Blog a Day 15of365: Very Casual Gaming

Is it just me that likes playing everything, even really average games aimed at kids? Maybe I’m strange but often I really enjoy playing something that’s really a bit rubbish and certainly aimed at players half my age.

Originally I played the likes of Open Season for the sake of achievements, but as time went on I realised it was more because I really enjoy them. There are a fair few sports games I could play for the sake of points, or I could boost online achievements. But I hate doing both. However I really enjoy switching my brain off and playing a few hours of (most recently) Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, G.I. Joe and Up. They’re fun for me, and surely that’s what gaming is all about, right?

It’s daft really. The critic in me knows that most of them are really average games, especially for my age group, but I find them great for relaxing. I’d never pay money for them (at least not while my income is like it is now!) and buy one, but in terms of renting them, I’m all for it. It’s relaxing and mindless fun. Well except for the crap ones like G-Force which was atrocious but for the most part, they’re alright assuming your expectations are set quite low. I reaped a surprising amount of enjoyment from SimAnimals: Africa when I reviewed it before Christmas.

A similar thing has happened to me with the hidden object genre. All of these games are pretty much identical, the sort of thing that kids used to do in puzzle books while on long car journeys. First you find a set number of objects in a scene, then you do a word search or perhaps a jigsaw or spot the difference puzzle. All very simple stuff and all these games are exactly the same. Big Fish games in particular have made an absolute fortune from regurgitating the same games with a very basic storyline tied around it. The Mystery Case Files ones are the best really, the ones that you see in pretty much every shop possible on a carousel of £5-10 games, they’re a bit more complicated but still the same sort of structure really.

The hidden object games work on the same basis as the kids’ games, they’re easy but they’re relaxing for the most part. Perfect for when I can’t be arsed to think!