It was immensely popular, and is credited with making
Nintendo's fledgling portable gaming system a success.
Solitaire (1990), which came free with
, is widely considered the first successful "casual game" on a
computer, with more than 400 million people having played the game
since its inception. Subsequent versions of Windows included
Minesweeper , and once
Microsoft discovered the popularity of
Solitaire, the company added
FreeCell and Spider
Solitaire . The
company advertised its very popular
Microsoft Entertainment Packs for
casual gaming on office computers. Other casual games of the era
Sierra On-Line 's Hoyle\'s Official Book of Games and Crazy
Nick's Software Picks, Villa Crespo's The Coffee Break Series, and
Epyx 's Chip\'s Challenge .
Casual games moved online in 1996 with the debut of sites such as
Gamesville and Uproar which offered multiplayer, HTML-based games in
genres such as bingo, cards, puzzles, and trivia. These games required
a constant server connection to keep players in sync, and did not
include chat or avatars.
The advent of Flash created a boom in web-based games, encouraging
designers to create simple games that could be played to completion in
one short sitting. One of the most prominent casual games,
started out as a Flash game. Flash games commonly use per-user LSO
files as a mean of saving game states.
Casual games received another boost when cell phones with large color
displays became the norm because, like
Adobe Flash before them, the
cell phones had limited capabilities ideally suited to short, simple
The arrival of the iPod in the casual gaming market made more
powerful games widely available in a portable format. PopCap Games
Peggle on Apple's music player and it was an instant success.
Casual games have remained popular with users of consoles such as
Wii . The simplicity of the
Wii controller interface has
opened up the gaming market to an untapped demographic who were
unwilling to invest the time in learning or intimidated by the typical
gamepad input device. This opportunity has seen a number of publishers
attempt to design games that appeal to the relatively low skill level
of these new players. 2006 saw a growing market of console -based
casual games, such as
Carnival Games and
Wii Play . The precursor to
this previously unnamed market trend can be seen in games like Crazy
Frog Racer , Shrek: Super Party , Spice World , Buzz!: The Music Quiz
Singstar . The casual game
LittleBigPlanet is also a popular
title on the
PlayStation 3 in which players have the power to
customize huge aspects of the game, while the gameplay itself is
Casual games are often computer simulations of traditional games such
as chess , checkers , pinball , poker , sudoku , solitaire , and
In 2008, social network games began gaining mainstream popularity
following the release of
Happy Farm in China. Influenced by the
Japanese RPG series Story of Seasons ,
Happy Farm attracted 23
million daily active users in China. It soon inspired many clones
such as Sunshine Farm, Happy Farmer, Happy Fishpond, Happy Pig Farm,
Facebook games such as
FarmVille , Farm Town , Country Story, Barn
Buddy, Sunshine Ranch, Happy Harvest, Jungle Extreme, and Farm
Villain. The most popular social network game is FarmVille, which
has over 70 million active users worldwide. Other popular social
network games include
Mob Wars ,
Mafia Wars , and
There is no precise classification of casual genres in the modern
gaming industry. According to
Big Fish Games , one of the leading
casual game developers and distributors, and
Gamezebo , one of the
most popular casual game review sites, there are seven popular genres
in casual games:
* Puzzle games :
Bejeweled series ,
Collapse! series , Luxor series
* Hidden object games :
Mystery Case Files
Mystery Case Files series , Mortimer Beckett
Hidden Expedition series ,...
* Adventure games : Dream Chronicles series ,
Aveyond series , Nancy
Drew series ,...
* Strategy games (including time management ):
Diner Dash series ,
Delicious series , Cake Mania series ,...
* Arcade & action games :
Plants vs. Zombies ,
Peggle series ,
Feeding Frenzy series ,...
* Word & trivia games : Bookworm ,
Bookworm Adventures series ,
Bonnie\'s Bookstore ,...
* Card ">
Casual games are also ported to mobile phones . Some mobile casual
games allow players to meet and compete against each other.
Social network game ; a casual game with social network
Browser game ; a game that is played using a web browser
Minigame ; a short video game contained within another video game
Indie game ; a game produced by individual or small team without
Game development and
Independent video game development
Jay is Games ; casual game review websites
Gamer dedication spectrum
* ^ Boyes, Emma (Feb 18, 2008). "GDC \'08: Are casual games the
GameSpot . Archived from the original on 2011-07-11.
Retrieved May 3, 2008.
* ^ Govan, Paul (2008-01-23). "Older Family Gaming Market". Game
People. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
* ^ Tams, Jessica.
