Goodness knows I love me some casual games. You know the type... BigFishGames, Real Arcade, Pop Cap, etc. Cheap games good for a month or two of entertainment, till the next big thing comes along. Cake Mania, Farm Frenzy, Bejewelled and the like.
I am a BIG fan of the Time Management genre, which is ironic considering how much time I waste on playing them.
I just completed all levels on Gold on Farm Frenzy 3 (which is really Farm Frenzy four if you count the FF Pizza Party game as part of the series). My days are now looking as bleak as a landscape painting of mid-winter in the Antarctic. I mean, yes, I still have Champions Online, but I can only get flattened by Mr. Poe sixteen or so times before I decide to call it a day (if you want to call that rage-quit, go right ahead, I won't argue). They REALLY need to reclassify the "Poe-wned" mission as a 2-man mission, and possibly scale it up a level or two. Or maybe that's the point, considering the title. Hmmm...
So I decided to try a new time-management series from Big Fish called "Empire Builder: Ancient Egypt" and I have to say, it was a really fun game... for about two days. Then I completed it. And trust me when I say I was NOT playing it constantly.
Granted, Big Fish only charges $7 for their games, less if you take advantage of a daily deal... but a couple of days of entertainment is seriously lacking. I mean, sure, compared to going to the movies your dollar per hour entertainment ratio is pretty good, but I have a certain expectation in my gaming life that my games will keep me riveted for weeks, if not months (or in the case of The Sims, years).
I mean, King's Bounty: The Legend was a $20 game when I purchased it, and I've barely scratched the surface. But then it's not considered a "casual" game.
So, are my expectations of a $7 game too high? If it took me two or three days to complete a game, and I bought a new game every time I completed one, that'd be around 10-15 games every month. Sure, that's a lot of variety, but that's more than $70 spent on gaming. That's an Xbox 360 title, with a little left over. And frankly, I get more out of the 360 games.
PS. If you are not watching "The Guild" with Felicia Day, you're missing out. They're now FREE Xbox 360 marketplace downloads... http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/videos/offers/79200053-4c53-4680-9235-54a976f0e565?cid=SLink