Help! I Fell into the “Casual Gaming” Trap!

For the longest time I resisted having any games on my iPhone or iPad1. I preferred to use my commutes on the bus to either listen to music and daydream, or talk with Caley, on those mornings we were commuting together. The rest of the time I felt too busy to spend glued to a phone or tablet — especially when I have a games console in the living room I could play “real” games on.

Over the festive period though, I had more free time than normal, usually not at home, so needed something to distract myself. I ended up downloading 2048, then moved on to Threes. Both are fun games, but neither really held my attention for very long, so I’d only play them now and again.

Caley is quite fond of playing games on her tablet; she’s regularly tapping away on a CSI game, and Simpsons: Tapped Out. At first I was kinda dismissive – they’re the sort of games where you can only do so many things before you have to wait on a timer to count down while something recharges or gets crafted, and naturally there are in-app purchase options to speed this process up. Eventually, last weekend, I gave in to the temptation of Tapped Out, mostly because it was a bit SimCity-ish in mechanics, and there’s a (limited) social aspect to it, where I can interact with Caley’s version of Springfield for extra cash/XP (and vise-versa).

From there, it was a downwards spiral: untold hours were lost to Tapped Out, before I added another game into the mix: SimCity BuildIt. Of the two, this is probably my favourite, as it’s a lot less restricted by the timers – there’s simply more you can do while you wait for something to finish up.

I’m a little worried these games might just be a gateway though. I find myself checking the game section of the App Store now and then, though nothing else has caught my eye. I shudder to think what might happen if Apple add games to the AppleTV…

  1. Apart from an on-off dalliance with Warhammer Quest


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