Casual Games: What Makes Them So Addictive?

Have you ever lost yourself playing Candy Crush, or a game at I sure have. No matter if it’s’s latest casual title, an exciting slot machine, or even the latest adventures of Om Nom, the little candy-loving monster from Cut the Rope, people often get lost in their game. Some casual titles become so addictive that they ignore their families, play instead of working, and even injure themselves in the process. But what makes them appeal to us so much that we step aside from real life just to play them?

They make you long for them

In an average game, you have five “lives” to play. Whenever you lose them all, you have to wait several minutes – at least 30 – or hours for them to return. The same happens when you run out of credits on a casual slot machine – you have to wait for the daily bonus to continue playing. Of course, impatient players can always pay real cash to add more lives to the total.

Why did King choose this approach instead of just offering unlimited retries? Aside from the obvious – it’s a way to generate more revenue – the game will stay fun for longer this way. If you can’t play it forever, you will get bored of the game much later, perhaps never. This is one of the secrets of the game’s long-time popularity – it doesn’t allow players to play enough for them to get full of it in one sitting.

They allow you to brag

Playing a casual game connected to your social media account gives you the chance to brag with your progress. Which is something most people like to do anyway. Besides, it offers you the possibility to compete with your friends, and overtake them while playing an already attractive game. Proving you’re better at something is an attractive aspect of any game.

They distract you from the real world

Built to entertain, casual games like Candy Crush or slot machines are a perfect distraction from reality. According to Dr. Kimberly Young, expert on internet gaming addiction, most people who get immersed in such games are seeking to escape stressful aspects of their lives. And what could be more relaxing than lining up candy or pushing buttons waiting for the reels to stop?

They are rewarding

When you play the slots and score a big win, the game rewards you with a specific sound and graphics, letting you know that you just won big. The same happens when you finish a level of Candy Crush: the game tells you that you did good. With so many people lacking recognition from the others, this can be a very attractive trait of casual games. They provide a sense of accomplishment, which is something you can easily get addicted to.

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