Some people prefer popular board games, others enjoy elaborate role-playing games on various gaming consoles. The fastest-growing genre of games, however, is hypercasual games. With billions of downloads in app stores, hypercasual games are at the top of downloaded games in 2021. But what are hypercasual games exactly, and what makes them so appealing to such a large and interesting target group? Let’s take a look at the mechanics behind these games and what contributes to their success!
What Are Hypercasual Games?
Since the success of Snake on early 2000s Nokia phones, mobile games have become a core part of a users mobile behavior expanding into various genres and can be broken down into 5 core categories:
- Casual (Board or Card Games, Quiz and Trivia Games, Sports, Puzzle or Word Games)
- Midcore Games (Racing, Action, Simulation, Adventure or Arcade Games)
- Hardcore Games (Strategy or RPG)
- Social Casino Games
The genre of hypercasual games began in 2017 with successes like Flappy Bird and was incredibly well received by unimaginable numbers of users. Now, five years later, hypercasual games are still the rising star of the Android and iOS world. What sets these games apart from other genres is their simplicity. User’s are able to download and immediately enjoy a hypercasual game. Their game mechancis are self-explanatory and don’t require instructions or tutorials to be played. 2D optics, simple interfaces and colour schemes reinforce their effortless gameplay, making hypercasual games perfect for users who are looking for something simple and fun to play.
What Makes Hypercasual Games So Much Fun?
There is a good reason some hypercasual games can brag about millions of downloads in Android and iOS app stores – because they’re fun. With hardcore or midcore games, lengthy introduction processes and tutorials can lead to frustration and an increased bounce rate. Hypercasual games skip this annoying step. Since the game mechanics are simple and easy to understand, the game can start immediately.
With easy game dynamics and mechanics, it is no surprise that playing these hypercasual games is simple and fun, especially for a target group that plays mainly to relieve stress and pass the time. While hardcore and midcore games demand the user’s attention for longer periods of time, hypercasual games make it easy to come and go as the user pleases. They require no effort and therefore appeal to the large user base that seeks out relief from stress and boredom.
Hypercasual games feed on gratifying feedback loops that make the games especially addicting and enjoyable to play. Completing certain tasks inside the game conveys a sense of accomplishment and makes the users feel good about themselves, thus prompting them to move on to the next level or return at a later time to repeat the pleasant user experience.
What Do Hypercasual Gamers Look Like All Over The World?
Hypercasual games have a large target group, and it looks a little different from other types of gamers. Divided by gender, men and women spend almost exactly as much time playing hypercasual games – with men playing approximately 6.2 minutes and women clocking around 6.4 minutes every day. It is much more evenly split compared to hardcore games, where women play 15.4 minutes each day and 2 minutes less than men.
If you think that hypercasual gamers are children because of how easy and self-explanatory this genre is, you thought wrong. While users aged 0-10 play for approximately 4.9 minutes each day, the biggest group of gamers is aged 50 and older. These users play hypercasual games for 7.7 minutes on a daily basis, followed by users aged 40-49 with 6.7 minutes.
The typical gamer – a young person in their 20s, sitting at an elaborate PC setup with an expensive gaming chair and headphones – is not the target group of hypercasual games. Instead, this type of gamer is middle-aged and can be found all over the world, not just on a specific continent. North Americans play hypercasual games for approximately 5.4 minutes each day whereas, in Asia, people take a little more time – 7.7 minutes, to be precise – to enjoy their hypercasual gaming habits. Globally, the average time people spend playing hypercasual games is 6.3 minutes.
When asked why hypercasual games were their preferred choice of mobile games, users responded with the following reasons:
- Stress relief (67%)
- Passing time (53%)
- Feeling accomplished (52%)
- Expressing themselves (44%)
- Connecting with people (39%)
- Experiencing something new (32%)
Their easy and addictive nature makes hypercasual games the perfect genre if you’re looking to relieve stress or boredom. It allows users to download and play instantly and return at any point to continue the enjoyable and gratifying experience of this genre’s feedback loops. Because of the success of hypercasual games in the Android and iOS stores, this genre has also found its way into many effective marketing strategies.