The Evolution and Explosive Popularity of Casual Games

More than 200 million people engage in casual gaming every month. No longer tethered to a desktop computer, players can enjoy completely mobile action on many different devices. In-home entertainment now ranges from expensive console titles to completely free mobile games. Solitaire and Minesweeper are in the past; Flappy Bird and 2048 are the future.

Casual gaming has evolved greatly since the 1980s and early 1990s. Back then, during the early years of console and PC gaming, users needed cartridges and floppy disks. Those clunky devices held a fraction of the data required by today’s games. If you didn’t purchase any games on disk or cartridge, you could always enjoy a game of Solitaire, which came free with Microsoft Windows. As the internet grew in popularity, gaming websites began to host collections of simple titles. In the late 1990s, trivia games and puzzles dominated the online marketplace. Their simple structure called for lightweight graphics and small memory loads, which boded well for users with dial-up internet access.

The release of Adobe Shockwave and Flash revolutionized online gaming. Still used frequently, the Adobe Flash platform allows for much better games than its HTML predecessors. Casual games are able to include higher-resolution graphics, smoother action, and faster loading times. Massive collections of modern Flash games, including award-winning titles, are available at sites like Featuring free-to-play games, ad-supported websites provide entertainment to millions who don’t want to spend a penny.


Flappy Bird is one of the most popular and controversial games of the past year. Featuring highly addictive action, the endless flying game features one-button controls. Flappy Bird was originally released in May 2013, although it didn’t top the iTunes and Google Play charts until early 2014. The title’s extremely simple, habit-forming gameplay led to international popularity, earning the developer $50,000 per day via in-game advertisements.

2048 is another casual game that has risen to international fame. Released in March 2014, the sliding puzzle game is a modified version of Threes, an app that came out only one month earlier. However, the smooth, simple gameplay of 2048 led to its massive popularity, far outranking Threes and spawning many additional clones. Much like Flappy Bird, 2048 features one-button gameplay, which allows users to compete for high scores on mobile devices and desktop computers with ease.

Games such as Flappy Bird and 2048 have changed the way developers market their games. In the casual gaming realm, ease-of-use and addictive gameplay overshadows typical console game features. Instead of focusing on player immersion and character development, game manufacturers are coding a new breed of games — casual titles that users can download, play, and try to master within minutes. The gaming industry is quickly redefining itself to roll with the tide and welcome the influx of extremely popular casual games. Have you joined the craze?

Share this article:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on tumblr
Share on email
Share on whatsapp

Recent Posts

Final Checkpoint Podcast

HBO’s The Last of Us Casts its Joel and Ellie w/ Special Guest Carlos Oville | Final Checkpoint Podcast Ep. 76

This week Joel and Ben welcome Carlos Oville to the podcast. Carlos is a fellow long time Game Fanatic ( and a film reviewer/contributor over at Topics covered this …

Final Checkpoint Podcast

Google Pulls The Plug on Stadia Game Development & Mass Effect Legendary News | Final Checkpoint Podcast Ep. 75

This week, Joel and Ben discuss the latest news about Google Stadia. Google has decided to close its internal game development studios specifically made for Google Stadia, as well as …

Final Checkpoint Podcast

Game Stonks and Metacritic Battles Begin | Final Checkpoint Podcast Ep. 74

This week on the Final Checkpoint Podcast, Joel and Ben discuss the latest on the Game Stop (GME) stock market situation (what they understand), and catch up on life and …

Game Deals

Last Chance for January 2021’s Games with Gold!

We’ve made it through the first month of 2021, and the games continue to keep rolling in. There’s not much time left with these titles. So just in case you …

Game Deals

Last Weekend! Grab January 2021’s PlayStation Plus Games

The weekend is finally here and it’s the last weekend of January. While officially making it through the first month of 2021, we have a few titles you don’t want …

Final Checkpoint Podcast

Resident Evil Village Gameplay, Release Date, and ReVerse! | Final Checkpoint Podcast Ep. 73

This week Joel and Ben discuss the Resident Evil Village gameplay reveal, release date announcement, and share their thoughts about Resident Evil ReVerse. They also discuss the news about Xbox …