I’ve noticed that most people, including myself, easily get hooked on seemingly simple and hyper-casual games. So, I did extensive research on what makes a hyper-casual game addictive, and let’s see what I have found!
Hyper casual games are addicting for the following reasons:
- Easy To Understand
- Instantly Playable
- Minimalism and Lightweight Design
- Offers Short Session
- Hits People’s Nostalgia
- Easiest Level Of Entry
- Relieves Stress
In this article, I will cover the psychology of hyper-casual games and some of the top reasons that make them addictive. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
What Are Hyper-Casual Games?
Let’s first define what a hyper-casual game is. They’re games that have the most straightforward design possible, with no complex mechanics, storylines, or previous knowledge required to play. The games are designed so that even a toddler can simply get started playing.
There isn’t any learning curve, and you don’t have to practice every day to get good, either. This feature is what makes them “hyper-casual,” meaning they’re to be enjoyed casually in your free time.
But as you’ll explore, the very features that make these games “hyper-casual” end up making the games so addicting that you can’t put your phones down.
What Makes Casual Games Addictive?
Although casual games have simple learning curves mechanics and are meant to be enjoyed stress-free, they’re super addictive. But paradoxically, these same features make them so addictive.
Let’s take at the top contributing factors.
6 Reasons That Make HyperCasual Games so Addictive
Below are what we‘ve found to be the top 6 reasons hyper-casual games have such a large fanbase, and people keep coming back for more.
1. Easy To Understand
The simplicity and straightforward approach of hyper-casual games are among the top factors that make them addictive.
You rarely need to go through a tutorial to understand how the game is played. The UI is so intuitive that you understand the mechanics from the beginning and get into the gameplay as quickly as possible.
Compare this with complicated games, and you’ll realize why hyper-casual games are addictive.
If you have to go through a multiple-page documented tutorial to learn a game, you’ll probably not stick with it and lose interest.
The human mind craves simplicity, and when you add intuitiveness with the dopamine rush and pleasure of playing games, it’s bound to make players come for more.
2. Instantly Playable
These games aren’t made for a niche group of people. Instead, they try to make neutral-themed games that appeal to a larger audience.
If you base a game on something that is instantly playable and everybody can learn to play quickly, you’ll get the most people on board. And the more people you get, the better word-of-mouth leverage you have.
Game developers of hyper-casual games have hacked and mastered this part of human psychology, which helps excel their games to the top.
3. Minimalism and Lightweight Design
One of the main selling points for hyper-casual games is minimalism and lightweight design. Ordinary people with any mobile can easily understand and play this game due to its lightweight and minimal design.
Most games that we see are pretty complex and take a lot of time to master, whereas hyper-casual games are kind of tap and play. You just install the game and play; you don’t need to master the game.
This minimal design makes this game a preferable time-killing option for more people who just want to kill some time while sitting at a station or waiting for someone.
4. Offers Short Sessions
Hyper casual games are addicting due to their short session duration. You can pass one level in a few minutes, which takes a lot of time with other non-casual games.
If you fail at any level you can just replay it as much as you want. The levels get a bit complex as you pass each level. That’s what makes this game very addicting for general people.
5. Hits People’s Nostalgia
One thing you’ll notice when you study hyper-casual games — which we did — is that they’re more or less similar to an old game.
Today, a large pool of hyper-casual games are just modernized versions of arcade games from the 80s and 90s.
It’s the reason why when you see a hyper-casual game; sometimes you feel like you’ve seen it before.
This trick is crucial in attracting players. Nostalgia is one of the most vital elements in making people do something.
By reviving an old game with a modern twist, they’re taken back to the old days — and are also amused by how well-made and bug-free the game is today.
6. Easiest Level Of Entry
We mean this in a twofold meaning. First, it’s the entry-level for developers, and next for us gamers.
In the case of Developers:
You don’t need many resources to create a hyper-casual game. A talented game developer can make it themselves in a few weeks without prior knowledge.
The only thing you would need now is to upload the game on Google and Apple’s play store, which only takes a couple of minutes.
I almost forgot to mention that if you want to make a hyper-casual game today, you won’t even need to learn to code.
Recommended Article: How to Make Hyper Casual Games Without Coding?
This simplicity and ease of entry have enabled more game developers for hyper-casual games to enter the scene.
The more developers there are, the more competition there is in the market — the better future generations of hyper-casual games become.
This competitive gaming space further excels at hyper-casual games entry-level, and they keep improving each year.
In the case of Casual Gamers:
Starting a hyper-casual game in the early phase is super simple. With no tutorial required, you can get into the game as soon as it is installed. Immediately, you get hooked on the simple game mechanics and keep playing more.
Later on, as the game unravels a bit, little complicated mechanics start to show up, but they’re presented in a way that is easy to learn and doesn’t take much effort.
With such little barrier to entry and easy gameplay, anyone can join and enjoy the game — which they do.
We believe these four reasons to be the key to making a hyper-casual game addictive. Each of them targets at least one aspect of the human psyche and makes the best use of it to make the games as addicting as possible.
7. Relieves Stress
Our modern work-life makes us stressed; the hyper-casual game is very helpful to reduce this stress. It can instantly divert our attention and relieve the work stress while playing this game.
Most of the games people play to enjoy their leisure time on the other hand, hyper-casual games offer short sessions which you can play while taking a break from work.
It takes about a few minutes to download the game and fall in love with playing a few levels, which really helps to relieve the stress.
Hyper-Casual Game Mechanics
Now, let’s talk about game mechanics. It’ll help us down the road in understanding the psychology of hyper-casual games.
Hyper-casual games are usually designed with the most simplistic UI (User Interface), and everything is made super intuitive. From the very moment you see a game button, you’ll automatically know what function it serves.
This is a crucial element in designing hyper-casual games, and developers pay special attention to it.
Unlike competitive games with combos and other complex game mechanics, hyper-casual games are straightforward and have simple, calming mechanics.
Missions and agendas are broken down into small, digestible bits, making them easy to follow. Examples of this are — mining coins by clicking a button, training troops by simply clicking the barracks, and much more.
Here are the following mechanics that you will find on most hyper-casual games:
- Rising and Falling
Frequently Asked Questions
Are hyper-casual games easy to make?
Hyper-casual games are comparatively easy to develop. But it takes a lot of time and thinking to come up with the idea, so we wouldn’t call it an overall easy task.
How much do hyper-casual games make?
In 2020, the hyper-casual game market cap was around $3 billion. But as a solo developer, you’ll need a large audience size to make decent profits from your game.
If you came here in search of what makes a hyper-casual game addictive, I hope you’re leaving with the correct answer.
They’re one of the most impressive fields to study, and how they use human psychology is genuinely amusing.
If you are an indie game developer, then you must grab this opportunity to make a profit by making hyper-casual games. We have written an article on, Are Hyper Casual Games Profitable? Don’t forget to check it out.
Also, if you already have developed several games in the past, and they are sitting idle right now, I would recommend you to read this article: Where To Sell Hyper Casual Games?
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