Casual video games are video games that are primarily aimed at [[GatewaySeries people who don't tend to game much]]. These games are usually distributed online and come with a free hour-long trial. If they're lucky, these games could get a boxed version available for purchase at retail stores. Others are made specifically for consoles rather than [=PCs=], or are made for non-gaming devices like cellphones and distributed over a telco's data service. Still more are Flash or Java in browser, meaning they can be played anywhere with a web browser that has the necessary plug-ins installed. Surprisingly, perhaps (at least to younger gamers), many of these games are the [[SpiritualSuccessor spiritual descendants]] of what was cutting edge in the 1980s, during the era of the great stand-up arcade games, proving that an immersive world, hardware-stretching graphics, and complex AI don't inherently mean great gameplay. Most of these games ''would'' be arcade games if there was still a viable arcade market.

The ideal casual video game should be simple and intuitive in its controls. It should also be something you can pick up, play for ten minutes, put back down again, and replay for years. Casual games are designed to relieve boredom during short breaks, not occupy hours of time.

A lot of casual gaming companies see their target audience's unfamiliarity with the standards of gaming as an invitation to abuse them by [[ShovelWare pumping out masses of shallow games lacking in replay value]], or [[FollowTheLeader ripoffs of better games from the past]] loaded with cute window-dressing, in lieu of doing legitimate work that contributes real progress to the field of game design. This irritates [[HardCore dedicated gamers]] to no end, since it means that they can lower their standards and fall into a rut in [[LowestCommonDenominator an environment free of criticism]]. [[CapcomSequelStagnation As if this never happened before]].

Another reason game companies are increasingly targeting more of these customers instead of their historical main customer base may be due to software piracy. As home computers become more powerful and capable of emulating more consoles, a percentage of the more tech-savvy consumers will increasingly refuse to pay up. The casual crowd, on the other hand, is less likely to be aware of how easy it is to get games for free.

While casual games often get accused of [[ItsEasySoItSucks being too easy]], difficulty is not part of the definition. The game must be easy to ''learn'' to be considered casual, and be relatively simple by design. In terms of completion or mastery, some are easy, some are [[SurpriseDifficulty hard]], and some are NintendoHard. Some games also use [[RankInflation platinum medals]] to entice the ChallengeGamer.

----
!!Notable Games Include:

[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/AngryBirds''
** ''VideoGame/AngryBirdsGo''
* ''Videogame/{{Awakening}}''
* ''Videogame/{{Azada}}''
* ''VideoGame/BadPiggies''
* ''VideoGame/{{Bejeweled}}''
* ''VideoGame/BloonsTowerDefense''
* ''{{VideoGame/Bookworm}}''
* ''VideoGame/BookwormAdventures''
* ''VideoGame/BrainAge''
* ''VideoGame/CarrieTheCaregiver''
* ''VideoGame/{{Chuzzle}}''
* ''VideoGame/CookingMama''
* ''VideoGame/CrazyMarket''
* ''Videogame/{{Cursery}}''
* ''VideoGame/CutTheRope''
* ''Videogame/DarkParables''
* ''Videogame/DarkTales''
* ''VideoGame/{{Delicious}}''
* ''Videogame/DinerDash''
* ''VideoGame/DisneyUniverse''
* ''VideoGame/DoctorWhoLegacy''
* ''VideoGame/DoodleJump''
* ''Videogame/FarmVille''
* ''VideoGame/FlappyBird''
* ''VideoGame/{{Glyder}}''
* ''VideoGame/GratuitousSpaceBattles.''
* ''Videogame/GrimFacade''
* ''Videogame/HauntedHalls''
* ''VideoGame/HeavyWeapon''
* ''VideoGame/HeyYouPikachu''
* ''VideoGame/HillClimbRacing''
* ''VideoGame/ImagineMakeUpArtist''
* ''{{Insaniquarium}}''
* ''JewelQuest''
* ''VideoGame/{{Klax}}''
* ''Klondike'' and ''VideoGame/{{Minesweeper}}''. Probably the most popular casuals of all time, by virtue of being pre-installed on almost all Windows [=PCs=]. Offices with lax system administrators plus bored office workers equals joyful slackery since 1990.
** Referenced in [[http://www.zazzle.com/old_school_casual_gamer_tshirt-235636950200555114 this t-shirt]], complete with Windows 3.1 font.
* ''VideoGame/{{Luxor}}''
* ''VideoGame/MissManagement''
* ''VideoGame/MysteryCaseFiles''
* ''Videogame/NightmareRealm''
* ''VideoGame/{{Nintendogs}}''
* ''VideoGame/OfficeJerk''
* ''Videogame/{{Peggle}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Petz}}''
* ''Videogame/{{Phantasmat}}''
* ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies''
* ''VideoGame/{{Puppetshow}}''
* ''VideoGame/PuzzleAndDragons''
* ''VideoGame/{{Pong}}''
* ''Videogame/RedemptionCemetery''
* ''Videogame/{{Reveries}}''
* ''VideoGame/RocketJockey''
* ''VideoGame/SaveToshi''
* ''VideoGame/{{Skyrates}}'', designed with sporadic play form of gameplay in mind.
* ''Videogame/SpiritsOfMystery''
* ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}'', despite its apparent complexity, was pretty explicitly designed for the casual everyman gamer.
* ''VideoGame/StayTooned''
* ''StrangeAdventuresInInfiniteSpace''
* ''VideoGame/StreetPassMiiPlaza''
* ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}''
* ''VideoGame/TheWager''
* ''VideoGame/WiiFit''
* ''VideoGame/WiiParty''
* ''VideoGame/WiiPlay''
* ''VideoGame/WiiSports''
* ''VideoGame/WiiSportsResort''
* ''VideoGame/WithFriends'' (the entire line)
* ''VideoGame/{{Zuma}}''
[[/index]]

