Some people prefer popular board games, others enjoy elaborate role-playing games on various game consoles. However, the fastest growing genre of games are hypercasual games. With billions of downloads in app stores, hypercasual games top the downloaded games in 2021. But what exactly are hypercasual games and what makes them so appealing to such a broad 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 Nokia phones from the early 2000s, mobile games have become an essential part of a user’s mobile behavior, spanning various genres and can be divided into 5 main categories:
- Casual (board or card games, quizzes and quizzes, sports, puzzles 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 started in 2017 with hits like flappy bird and has been incredibly well received by an unimaginable number of users. Today, 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. Users can immediately download and enjoy a hypercasual game. Their game mechanics are self-explanatory and do not require any instructions or tutorials to play. 2D optics, simple interfaces, and color schemes enhance their effortless gameplay, making hypercasual games perfect for users looking for something simple and fun to play.
What makes hypercasual games so fun?
There’s a good reason some hypercasual games can boast millions of downloads from the Android and iOS app stores – because they’re fun. With hardcore or midcore games, the long intro processes and tutorials can lead to frustration and increased bounce rate. Hypercasual games skip this boring step. Since the game mechanics are simple and easy to understand, the game can start right away.
With easy game dynamics and mechanics, it’s no surprise that playing these hypercasual games is easy and fun, especially for a target group that mainly plays 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 are effortless and therefore cater to the large user base who is looking for relief from stress and boredom.
Hypercasual games thrive on rewarding feedback loops that make games uniquely addictive and enjoyable to play. Completing certain tasks inside the game gives a sense of accomplishment and makes users feel good about themselves, thus motivating them to upgrade to the next level or come back later to repeat the enjoyable user experience .
What do hypercasual gamers look like around the world?
Hypercasual games have a large target group and look a bit different from other types of gamers. Split by gender, men and women spend almost exactly the same amount of time playing hyper casual games – with men playing around 6.2 minutes and women around 6.4 minutes each day. It’s much more evenly distributed compared to hardcore games, where women play 15.4 minutes each day and 2 minutes less than men.
If you think hypercasual gamers are children because of the simplicity and obviousness of this genre, you’re wrong. While users aged 0-10 play around 4.9 minutes a day, the largest group of gamers are aged 50 and over. These users play hypercasual games daily for 7.7 minutes, followed by users aged 40-49 with 6.7 minutes.
The typical gamer – a young person in their twenties, sitting in front of an elaborate PC setup with an expensive gaming chair and headphones – is not the target group for hypercasual gaming. Instead, this type of player is middle-aged and can be found all over the world, not just on a specific continent. North Americans play hypercasual games for about 5.4 minutes a day while in Asia people take a bit longer – 7.7 minutes, to be precise – to enjoy their hypercasual gaming habits. Overall, 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%)
- Feel accomplished (52%)
- Express yourself (44%)
- Connect with people (39%)
- Experience 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 come back anytime to continue the enjoyable and rewarding experience of feedback loops like this. Due to the success of hypercasual games in Android and iOS stores, this genre has also found its way into many effective marketing strategies.