Top 10 Casual Games on the iPad (2015 Edition)

Perhaps it is not fair to call these games casual.  While designed to play in quick spurts, the games on this list can be quite addicting, drawing you into their world as much as most so-called "hardcore" games.  But what makes a casual game great is that you can jump quickly into their world without spending a huge amount of time just figuring out how to play, and you can jump out just as quickly without the need to play hours in a single session just to get anything accomplished.  

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Temple Run 2


While Temple Run wasn't the first "endless runner", it popularized them to the point where you can't turn around in the app store without spotting one, such as the lovable Despicable Me: Minion Rush.  The sequel to Temple Run added to the fun, with better graphics and a few new tricks up its sleeve.  The great part about endless runners is they tend to be quick games that are more about hand-eye coordination than pondering intricate puzzles, so you can let your mind relax while you play.   Tips for Temple Run 2

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Smash Hit


While Temple Run is the definitive endless runner, Smash Hit may be the coolest spin on the concept.  Rather than running away from some nefarious danger and swiping left, right, up and down to turn, jump and slide, Smash Hit has you flowing through a geometric tunnel system shooting balls to break any obstacles and to gain more points (and, more importantly, more balls to shoot!).  

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Candy Crush Saga


If you looked up "casual games" in the dictionary, you probably wouldn't be surprised to see a picture of Candy Crush Saga.  The king of the matching game, the object of the game is to find linked candies to destroy, with the more candy destroyed in a single play garnering more points.  But Candy Crush Saga isn't just a random matching game, it is a puzzle game that will challenge you to figure out levels as well as figuring out how to get the highest score.   More Great Puzzle Games

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If you like Boggle and Scrabble, you will absolutely love Ruzzle.  A social combination of those games, Buzzle gives you a box of letters that you can connect vertically, horizontally and diagonally into words.  You have two minutes per 'round' and three rounds per match, so even if you don't do great in one round, you can make it up in the others.  The twist on this one is the Scrabble-like double letter, triple letter, double word and triple word scores.  Any letter can have one of these attached to it, and similar to Scrabble, some letters can simply be worth more than others.  So in a round, it's best to concentrate on these bonuses rather than just go for the most words.   A social game, Ruzzle lets you play against friends or random opponents.   

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Draw Something

While we are on social games, one of the classics of the genre is Draw Something.  Basically, it's the Internet's version of Pictionary.   You draw something and your opponent tries to guess it, then they draw something and you try to guess it.  The fun part here is that you actually watch your opponent draw, which can have clues to the answer by the way they draw it in addition to what they draw.

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Movie Challenge

Movie Challenge and Redwind Software's Music Challenge are two of the better trivia games available for the iPad.  This might not be the answer to Trivial Pursuit, but if you really love movies, it is hard to beat.  There are a number of mini games involved where you need to arrange things in the right order or unscramble letters to get the movie right, and your goal is to continue unlocking squares down the board until you reach the end of a line. 

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Sudoku fanatics take notice: there's a new puzzle game on the block.   Blendoku is a game of arranging colors based on their blends, which is basically putting them into the order they would be on in a color wheel.   The game starts out relatively easy with a specific color blending towards another color, but as the game goes along, it gets more difficult.    This is a great choice if you have very limited time for games but you want something that can present a challenge.

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Sims Freeplay

The Sims could be described as the casual game of all casual games.  Or, perhaps, the casual game that can drag you into it so much that you are playing more than the most hardcore gamer.  Basically, addictive personalities should beware of this game.  If you have never played The Sims before, it is a simulated version of life.  You control a town of people and busy yourself by getting them jobs, decorating their houses, having them meet and fall in love among many other possibilities.   

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LEGO Star Wars

LEGO games are involved enough that it is hard to really classify them as casual, but they do tend to have the ability to pick the game up for a short period of time and make progress in the game.  They also have a wide range of puzzles to solve as you go along.  LEGO Star Wars put LEGO games on the map, and if you've never played a LEGO game, it's a great place to start.  The Best LEGO Games on the iPad.

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What would a casual games list be without mention of Solitaire?  This is a no-thrills entry on the list.  Rather than go for the bells and the whistles, Solitaire gives you a solid solo card game that is easy to pick up and play on your iPad.   If you prefer Spider Solitaire, there is a good version by MobilityWare.