Casual games have been around for ages. These are games that are quick and simple, with not much dedication required on the player’s part. No wonder so many players around the world choose them as their preferred form of gaming, especially since the emergence of smartphones as the leading gaming platform of the world. Today, mobile gaming is the biggest business of all branches of the gaming industry, and casual games are leading when it comes to both the number of players and the frequency they are played with.
Over the years, casual games have successfully adapted to a number of “evolutionary steps” in the world of technology. First, they left the arcades to invade our living rooms. Next, they moved onto our phones, joining us wherever we happened to go. Later still, with the emergence of smartphones, they have become an integral part of our everyday lives, stretching across most of our devices.
Today, you can start to play the games at the Red Flush on your laptop, and if you have to leave home, you can access the casino via your Android, iPhone or other smartphone device and pick up where you left off earlier. The games at the Red Flush – most of them slot machines – are the perfect example of the casual games’ adaptability – they can be played with the same ease on computers, consoles, smartphones, and even smart watches and other devices alike.
A new frontier
Now casual games face a new challenge – virtual reality. While the technology is still in its beginnings, I think it’s safe to say that it’s here to stay. Its situation is a bit similar to that of television – it, too, was a novelty at first, and quite expensive in its first years, only to become the new norm a few years later. Virtual reality headsets are in a similar situation today – they are quite expensive at the moment but their prices will decrease in time, making them more accessible to the masses.
Today’s casual games, in turn, were not created with virtual reality in mind. They mostly rely on players interacting with the game on a screen, using their pointing devices or fingers in the case of a smartphone game. Simply transposing them to cyberspace will not do the trick – the experience wouldn’t be much different from that on a traditional device, so it wouldn’t justify the extra time spent putting on a VR gear (however short that time would be). Instead, casual games will have to reinvent themselves with VR in mind to conquer the new realm opened up by the technology.
In the near future, we’ll probably see the rise of “virtual playgrounds” for players to wander through which will be “inhabited” by a series of entertainment options, including social and casual games. The focus of these will likely shift from a single-player game mode toward a multiplayer one, where two or more players will be able to play the game together.
Besides, the games themselves will likely focus more on the players’ skill. We will likely see ancient games like horseshoe toss and Boules (a category of games that involves rolling or tossing heavy balls as close to a target as possible) emerge in cyberspace, either in their traditional or in a “reinvented” form. And this will only be the beginning – new casual games to play together will likely emerge inside the endless virtual worlds.