Research shows the number one reason that people buy and use a computer is for electronic mail (e-Mail) and for access to the Internet. Any guesses as what the second most common reason is? Surprise, surprise. The number two reason is so that they can play computer games.
Why Downloadable Computer Games?
Picture this real-life scenario... You're at the shopping mall one Saturday morning. You wander into a computer games store, browse through their casual games section and decide to purchase a game that you think looks like fun. However, after playing the game on your home PC, you soon realise that you've made a grave mistake. Why? It turns out that the game you've just purchased is dull, boring and not what you expected.
Refund for your game?
You decide to take the game back to the computer games store and demand a refund. No such luck. The store is not prepared give you your money back, meaning that youre now stuck with a game you dont really want. This, in my personal opinion, is unacceptable.
Exchange your game?
You ask the store if it's possible to exchange the game for another. The store is quite happy to oblige. Even so, you're still faced with the dilemma of which game to choose. After all, you don't want to be disappointed again. Also, unacceptable.
Keep your game?
At this point, the only other option available to you is to grit your teeth and make the most of a bad situation. Maybe resolve to try to learn and play your unwanted casual computer game. Who knows, in time you may even get to enjoy it. Yeah, right. Once again, unacceptable.
Given that you've recently parted with $19.99 (the typical price of a casual computer game) of your hard-earned cash to acquire a game that you don't even want, how would the events described above make you feel? Angry?Cheated? A very dissatisfied customer? Well, believe it or not, recently this is exactly what happened to my twelve-year old son. As you can imagine, he was devastated.
What exactly is my point here?
Simple. Unlike buying a pair of shoes or an item of clothing, you do not have the option of first trying a game - to ascertain whether or not you really do want it - before deciding to purchase it. Don't you think that this is bizzare? Why shouldn't you be able to first "test drive" a game before buying it?
OK. So, what now?
Well, what if there was a way in which you could first try a game before deciding to purchase it? Would that make you feel a little less hesitant when it comes to buying your next computer game? Believe me, if this were the case I wouldn't hesitate at all. And, I'm pretty confident you feel the same way.
Well, guess what?
Yup, you've hit the nail on the head.
Why? Because there is such a way...
They're called...downloadable computer games.
What are Downloadable Computer Games?
Now that you understand the issue faced by many a casual gamer, let's take a look at what exactly a downloadable computer game is. However, before doing so, just keep in mind that a computer game is like any other computer application; it necessarily requires a piece of software (or, if you like, a program written by someone) to be able to execute on a piece of hardware.
In a nut-shell, casual downloadable computer games are electronic games whereby the primary method of delivery of the game to you, the casual games player, requires the game software to be downloaded via the Internet to and installed on your computer's local hard-drive. Once downloaded and installed you can play the game to your heart's content.
In particular, casual downloadable computer games are typically less than 50 Megabytes (MB) in size and are, therefore, quick to download to your computer. Of course, this is very much dependant on your Internet connection speed. For example, a 56 Kbps modem connection will take considerably longer to download a computer games file than a 1000 Kbps broadband connection.
Access to Downloadable Computer Games?
Downloadable computer games are easily, practically and legally made available to you by downloading them from online casual games web-sites; web-sites such as Big Fish Games, just to name one.
Most casual games web-sites have hundreds, if not thousands, of casual computer game titles on offer. WOW! As a casual gamer you really are spoilt for choice. Furthermore, these titles are presented to you in the form of an electronic catalogue, making it simple to search and select games that you are interested in. For example, you can search for games by game name, game genre, game release date (date a specific game was first relaesed to the general public), most popular games, most recent games so on.
Whats more, to help you decide on whether or not to purchase a specific computer game title, there is a wealth of information about each game information such as a games description, features, video clips, screen shots, size, price, system requirements and so the list goes on. Additionally, this information is complemented with game previews, game reviews, player ratings and much more.
Note, like the online casino industry, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of casual downloadable computer games web-sites. Most are considered to be honest and reliable, but there are those that are not. So, be very careful with which web-sites you decide to patronize.
Advantages of Downloadable Computer Games
What are the main features to the casual gamer of downloadable computer games? Actually there are several.
Using your computer, you can download and pay for your casual game from the comfort of your home. No need to take an unnecessary trip to a computer games store, having to find parking (the bane of my life), standing in long queues and so on. Rather, use this time to play your favorite casual games.
