What Is The PC Good For?

By Jim Rossignol on March 5th, 2008 at 7:34 pm.

Interpret found that, during 2007, casual games reached over 145 million people aged 12-65. Of that figure over 71 million play casual games for one or more hours per week.

There’s a new media research firm on the block, and they’ve done their homework. (Or, more accurately, they’ve interrogated 8000 people said to be representative of a cross sections of American society. That’s interesting because it means the figures above are only those people in the US playing casual games.) The biggest gaming market in the world is only getting bigger, according to this report.

Perhaps worth remembering that PopCap’s site alone handles nearly 6 million unique visitors each month. Do you play block sorting games on a regular basis, readers?

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23 Comments »

  1. Nick says:

    No, they are pretty boring most of the time.

  2. Seniath says:

    Ouside of Peggle, not really. Had a brief flirtation with Bejewled, but it lacked that certain something that Peggle has; the unicorns.

  3. ImperialCreed says:

    Like most of the world I’m still drawn back to Peggle on a regular basis. Roll on Peggle Nights! I’ve tried some of PopCap’s other offerings, none have engaged me nearly as much. I found Bejeweled extremely boring.

  4. Turin Turambar says:

    Not me. Even Puzzle Quest was boring and repetitive, after the first week of novelty.

  5. Pace says:

    Some games like Minesweeper or Sudoku or some types of solitaire I can play for hours. I wouldn’t say I necessarily like them, but once I start playing I can go for a long time. But most of these ‘cutesy’ new-fangled casual games don’t appeal to me much. I must be a heartless bastard or something though since I don’t even understand the appeal of Peggle.

  6. Windlab says:

    “Proper” gaming. “Casual” games are a waste of CPU processing time. :)
    Apostrophes because it’s become increasingly difficult to define either term.

    But then like Pace above, I don’t understand the appeal of Peggle either.

  7. Vinícius says:

    If only they made a killer Tetris game…

  8. Pace says:

    Onward Peggle backlash!!

    Edit: Ah yes, how could I forget Tetris..

  9. cliffski says:

    I never understood what made peggle better than bejewelled or other similar games. I enjoy the odd bit of casual gaming now and then.

  10. Seniath says:

    Pace: Personally, I’m going to wait for the Peggle-backlash backlash.

  11. PetitPrince says:

    Killer Tetris Game on PC? I play Heboris and Texmaster, both of them being clone of TGM, an hardcore (and I mean *hardcore* ; see that “TGM 3 Tetris Arika !!! Invisible Tetris” video on youtube ? That’s the third installment of the series) variant of Pajitnov’s original formula.

  12. Stromko says:

    I think block-matching is just as legitimate as any other gameplay mechanic. Sure it’s abstract, but so is moving your mouse to headshot somebody, it’s merely a matter of degree.

    I wouldn’t do it just for the hell of it though, not when there’s Puzzle Pirates, Puzzle Quest, games that give me some kind of motivation outside of the puzzle itself. Even Lumines was more than just for the hell of it, considering that you’re obliterating other civilizations so that yours might live, that you might defeat the source of the dropping blocks and save the universe!

    I don’t fear casual games, they don’t threaten my gamerhood, and in some cases serve as gateway drugs to expand the hobby’s base. I think people get sick of absolutely casual stuff and want deeper experiences eventually, and that’s where ‘real’ games come in.

  13. PleasingFungus says:

    Had fun with Puzzle Quest; tried Peggle (original and EXTREME) but it didn’t really keep my attention. Shrug.

  14. cannon fodder says:

    Minesweeper is like crack to me (to the extent of having my scores up on http://www.minesweeper.info), most other casual games leave me cold unless it’s my turn to clean the bathroom/washup/you get the idea… then they seem suddenly all important.

  15. James G says:

    Are you kidding? I just upgraded my system to play the puzzle quest sequel. (It does require quad core right?)

    More seriously though, I enjoy a good few casual games mixed in with the more ‘hardcore’ stuff, although its more fun when you have someone to challenge. Back when I still lived with my parents there was almost always one casual game that the family was competing over. (My Mum was the most addicted) More games need to have decent on-line scoring systems. Its no fun just to be told that you are 34,530rd out of 72,345, but by having things such as friends lists, or regional tables (a la Audiosurf) you mean people have a chance of getting a bit of competition going.

  16. malkav11 says:

    It depends on your definition. The only PopCap games that do anything for me are Insaniquarium, Heavy Weapon, and Bookworm Adventures. Insaniquarium is, after all, rather insane, Heavy Weapon isn’t particularly casual, and Bookworm Adventures gins the word spelling game up with light RPG elements. Similarly, I adore Puzzle Quest.

    I find Tetris mildly appealing as a timewaster but have never tried to get particularly good at it. Lumines has great aesthetics but requires you to be way better at it than I ever will be to get any variety in them. Meteos seems a bit more promising.

    And I’m addicted by Picross and Slitherlink, but those are logic puzzles that can be rather ferocious, so I’m not sure I’d call them casual. Especially not compared to the rather boring Sudoku.

    Oh! Also Audiosurf, which is more visualizer than game, really, but it’s just enough of each to be worthwhile in a way that I don’t find either regular visualizers or the block matching games to be.

  17. Tak says:

    I’m really not sure I like this whole ‘casual’ label. Games are games, and they’re as casual or serious as you take them. They can be puzzley, shooty, stabby, or musicy, but they’re all games just the same. If I play FPS games for four hours a week, and someone plays Jewel Quest ten hours a week, who’s the hard-core and who’s the casual?

  18. RichPowers says:

    Totally agree Tak.

    I play Battlefield ’42 in 20-minute spurts here and there, but am I suddenly some l33t hardcore gamer fueled by Mountain Dem because my game of choice involves tanks, guns, and explosions?

    None of these puzzle games hold my attention for more than 30-seconds, but I do admire their accessibility. One of the reasons I adore BF42 is because I can start the game and join a server in 30 seconds, then quickly Alt-F4 once I’m done. These monolithic games, with their overdrawn intros, excessive splashscreens, and offensive loading times, are annoying.

  19. Jim Rossignol says:

    “One of the reasons I adore BF42 is because I can start the game and join a server in 30 seconds, then quickly Alt-F4 once I’m done.”

    Amen.

  20. cliffski says:

    you speak the truth. thats why for me, COD 4 is casual, I can be shooting within 15 seconds of hitting the shortcut.
    Thats also why I abandoned BF2.

  21. Mike says:

    I seem to play Peggle when eating lunch for about 10-15 minutes! Quite relaxing actually…

  22. matt says:

    Anybody remembers Klax and the likes ? (was on the Amiga / Atari old days).. Eversince i guess i’ve been addicted to puzzle and block games.

  23. Arathain says:

    I had a pretty bad DS Zookeeper habit for a while. Not PC, I know. Mostly I just wanted to bemoan losing my cartridge before I’d gotten over 6 million on time attack. I had 5.9 million, and I could have done better, I swear, if I’d just gotten the right game.

    Thank you, I feel better now.