Gaming continues to grow around the world, be it in the form of PlayStation’s latest story-driven sensation, the must-play mobile app game, or the highest-end of skill demonstrated in eSports titles. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone under the age of 50 who hasn’t played a digital game over the last few months – and that bar may be a bit low given the prevalence of puzzlers and word games among the older generations.
Still, a lot of people consider the main gaming sphere to be that of action titles, grand adventures, combat, or sports, but they couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a lot of the industry’s revenue comes from so-called casual games and those that many consider being their guilty pleasures. Here, we’re running through the surprising smash-hit games that people play to relax and have simple fun in their ‘me time.’
A guilty gaming pleasure if there ever was one: Homescapes has been in the charts of the best free games quite some time, with its 10.5 million reviews making it one of the top casual apps going. Found on Google Play and the App Store, you’re tasked with restoring an incredible mansion by solving numerous match-three puzzles (akin to another smash-hit game, Candy Crush). You get to design the house however you like and will uncover secrets as you go from room to room to bring the place back to its former glory. Of course, you also have the cute but naughty pet cat by your side throughout.
Few games from the annals of history quite invoke such a sense of excitement, decorum, and community as that of bingo. Now, with the internet connecting us all, bingo sites have become the go-to platforms for good times that don’t cost a lot. The Club Room is one of the most popular because it welcomes everyone and is considered to be the host of the top entertainment community going. The game itself varies from lobby to lobby, from classic 75-ball games to specialised themed rooms, like for The Voice.
Painting, drawing, and most elements of art have long been cited as excellent relaxation activities. However, when you have some ‘me time,’ you don’t want to be fiddling with all of the paints, the set-up of what you want to paint, and possibly the cover of your floor – or the clean up afterwards. This is where Happy Color comes into play, with its 10,000 free pictures to colour. The paint-by-numbers app gives you the chance to be creative with just the use of your touch-screen, tapping in colours to forge what are surprisingly intricate images.
Grand Theft Auto V
Taking a huge leap away from the running theme of the games above, GTA V does still offer the same ‘me time’ benefits of relaxing and enjoyable play, just with a very different audience to appeal to. Many people think of the crime missions of the GTA series, but really, what GTA V does is offer you a huge sandbox in which you can play and do whatever you want, be it racing from the top of the mountain to the ocean or robbing a plane from the army base. Either way, you can just play as you fancy, with all of the possibilities being there for you to explore.
In India especially, these games have become smash-hits on mobile, browsers, and PC because they’re fun and great fillers of ‘me time,’ but all for very different reasons.