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Casual, Hardcore and Hypercasual Games: What are the differences?

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

What are the different types of mobile games?

Mobile games are not a monolith, there are a vast array of different mobile games spanning multiple genres. Despite this, most mobile games can be categorized into three categories: Casual, Hypercasual and Hardcore games.

These categories attract different types of gamers from different demographics, so it is important to know the different characteristics so that you are targeting the right audience.


Casual

Casual games are the most common type of game you will see as they make up the bulk of available mobile games online. These types of games have simple mechanics and are easy and quick to master. These types of games tend to have bright colours, catchy music and fun animations, which attracts a mass audience that transcends demographics.

Some of the most recognisable names in the mobile game world are casual games, for example Candy Crush, Subway Surfer and Temple Run.


Hardcore

Hardcore games are rarer and attract a narrower audience due to the nature of the games. These types of games require a greater investment of time from the user as they require learning and developing specific skills and potentially creating a character within the game.

The most common, or most recognisable, type of hardcore games are Role-Playing Games, commonly referred to as RPGs. This is an overarching term that describes a variety of different genres that consist of a complex world and storytelling, missions and quests.

Hardcore games have a narrower user demographic compared to other types of games. Data from adjoe and statista found that the main users of hardcore games are men in their 30s and 40s.

Due to the increased investment needed to be successful in hardcore games and the smaller target demographic, user communities tend to flourish. These communities can share gameplay tips and advice and develop a strong sense of belonging to the user base.


Hypercasual


Hypercasual games consist of extremely simple mechanics and gameplay that are instantly engaging and playable.

Similarly to Casual games, Hypercasual games have a wide audience in mind. Designed and developed as a way for users to unwind and have fun after work or on their commutes, Hypercasual games’ simplicity ensures that they are easily accessible to the majority of users, not targeting one user demographic in particular.

What differentiates Hypercasual from Casual games is the simplicity of their development. A Hypercasual game takes only days to enter the market after conceptualisation, whereas Casual games still require weeks of development before they become available.


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