Once you have downloaded, installed and paid for your casual computer game, it is immediately available to you. That is, you can commence play within minutes of downloading it.
OK! OK! I hear you. From the comfort of your home, you can just as easily order a game from an online computer games store and have it shipped to your place of residence, right? I agree, but... But, you will still have to wait several days for the game to arrive at your home. Plus, you will have to pay the usual shipping and handling fee. This, in my view is an unnecessary expense. With a downloadable computer game there is no waiting period or shipping and handling fees.
Most well-known casual games web-sites have hundreds and, in some cases even thousands, of casual downloadable computer game titles, including the most popular and newest games. This web-site has close to 600 casual downloadable PC and 100 Mac game titles. Talk about spoilt for choice.
With a downloadable computer games, you get the opportunity to try the game before deciding to purchase it. Compare this to the offline/online computer games store scenario. In my humble opinion, this has got to be the greatest benefit of all.
You can download a casual computer game with absolute peace of mind. All reputable casual computer games web-sites provide complete security and guarantee virus free software. The advantage to you? Download and play your favorite titles at no risk.
The downloadable computer game online purchasing process is simple, secure and immediate. No standing in store queues. No waiting for your shipped game to arrive. Again, pay for your game with total peace of mind.
Free Downloadable Trial (Demo) Versions
Most, but not all, casual downloadable computer games have an associated downloadable trial (or demo) version and/or web demo version, with the option of purchasing the full version for unlimited offline play.
Downloadable trial (or demo) version... Web demo version... Full version... Sounds complicated, doesn't it? Not really. Let me explain.
What is a downloadable trial (or demo) version of a casual game? This is the version of a casual downloadable computer game that you can download to and install on your computer's local hard-drive and play - with the games full version feature-set intact - for free, for a limited period of time (usually 60 minutes).
This is referred to as the try-before-you-buy model. Why? Because you first get to try the game, for free, before deciding to buy it.
How does it work? Simple. From any casual games web-site (such as this one), select the game you wish to try, click on the Download (or some variant thereof) button/link to download the game software to your computer's local hard-drive, install it as per the installation instructions (usually by running a .exe file) and begin playing, for free. Nothing to it.
However, once the trial period (usually 60 minutes) is complete, thats it. You cannot continue playing the game unless you decide to buy the full version for offline play; irritatingly, you will be prompted to do so several times during the trial period.
Free Web Demo Versions
What is a web demo version of a casual game? This is the version of a casual downloadable computer game that you can play online (i.e. via your web browser) with a restricted feature set of the game for free, for an unlimited period of time.
Unlimited period of time? Yup, even if you decide not to purchase the full version of the game, you can still continue playing the web demo version, for free, for as long as you like and as often as you like.
Note that no download of the game software to your computer's local hard-drive is necessary here. Game-play is purely online.
How does it work? On any casual games web-site, choose the game you desire to play and click the Play Now (or some variant thereof) button/link. Once the game has loaded, you can begin playing, for free.
While the web demo version of a casual downloadable computer game is great, it does have one rather frustrating drawback. Advertising! Yup, you are continually bombarded with adverts... while the game is loading... while you are playing...
As frustrating as this may seem, you need to keep in mind that if it were not for advertising, you would most likely have to pay to play web demo games! In other words, they wouldn't be free!
Full Downloadable Versions
What is a full downloadable version of a casual game? This is the version of a casual downloadable computer game that you can purchase for full unlimited offline play. Once you have paid for it, it belongs to you. You now own it, to do with as you please. Yes, even share it with members of your family or your friends.
You have the option of playing the free web demo version and/or free downloadable trial (or demo) version of a casual downloadable computer game before deciding to purchase the full downloadable version. Incidentally, you are not obligated to buy the full downloadable version if you choose not to.
By the way, note that while most casual games web-sites offer both free downloadable trial (or demo) versions and free web demo versions of their casual games, some may only offer one or the other, but not both.
Furthermore, not all casual games will have a downloadable trial version. What does this mean for you? It means that you dont have the option of trying the game before purchasing it. Thankfully, this is a rare occurrence.
So, what do you think? Isnt it great? Just like trying on a pair of shoes or item of clothing before deciding to buy, you get to try a casual downloadable computer game before buying it.
And, all of this with just a few clicks from your mouse. What absolute bliss.