What is a Casual Game?

Illustration to define a casual game

A casual board (or card) game is played in under an hour, set up and taught in under 10 minutes, and requires some light strategic thought. Casual games are not specifically marketed to children, but can be enjoyed by anyone from older children to adults.

Who came up with this definition?

This definition was formed by a panel of industry professionals including publishers, distributors, retailers, designers, members of the media, and others.

Why is there a definition?

There are a whole lot of games out there of many different genres (if you don't believe us, take a look at the Board Game Geek database). There are games that last a minute and games that last days or even months. Confusing terms like Euro, Ameritrash, wargame, CCG, gateway, abstract and strategy are commonly used to differentiate board games, as well as specific mechanics that are only understood by elite gamers.

All of the genres and terms out there quickly become confusing for casual gamers — people who like to play board games casually or socially. We want to identify and promote a category of games that are accessible to anyone, with or without previous board gaming experience. The above definition is based only on the complexity and target market of a game.

Ultimately, "casual" may mean different things to different people, depending on their background. But we have created the definition to serve as a guideline for those games that are most often enjoyed by casual gamers.

Casual game shelf

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