Hyper Casual Games vs Casual Games: Gaming Showdown

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Whether you are learning about mobile games and which categories you enjoy playing, or you are looking to develop a game and want to know what to make, you need to know the difference between hyper casual games and casual games. 

“Casual games” tends to be an umbrella term for a genre of mobile, computer, and console games. Hyper casual games tend to be more mobile-focused and are a subcategory of casual games that tend to be even easier and less time-consuming than standard casual games. 

Hyper Casual Games vs Casual Games

If you want to learn more about the differences, see examples of the games, and understand the game market for both, then this article is here to help you out. 

Check out this article on Hyper Casual Games Statistics

Hyper Casual Games and Casual Games Comparison Table


Hyper Casual GamesCasual Games
DefinitionSmall games with minimal graphics, space, and attention required. 
Made for playing in short bursts while waiting in line. 
Larger file sizes, graphics, and complex mechanics. 
Targeted at the mass audience with any gameplay or genre.
Target AudienceEveryone, even non-gamers
Women
Beginner or casual gamers, as well as non-gamers
People that don’t mind a learning curve
Game MechanicsGrowing Tap Turning Raising MergingDexterity Stacking Resizing Idle Turning Timing
Retention Rates5% to 8%5% to 8%
Main IncomeAdvertisementsAdvertisements
Popular Game ExamplesEndless Runner Grass Cut Jelly Jump Fun Race 3DAnimal Crossing Minecraft Candy Crush Angry Birds
Downloads (Percent)50% of total game downloads66% of the online US population
PlatformsMobile devicesMobile devices, computers, and consoles
Comparison table of hyper casual games and casual games across various categories

Hyper Casual Games

Hyper casual games meet a need that many people have in the modern world. Because people often find themselves with just a few minutes in between tasks, they look to fill that time with something mindless so their brains can reset for whatever comes next.

Hyper casual games play on the increasingly short attention span, especially in younger generations. By only needing to focus for a few seconds at a time, hyper casual games can be deceptively addictive.

Hyper Casual Games Key Features

  • Simple game mechanics
  • Easy to pick up
  • Difficult to master
  • Infinite loop mechanics
  • Short daily sessions
  • Fun game mechanics
  • Simple graphics
  • Colorful

What Are Hyper Casual Games?

Hyper casual games are those that don’t need any previous information to start playing. The game doesn’t take up much space on a phone, only needs enough internet for ads, and, generally, they focus on a single mechanic. 

Usually, when you look around any app store, hyper casual games sit at the top. Their ‘snackable’ size and easy playability make them highly downloaded and quick to go viral. Because of this, there is a large amount of them on the market.

These are games that don’t take a lot of time investment on the player’s part. This makes it much more palatable and the perfect game for people to play while waiting, whether it be in line, for a bus, or during breaks.  

Most of the money from the game-makers comes from ads. These ads come in all sorts of styles, such as videos, playable, interstitials, banners, and more ads in return for prizes.

The other, though less profitable, form of revenue is via in-app purchases. They are also fairly cheap to make, which means it’s a less costly investment than other game types. 


Hyper Casual Games Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Can play anywhere, at any timeOnly playable in short bursts
Usually freeCheap
Highly replayableGrow boring quickly
Simple to learnLots of ads

Examples of Hyper Casual Games

Thanks to the high demand, there are thousands of hyper casual games out there. 

  • Bridge Race
  • Muscle Rush
  • Pocket Show
  • Hair Rush
  • Flipping Hero
  • Farm Land 3D
  • City Takeover
  • Blob Runner
  • Guess Their Answer
  • Helix Jump
  • Crowd City
  • Jelly Jump

Casual Games

Casual games have existed in many forms for longer than hyper casual games, even though the latter is a sub-genre of casual games.

From relaxing, alternative lifestyle or job simulators to cutesy organization games with no time constraints, casual games are a way for many people to unwind and escape from the stress of everyday life.

