If you are new to casual gaming or new to Big Fish Games, you might find yourself a bit overwhelmed. With the size of our gaming catalog and (at least) one new game being released every day, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
As a starting point, you might want to consider our game genres. Understanding each of these genres will help you focus in on what style of gameplay you gravitate toward. Of course, without having experience in a game genre, this too might be difficult. Let’s take a look at what each game genre has to offer.
Currently, the world of casual games offers games in the following 14 different genres:
For the most part, each game genre’s name is pretty self explanatory. That being said, we thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of games that can help you understand both the world of casual games and each of these genres. This list is meant to be both educational and historical in that it attempts to serve you our most popular content as well as games that helped shape our industry.
As our industry has grown, there have been more and more games released in series. As such, in most cases we will be recommending a game that is part of a larger series.
Arcade Games & Action Games
Arcade games is what most people think of when they think of computers games – especially those new to casual gaming. Tracing their roots back to amusement park midway games such as shooting galleries, ball toss games, and the earliest coin-operated machines, arcades have evolved over the years with the heyday coming in the late ’70s and early ’80s. For those of us who remember those days (heh, heh), fond memories of Pac-Man, Frogger, Asteroids, and Donkey Kong remain. Many such games have made their way onto PCs and mobile devices and still attract new fans to this day!
While we offer Pac Man, we’re going to be recommending a new game series for this genre. Enter, Ricochet. Trek across 216 awesome levels, with thousands more online as you blast bricks and beat down bosses in this tribute to the arcade classic, Breakout!
Confront one of many bosses in Ricochet Infinity
We may be a bit biased on this game genre, but the latest series to launch out of Big Fish Games Studios is our pick for the premier Adventure game to play. Drawn: The Painted Tower is the only game in the Drawn series at this point (hint, hint), but it is a great example of where adventure games are going and what they have in store for casual gamers around the world.
Adventure games typically present the player with a quest or a long-term objective to solve. Success in such a game comes from exploration and a curious, inquisitive nature.
In Drawn, you’re on a quest to save Iris, but a curse has locked each floor of the tower within which you find yourself. Only the most creative adventurer can find a way through.
One of many areas to explore in Drawn: The Painted Tower
Have you every spent any time trying to solve the Rubik’s Cube? Did you enjoy it? Then take a look at our collection of Brain Teasers. For mind bending fun, you’ll have plenty of games to choose from each featuring it’s own unique blend of puzzles, riddles, tricks, and challenges.
Within Brain Teasers, we recommend you start with Professor Fizzlewizzle. This game offers over 230 levels of brain challenges as well as an in-game level editor so you can create your own challenges and share them with your friends. For full disclosure, you should know this game was created by Grubby Games who we purchased in 2009.
Strain your brain as you help Professor Fizzlewizzle manipulate pulleys, ropes, ladders, and platforms
Card Games & Board Games
Card Games & Board Games need no introduction. Odds are you’ve spent time playing Monopoly or Solitaire many times in your life.
Our recommendation for where to begin is surprise hit from Big Fish Games Studios. Fairway Solitaire thinks outside the box as it combines Solitaire game play with golf art work and styles. Many people who have taken the time to try this game have become hooked. Trust me on this one. It’s the best version of Solitaire you’ll ever play.
Hole 1 at Mountain Springs, par 4
Hidden Object Games
Before the Mystery Case Files series hit the market with the release of Mystery Case Files: Huntsville, the Hidden Object games didn’t even exist in the world of video games. In fact, the closest thing to it was Where’s Waldo? and the hidden object puzzles in Highlights Magazine (you remember these from the dentist office, right?).
In Hidden Object games, a player is presented with a list of items to find on the screen. These items are strategically hidden within the scene and among other irrelevant items. Often, the player is working against the clock. Fortunately, hints are usually available to help.
You can see each of the Mystery Case Files games that have been release (there are six thus far). Of course you can choose whichever games looks the most interesting, but we recommend beginning with Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate as it offers a taste of where the game came from and where it is headed.
A Hidden Object scene from Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate
A great way to introduce children to shapes, colors, animals, and sounds is with our collection of games for kids. Moreover, what better way to draw a child into ’learning’ than with one of their favorite cartoon characters!
The Dora the Explorer Series of games are a great way to offer kids educational entertainment. Within this series, we recommend Dora’s Carnival 2: At the Boardwalk. This game is suitable for all ages and helps build essential skills for young ones such as numbers and counting, hand-eye coordination, Spanish-language skills, and much more.
Enjoy bright colors and friendly fish at the boardwalk in Dora’s Carnival 2
Large File Games
Large File games are a bit of a catch all genre. Really, any other genre could cross-over into Large File as the only qualifier is the over size of the game. That being said, it is common for said games to be mystery or adventure themed. As such, we’ve selected a game that throws you into one of the greatest mystery adventures of all time – the mystery of Count Dracula.
Dracula Origin reveals the origins of the Dracula curse. This rich adventure takes you, as Professor Van Helsing, from London to Egypt, Austria and through Carpathian Europe right to the terrifying home of the Dark Prince. In Dracula Origin, your job is to seek out and stop the evil Count Dracula from returning damned souls to earth.
