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While most casual games are not known for having stories, some have very enjoyable ones! Some developers actually take the time to add a fun story to their light games. Shocking, I know.

While the exact definition of what makes a “casual game” varies, everyone knows one when they see one. They’re the games you play on your iPad when you’re bored. They’re the games you can play on your Android phone 7 Great Android Games For Casual Gaming 7 Great Android Games For Casual Gaming For those of you who love to play games in random idle moments, here's a list of great games which are entertaining, cheap, casual, silly and easy to pick up and set down. Well okay,... Read More during your break. They’re your gateway drug to more challenging games. When you can’t be in Hyrule, or Lordran, or the Tower, these are the small games that you can easily pick up and put down.

Say what you will about casual games, but it would be tough to argue that they’re noted for story. Angry Birds 5 Reasons Angry Birds Is So Damn Addictive 5 Reasons Angry Birds Is So Damn Addictive My name is Dave Parrack, I'm a 34-year-old freelance writer from England, and I have a problem. I'm addicted to playing Angry Birds. Being hooked on catapulting feathered weapons of mass destruction into smug pigs... Read More ? Cooking Mama Top 6 Video Games With A Fun Foody Flavour Top 6 Video Games With A Fun Foody Flavour Do you ever get hungry playing video games? One way to guarantee hunger pangs is to engage in some food-related titles – the more creative the game’s aim, the better! Read More ? Temple Run Temple Run 2 Takes What You Loved About The Original & Makes It Better [iOS] Temple Run 2 Takes What You Loved About The Original & Makes It Better [iOS] Temple Run is one of those rare iOS games that went completely viral on the App Store. The fact is, there are new games released continually on iTunes, and most of them never even make... Read More ? “Context” might as well be a dirty word for those games. But sometimes you get a game that actually tries to pack a good tale in with its light gameplay. Here are a few casual game series that deliver on story.

Heroes of Hellas

Heroes of Hellas 2 Temple Art

This is a Match-3 game, as in the same style of Bejeweled. Align your expectations accordingly. In this series, you’re the hero of the Greeks, tasked with doing work for the gods. This means you have to retrieve valuable artifacts and help rebuild parts of Greece devastated by divine battles. All your tasks shall be completed by matching gemstones together.

Heroes of Hellas 2 Game Board

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The gods deign to address you personally and occasionally assist you in your challenges. Their powers are the game’s version of bonuses. In any other game, this would be a thin story, but it feels almost too glorious for a Match-3 game. The familiarity of the Greek gods makes the whole scenario feel appropriately grandiose without much dialogue or setup whatsoever. I like to imagine that this is the world of God of War about four hundred years before the birth of Kratos, for humor if nothing else.

Heroes of Hellas 3 Artemis

If Match-3 games are your thing Need A New Game? Candy Crush Is Boring Compared To This One [Android] Need A New Game? Candy Crush Is Boring Compared To This One [Android] At first glance, I Need A Hero did not seem like the right kind of game at all. The name sounds cheesy, the graphics and music did not impress me, and the background story was... Read More to begin with, then this is a series you should check out. It’s not the most challenging in the genre, but it’s pretty and has relaxing music. The fact that it even has a story is also a charming novelty.

Heroes of Hellas 2 Volcano Art

Available on BigFishGames.com, Alawar.com, and Google Play.

Dark Parables

Dark Parables Little Mermaid Sea Monster

If Sam Spade existed in a cheerier, alternate universe of The Wolf Among Us, this is what his adventures would look like. Dark Parables is an adventure-lite series of games about fairy tales. Specifically, it’s set close to the modern day and stars a nameless detective tracking down the characters from fairy tales to find out what really happened to them. It’s a simple premise, but the real beauty of the series is its literacy.

Dark Parables Rapunzel Tower Art

These games go far beyond the usual stable of handsome princes and clever princesses, though those characters are present and accounted for. There are also several references to more obscure fairytales, such as “Donkeyskin,” “The Snow Daughter and the Fire Son,” and several different variations on the Cinderella story. Those references went right over my head the first time I played the games.

Still from Dark Parables Snow Queen Cutscene

It’s actually kind of cute that the series has “Dark” right in the name. There’s nothing dark about this series. The stories, while not as light as the Disney fare with which we’re all more familiar, are still cheery and light.

The series’ other great claim on your attention is its art, which looks like the offspring of a Rococo painting and a jewelry store. It’s gaudy and not usually to my taste, but I give it points for being distinctive.

Dark Parables Rapunzel Frog Item

Available on BigFishGames.com and iTunes.

Mystery Case Files

Still from Mystery Case Files Dire Grove

This series has been oft-imitated in the last few years, especially since Big Fish Games successfully sold their first collector’s edition for $20 with MCF: Dire Grove. For those who aren’t familiar with BFG’s sales practices, a collector’s edition has about 20% more content than the regular games but is sold for twice as much. Perhaps I’m a sucker, because I’ve bought every last one of them.

Close-Up from Mystery Case Files Dire Grove

Mystery Case Files is, despite the title, not really a mystery series. Instead, it stars a detective who travels around England attempting to root out paranormal evils. The first big hit was Ravenhearst, which was about the detective’s attempts to exorcise a haunted mansion at the behest of the Queen of England. It really hasn’t gotten any less loopy since.

Still from Mystery Case Files Escape From Ravenhearst

MCF actually has a central story arc, if indeed “arc” is the correct word. The games settings are scattered, from a snowed-under village to the Louisiana bayou. But there aren’t very many hidden-object games series that even make pretensions to having a continuous story. While I do find this series cheesy, I have seen worse…much worse. But that’s a discussion for another time.

Available on BigFishGames.com, and iTunes.

Tell Me What You Think

There are more casual games out there than I could ever possibly play. If you know of one that has a fantastic story, let me know in the comments section!

  1. Matthew Berkhan
    January 29, 2015 at 12:55 am

    You should try the PuppetShow series. It's actually what started me on casual games.

    Also, anyone planning to buy more than a couple games at Big Fish should join their Game Club first. It discounts the prices and gives you a credit for a regular game each month (which negates the cost of the membership). Plus in any month where you buy 6 regular games or 2 collectors edition you get a free game. Big Fish runs like 2 sales a week. If you wait for the right one and buy a bunch you can stack up savings. I've bought a bunch of collectors editions, gotten some free game codes, then had using those codes get me another free game.

  2. Xoandre
    January 28, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Similar to Heroes of Hellas is a darker, more psychologically intense game called GUNSPELL. A match-3 game as well, it's about a man searching for his sister through mystical realms filled with magical weapons, demons, beasts, and villains.

    I've been playing it for a while now and sometimes find myself dreaming of beating the creatures in a match-3 quest.

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