Some people don’t even realize that they’re playing a casual game because the gameplay is that therapeutic and soothing. If you’ve ever played anything without a clearly defined goal or a clock ticking down until you fail, chances are that that game was a casual game to some degree.

Learn more about the Game development process in this article.

Casual Games Key Features

  • Targeted at a wide audience
  • Fit in any genre
  • Simple rules
  • Lack of commitment
  • Somewhat difficult to learn
  • Mostly relaxing to play

What Are Casual Games?

“Casual games” is just a more umbrella term. Hyper casual games fall under casual games, but are even more bite-sized, easy to learn, and require less time per day to play. This means that casual games tend to have a bit more complex gameplay. 

Casual games also tend to involve collectibles and characters that you can earn from playing, increasing retention. Most casual games can be found on a mobile device, but there are also some versions of casual games that can be found on a computer or a console. 

Some casual games offer levels of difficulty in an attempt to catch the eyes of hardcore and midcore gamers despite the easier mechanics. Since they aim to target as many gamers and people as possible they want to ensure that everyone has something to interest them. 

Casual Games Pros and Cons

ProsCons
A little more complex to entice the user into actually taking the time to learn, while remaining fairly easyCan get difficult rather quickly
Casual gameplayTends to get boring over time, hence the low retention rate
Better graphics and mechanics than hyper casual games
Feature meta games, or games within games

Examples of Casual Games

While there are many more hyper casual games out there, there are still plenty of casual games on mobile play stores. 

  • Temple Run
  • Fruit Ninja
  • Homescapes
  • Subway Surfers
  • Angry Bird
  • My Talking Tom
  • 8-Ball Pool
  • Candy Crush

Hyper Casual Games vs Casual Games Which Is Better?

In this case, there really isn’t one that is better than the other. Hyper casual games tend to be mass-produced thanks to their cheap investments and high popularity, but casual games are close behind. 

As for playing, it’s easy enough to try both categories. Neither requires a high time investment. If you prefer a more simple game mechanic or even an idle game and don’t mind a lot of ads, hyper casual games tend to be best

If you want a little more complexity or a game that doesn’t get boring quite as fast, you may want to look more at a standard casual game. While they do still have simple mechanics and a low time requirement, it’s a step above hyper casual games. 

What Makes a Game Hyper Casual?

Since casual and hyper casual games are so similar, it’s hard to tell exactly what sets them apart. In general, hyper casual games are very low on space requirements, meaning that almost anyone can download one on their phone or device, even if storage is growing a little full.

They also only need a few minutes to play the game every day without risking falling behind.

Finally, hyper casual games are made to be somewhat addicting. They feature fun and simple game mechanics. In addition, there’s usually a lot of cheer and bright colors whenever a level is beaten. 

What Are Hybrid Casual Games and What Makes Them Different From Hyper Casual Games?

Hybrid casual games are a little more intensive than hyper casual games. They take the simple, and easy-to-play elements and create a more immersive game experience that puts them closer to the level of casual games for midcore gamers. 

Hybrid casual games usually involve some sort of leaderboard, guild, social, or engagement feature to keep retention higher and increase the amount of time someone spends on a game every day. 

Some games confusingly can fall into both categories, like Angry Birds 2. This is because most of these categories are not defined super well and have very loose categories and definitions. 

Check out the difference between Unreal Engine and Unity in this article.

What Are Casual vs Competitive Games?

Casual games are made to be relaxing. Even if there is a leaderboard, such as with hybrid casual games, they are usually rather straightforward and simply require more time on the game. 

Competitive games tend to be considered hardcore games. These are ones that need a lot of time daily and per session, especially if you want to be any sort of competitive with other people. Usually, competitive games are also more social, allowing friends to compete or play together. 

These games are ideal for people that enjoy playing games and can pick up complicated game mechanics. They also usually need high graphics and a lot of power, which involves a pretty expensive setup and not just a mobile device. 

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