The gaming industry has long since adapted to the fast changing landscape of computer and video games. When it used to be that gamers were a small group of people, today, practically everyone has a favorite video or computer game! Perhaps as recent as 10 years ago, the prevailing idea was that computer games were mainly patronized by males. These days, practically anyone can find a game that suits him or her.
Casual games have played a vital role in the rise of gaming. Casual games are online games or video games that are targeted at a wide range of people. Casual games are not limited by a specific genre or game play, hence their attraction to virtually all demographics. Casual games may follow various themes, but they have one thing in common: they are addictive!
Here are seven casual games that are guaranteed to get you hooked. Don’t blame anyone if you find yourself pulling an all-nighter because of these games!
This game franchise started in November of 2007. Created by Alawar and Melesta, Farm Frenzy is a time management game. The basic idea behind the game is to manage your farm, buy animals and pick up their produce, create various products using the buildings, and sell them for cash. At each level, there are different goals, which you have to complete within a specific amount of time. Several versions have already come out after the original Farm Frenzy, the latest one being Farm Frenzy 3: Russian Roulette. Some mobile platforms also support the game. With those cute animals, animated buildings, and upbeat background music, you won’t notice time flying by.
This casual game has established the main character, Flo, in the minds of casual gamers all over the world. Diner Dash is developed by Gamelab and published by PlayFirst. As with Farm Frenzy, many versions have been released in the past years (the latest one being Diner Dash 5 – BOOM) – testimonials to the popularity of this game. Mobile versions have been created for Diner Dash.
The game play involves Flo having to climb up the ‘diner ladder,’ by serving customers. You have to seat customers and give them their orders while handling various challenges that come up. Judging by number of hours that people have spent playing the games in this franchise, Diner Dash is definitely one of the most popular casual game series out there.
Another casual game franchise that can keep you glued to your monitor for hours on end is Build-A-Lot. Created for Windows by HipSoft, Build-A-Lot inspires the architect (or real estate agent) in you. You get to build houses, upgrade them, and sell them for a profit. The fun is in being able to building different designs depending on the goals, and being able to meet the goals in record time.
This series has also proven to be popular enough to have sequels. The latest one is Build-A-Lot: The Elizabethan Era. My only issue with this game is that it doesn’t seem to work with netbooks!
If you love burger joints, there is no better game for you than Burger Island and its sequel, Burger Island 2. This time management game puts you in the role of Patty, who has to manage burger joints, creating various kinds of burgers, fries, and milkshakes along the way. Set in a tropical island, you won’t be able to help but crave for some burgers and yearn for the beach. You better be ready to go to McDonald’s (which is a poor substitute) in the middle of the night while playing this game.
This game is quite different from all the others mentioned above. The game is all about a group of villages living in Curly Valley. They keep getting attacked by all sorts of weird monsters that can do hideous things to them. Your job is to save the villagers – as many as you can – by fortifying the village. You will do this at each level, with monsters getting worse and worse as you progress. You can pick up power ups along the way to help you get the job done. It’s a challenging game with cute graphics. What more can you ask for?
Created by the guys at Last Day of Work (that ought to tell you something!), the Virtual Villagers series has succeeded in keeping up countless of people. It is not fast paced; in fact, it runs in (almost) real time. You can leave the villagers to themselves for hours on end.
The idea is simple: you have a group of people who get stranded in an island, and your task is to make their village flourish. You can make babies to increase the population. You have to figure puzzles out to gather food, create buildings, and more. You also need to do research in order to level up and make your village more efficient. The series is now up to the fifth version, which is being developed as of this writing; and all of them are as addicting as the first one.
The last game in the list is not the best, but neither is it the worst. Zuma is also different from the other games in the list in that you simply have to shoot at balls and make them disappear. The balls are of different colors and patterns – the trick is in making the right combinations to get the maximum number of points.
Zuma is created by PopCap Games, a veritable icon in the world of casual games. There is a free online version, but downloading the full version is so much better. There are sequels to Zuma, offering more patterns and more challenging levels. Zuma is also available for mobile platforms.
There you have it – 7 of the most fun casual games that you can ever play. Warning: don’t attempt playing if you have an important meeting the next day!