You’ll have your mind and your nerve tested by the traps and mysteries you will have to face in Dracula: Origin.
Assume the role of Professor Van Helsing as you search for the diabolical Count
Mahjong is a card game for four players that originated in China that involves skill, strategy, calculation, and a bit of luck. The Mahjong featured in most video games is actually Mahjong solitaire that uses tiles rather than cards. The tiles are stack in one of an infinite number of patterns. The player’s job is to match Mahjong tiles. Each match removes those tiles from the playing surface.
One of the first Mahjong games every launched at Big Fish Games was Mahjong Towers Eternity. It has stood the test of time and proved to be the most popular Mahjong game we have every launched.
Match Mahjong tiles as you attempt to clear the Eternity board
Marble Popper Games
Marble Popper (or Marble Shooter) games are those in which you confront an ever advancing line of marbles you must dismiss. You do this by achieving matches of three or more marbles of the same color. You could say Marble Popper games are a variation on Match 3 games (or vice versa). The larger the number of matched marbles, the higher your score and the more power-ups you can achieve.
The Luxor series of games take you to Egypt where you confront marbles marching toward your pyramids. Make matches of three or more to destroy the oncoming marbles. If they reach the pyramids, your game is over.
Player scores 1,200 points with a marble match
Match 3 Games
If you are a person who likes to see common items grouped together (like DVDs or clothing, for example), then Match 3 games might be for you. One part Time Management, one Hidden Object, Match 3 games offer a collection of items and it is up to you to move similar ones into horizontal or vertical groups of three or more.
In Fishdom, you’re given the opportunity to play a classic Match 3 game in your own customizable fish tank. As you clear more boards, you’ll earn more points and money to buy new fish, new decorations, and new equipment for your tank. If you are able to put together matches of four or more items, you’ll earn power-ups that will help you clear the board even faster. Add enough decorations and fish to each tank and unlock better tanks for expanded gameplay options.
Match common items to earn more money to buy tank upgrades in Fishdom
Puzzles and Puzzle games are precisely what you would expect. They present the player with various puzzles to complete in order to advance the storyline of the game. However, puzzles come in all shapes and sizes and require varying thinking to work through. With such a broad description, we’ve decided to offer two suggestions each with decidedly different gameplay.
The first recommendation is Safecracker. As an expert safe cracker, you are hired by the wealthy family of a recently deceased billionaire to search for the last will and testament of their late relative, Duncan W. Adams. An avid safe collector Adams has hidden the deed to his riches in one of the 35 safes scattered throughout his elaborate mansion.
Safecracker was awarded PC Gamer’s Best Puzzle Game of the Year award for 2007 and still stands as a wonderful example of a well thought out, challenging Puzzle Game.
One of the many challenging safes you must crack in Safecracker
The second Puzzle game we recommend is Elements. It does offer a free trial version so you don’t have to commit without trying it first.
The premise of Elements revolves around a book of clues left behind by Leonardo Da Vinci’s confidante who is studying alchemy. The game challenges players to distill nature’s greatest forces and unlock the elements needed to create the Elixir of Life.
Unlock the Elixir of Life by matching nature’s greatest forces in Elements
Are you into outwitting your opponent in a game of wits and determination? Then Strategy games might be the genre for you. Although Strategy games can vary widely in their design (Board Games, Solitaire, and Jigsaw Puzzles are all strategic games), when it comes to casual gaming, we recommend you try the Be Rich series.
In Be Rich, you assume the role of CEO of Be Rich, Inc., Be Rich Inc. the hottest new real estate firm in the country. You’ll be responsible for raising capital to build house, stadiums, greenways, and entire neighborhoods. We find the Be Rich series to be a nice introduction to gaming strategy and also will give you some insight to Time Management games.
Raise enough capital and turn the neighborhood of your dreams into a reality in Be Rich
Time Management Games
While many games in varying genres pit the player against the clock, only one genre makes that the #1 goal of the game. In Time Management games, the sole purpose of the gameplay is to go head-to-head with the clock and accomplish as much as you can as fast as you can.
Diner Dash is one of the strongest brands within this genre. In it you’ll meet Flo, a former high-powered stockbroker turned restaurant owner. You’ll guide her as she races to seat customers, take their orders, serve food, bus tables and pick up the check. Earn points for getting the job done and upgrade your restaurant.
There are a lot of Diner Dash games and Diner Dash spin offs to choose from. The best place to start is our Diner Dash games page.
Flo serves up a drink to a waiting customer in Diner Dash
If you are the type of person who enjoys games such as Scrabble or crossword puzzles, then the Word games genre is for you. Test your vocabulary skills as you confront word jumbles, crossword puzzles, and other linguistic challenges. In the Word Whomp series we recommend Word Whomp To Go.
In Word Whomp To Go, your job is to help the gopher reach the carrot by identifying as many words as possible from the a collection of letters. You’ll be presented with three different styles of play, action, puzzle, and classic. Each gameplay style offers a different way of managing the clock. If you are into a challenge, play the action version. If you are more laid back, the puzzle version is for you. Use the letters offered to you to create as many words as possible. Each successful word you identify moves the gopher closer to the carrot.
Kick back and take your time identifying words in Word Whomp To Go puzzle play