There are a lot of different gaming markets out there, catering for all kinds of entertainment. But a market that has grown significantly over the last few years is casual mobile games. As the name suggests, casual games are not aimed towards your 'sit down and focus' clan. Instead, they are supposed to be easy – the kind that you can just pick up and put down – and the revolution of smartphones and tablets has made casual gaming more accessible than ever before.
The ascent of this market is no real surprise. The amount of time we're on our phones has been steadily increasing for years, making the area an obvious target. You can find all sorts of casual games for smartphones and tablets – ranging from your classic puzzles and arcades to more sophisticated innovations like Android slot games and VR/AR.
Of course, the sheer number of options makes picking and choosing difficult – unless they've already gone viral. However, if you're looking for the best casual games to play on Android in 2019 then the hunt is over. That's because, following on from our recent Android games for Christmas article, we decided to round up some of our top picks for the year ahead. With New Year resolutions in full swing, don't feel guilty about giving them a go!
Pac-Man: The Ultimate Classic
Pac-Man is a deceptively simple game – you move around a maze in two dimensions, eating pearls, and running away from ghosts. Once you die, you start all over again. Nothing changes, there are no new levels or new enemies, just the same maze and the same aim. However, Pac-Man has always been, and always will be, an unbridled success.
Since its first release in 1980, the game has witnessed multiple iterations and variations – including the ever-popular Ms Pac-Man. The most recent release for Android is just like the original. However, it's been given a 2019 beefing up with additional mazes, daily challenges, and tournaments. This is a nice addition for players who are dedicated to the original, but who want a little extra.
Pac-Man is an undisputed king, and that's why he comfortably makes our best casual Android games list.
Pokémon Quest: Quirky with Great Gameplay
When Pokémon was first released in 1996, the world stopped as everyone took a moment to appreciate the fact that a new gaming hallmark had been created. To date, Pokémon is one of the highest-selling franchises of all time – with entertainment spanning much further than just games. However, it was the concept of Pokémon that was addictively simple: collect your favourite beasts and battle them on your journey to be the best. This ensured countless hours of play that you could sink into.
With regards to Android games, Pokémon Quest is a recent reincarnation of the franchise, designed by Niantic, which follows from the internet-breaking-success of Pokémon Go. In Pokémon Quest, all Pokémon have become pixelated, and you navigate your way around Tumblecube island which gives the game a nice retro and casual feel. The aim of the game is pretty standard:
- Explore the island and find your favourite Pokémon
- Build a team of Pokémon buddies
- Create a basecamp to settle in
- Battle wild Pokémon as you go
Like any Pokémon title, the gameplay is very addictive and is bound to be a hit for all ages.
RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch: Business & Engineering Made Cool
First released in 1999, RollerCoaster Tycoon was an immediate success and has since launched many sequels, spin-offs, expansions, and ports to different platforms. That leads us to 2019, with RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch being released on several Android devices.
The gameplay of RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch follows a similar pattern to the original, but with a much more refreshed take. However, old-school fans will be happy to learn that the core mechanics have been utilised, plus the same overall objective: you are the owner of a theme park and your job is to build it to be the best around.
How do you do this? Well, building the biggest, scariest, craziest rollercoasters possible is always a good start. However, you also need to make sure that there are enough burger huts, ice cream vans, hotdog stands, and souvenir stalls for your customers. And who could forget those poor cleaners – mopping up the endless vomit outside your main attraction's exit!?
The premise, although simple, is universally fun: make sure your income is greater than your expenses. Because if you don't, your theme park will go out of business. Never has a series requiring so much business management taken off as much as this!
Due to it being 20 years since the first version, we couldn't help but finish off with the latest RollerCoaster Tycoon for a huge dose of feel-good nostalgia.
What are YOUR best casual games for Android in 2019? Tell us if we've missed any!