----
!!Subgenres Include:

* Brain Training Game: ''VideoGame/BrainAge'', ''Big Brain Academy'', ''My Word Coach'', ''Hot Brain'', etc.
* Collecting Game: Online scavenger hunts like ''Hatchlings'', ''MouseHunt'', ''Treasure Madness'' or ''Enchanted Island'' make GottaCatchThemAll a simple matter of clicking stuff for a few minutes each time you visit their sites. Some incorporate PlotCoupons that must be found in order to access other items, while others just leave it up to luck. Some have storylines, others are just a bare-bones indulgance for players' acquisitive impulses.
* Commodity Trading: ''Taipan'', ''Sea Trader'', and ''VideoGame/UnchartedWaters'', among others. These are signified by having a limited amount of places to travel (as little as five to as many as 25, though there's never more than six or seven 'types' of towns), and approximately 10 or less commodities so the game takes up less memory, both the PC's and the players'. VideoGame/SidMeiersPirates, could have qualified for this if travel time wasn't so long, and the ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tradewinds_(game) Tradewinds series]]'' is a casual in the beginning but as raiders and pirates get more powerful they require more preparation and strategy to beat. ''Tradewinds Legends'' seems the hardest.
* [[http://www.datingsims.net/cooking-games/ Cooking Games]] : ''VideoGame/CookingMama'' comes to mind. (''Personal Trainer: Cooking'' is a cookbook, dammit.)
* {{Exergaming}}: ''WiiFit, WiiSports,'' and ''WiiSportsResort'' fall under this.
* HiddenObjectGame: ''VideoGame/MysteryCaseFiles'', ''Travelogue 360'', ''Hidden Expedition'', etc.
* Marble Popper Game: ''Zuma'', ''Luxor'' and the like.
** One could say ''[[VideoGame/BubbleBobble Puzzle Bobble]]'' falls under this.
* MatchThreeGame: ''Columns'', ''VideoGame/{{Bejeweled}}'', ''Big Kahuna Reef'', ''JewelQuest'', ''7 Wonders'' and way too many other games to count.
** May even come in 3D varieties, such as ''Cubis'', for the more cerebral-minded casuals.
* PartyGame & MiniGame [[MinigameGame collections]]: ''VideoGame/WarioWare'', ''VideoGame/MarioParty'', ''VideoGame/RavingRabbids''.
* Quiz games.
* RhythmGame: The easier difficulties/levels of ''OsuTatakaeOuendan'', ''GuitarHero'', ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'', and ''VideoGame/RockBand''. Most well-known {{Rhythm Game}}s include extremely hard songs that require a lot of dexterity and skill (and therefore lots of practice, undermining the "casual" label), and ''Rock Band'' has Pro Mode, in which you play the songs with ''actual musical instruments''.
* Same Game[[note]] sah-may-gah-may (????)[[/note]]: Clicking clusters of the same type of block to make them go away. ''Poppit'' and ''Super Collapse'' are the kings of this genre.
** A twist on the genre came courtesy of the game ''Knightfall''.
* ShootEmUp: The player takes control of a character / space fighter / whatever and tries to shoot down enemies while dodging their attacks. ''VideoGame/{{Asteroids}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Galaga}}'', and ''VideoGame/SpaceInvaders'' are probably those most familiar to Western gamers. Many are textbook examples of Casual Games that are "easy to learn, difficult to master," as bullet patterns can get [[BulletHell quite elaborate]].
* Simple [[RetroGaming Retro Games]] and {{Arcade Game}}s (especially arcade games, since they were designed specifically for a walk-up-and-play experience): ''SpaceInvaders'', ''PacMan'', ''Asteroids'', Pinball...
** As the percentage of the population that has habitually played games rises, the definition of 'simple' continues to rise. Heck, maybe ''[[VideoGame/QuakeIIIArena Quake Live]]'' will really take off some day?
* SimulationGame: ''VideoGame/TheSims'', ''VideoGame/SimCity'', ''Virtual Villagers'', ''Kudos'', ''Westward'', ''Nintendogs'', ''Fairy Godmother Tycoon'' and so on. These are a strange place amongst casual games - many of them can turn into major timesinks, but they still fit the rules of being a casual game because of the ease of use, the lack of goals, and the ability to start and stop at any given time.
** Despite being a rather different sort of simulation, mobile flight sim ''VideoGame/{{Glyder}}'' has exactly the same advantages.
* TimeManagementGame: ''Diner Dash'', ''Cake Mania'', ''Carrie the Caregiver'', ''Lucy's Expedition'', etc.
* TowerDefense games.
* Virtual CardGames and BoardGames: Mah-jongg, Solitaire, Spite, Billiards, etc.
** Casino Game: In addition to the card games above, virtual slots, dice or roulette.
* Word Game: ''Bookworm'' and its sequel, ''Bookworm Adventures'', for starters.
** ''Text Twist, Tumblebees,'' or ''Word Whomp.''
** Then there's ''{{Scrabble}}'' clones like ''Lexicon. Lexicon'' is an older casual game, but remains quite stylish even now. Each ''Scrabble'' game also seems to be a variant of itself, depending on whether the new gimmicks by Milton Bradley are intended to be suited for multiplayer or single.

----