Gamer Demographics, Emarketer, April 13, 2007,
Accessed May 3, 2008
* ^ Wolverton, Troy (2007-08-23). "Women driving \'casual game\'
San Jose Mercury News . Retrieved 2007-10-13.
* ^ A B "Casual Games Market Report 2007". Casual Games
Association. 2007-10-29. Archived from the original on 2008-01-21.
* ^ A B C D "Welcome To Gaming Lite". Computer Gaming World.
September 1992. p. 74. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
* ^ "Casual Gamers Need Shorter Games - A Study".
* ^ Boyes, Emma, GDC \'08: Are casual games the future? Archived
July 11, 2011, at the
Wayback Machine .,
GameSpot , Feb 18, 2008,
Accessed May 3, 2008
* ^ Kohler, Chris (May 21, 2010). "Q&A:
Pac-Man Creator Reflects on
30 Years of Dot-Eating". Wired . Retrieved 10 September 2011.
* ^ Mark J. P. Wolf (2008), The video game explosion: a history
from PONG to Playstation and beyond,
ABC-CLIO , p. 73, ISBN
0-313-33868-X , retrieved April 10, 2011, It would go on to become
arguably the most famous video game of all time, with the arcade game
alone taking in more than a billion dollars, and one study estimated
that it had been played more than 10 billion times during the
* ^ Chris Morris (May 10, 2005). "Pac Man turns 25: A pizza dinner
yields a cultural phenomenon – and millions of dollars in quarters".
CNN. Retrieved April 23, 2011. In the late 1990s, Twin Galaxies, which
tracks video game world record scores, visited used game auctions and
counted how many times the average Pac Man machine had been played.
Based on those findings and the total number of machines that were
manufactured, the organization said it believed the game had been
played more than 10 billion times in the 20th century.
* ^ Steve L. Kent (2001), The ultimate history of video games: from
Pong to Pokémon and beyond : the story behind the craze that touched
our lives and changed the world, Prima , p. 143, ISBN 0-7615-3643-4 ,
retrieved May 1, 2011, Despite the success of his game, Iwatani never
received much attention. Rumors emerged that the unknown creator of
Pac-Man had left the industry when he received only a $3500 bonus for
creating the highest-grossing video game of all time.
* ^ "Tetris\' Maker Has His "A" Game". 23 November 2005. Retrieved
* ^ "Casual Gaming Worth $2.25 Billion, and Growing Fast". 29
October 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
* ^ "iPod Breaks Into Casual Gaming".
Game People. 10 March 2003.
* ^ A B Kohler, Chris (December 24, 2009). "14.
Happy Farm (2008)".
The 15 Most Influential Games of the Decade. Wired . p. 2. Retrieved
10 September 2011.
* ^ A B "China\'s growing addiction: online farming games ".
Techgearx.com. 2009-10-29. Archived from the original on 2009-11-02.
* ^ Nutt, Christian (October 11, 2009). "GDC China: Chinese Indie
Game Trends and Opportunities".
Gamasutra . Retrieved 10 September
* ^ A B Kohler, Chris (May 19, 2010). "Farm Wars: How Facebook
Games Harvest Big Bucks". Wired . Retrieved 12 September 2011.
大洋新聞". Game.dayoo.com. Archived from the original on
2010-10-13. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
* ^ "China\'s Social Gaming Landscape: What\'s Coming Next".
Readwriteweb.com. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
* ^ Elliott Ng (2009-10-29). "China’s growing addiction: online
farming games". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
* ^ "Facebook》到開心農場歡呼收割".
China Times .
2009-09-01. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 12
September 2011. (Translation)
Big Fish Games (2002-03-01). "Casual
Game Genres on Big Fish
Games". Big Fish Games. Retrieved 2002-03-01.
Gamezebo staff (2006-03-01). "Casual
Game Genres on Gamezebo".
Gamezebo . Retrieved 2006-03-01.
* ^ "iPod Apple distributes games via iTunes". GameIndustryBiz. 10
March 2003. Retrieved 2006-10-03.
Video game genres
* Beat \'em up
Hack and slash
* Light gun
* Shoot \'em up
* Battle royale
Grand Theft Auto clone
Escape the room
* Point n\' click
* Action role-playing
* Tactical role-playing
* Construction and management
* Life simulation
* Social simulation
* Time management
* Kart racing
* Casual game
* Christian game
* Crossover game
* Cult game
Multiplayer video game
Nonviolent video game
Multiplayer online game
Social network game
* Twitch gameplay
Video game clone
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