Joel Julkunen

Head of Game Analysis

Genre Taxonomy Update January 2020

Joel Julkunen

Head of Game Analysis

As we kickoff 2020 its time to also update the GameRefinery genre taxonomy to reflect the evolving mobile gaming market and the rise of hypercasual.

Genre Taxonomy 2020

Changes from 2019

You can find definitions for all genres here.

New Hypercasual Genre and Subgenres

Hypercasual games are now treated as their own genre vs. prior viewed as a subgenre of Casual. This includes the addition of numerous hypercasual subgenres, including HC – Puzzle, HC – Tap, HC – Steer, HC – Swipe/Drag, HC – .io, HC – Other.

Definition: Hyper casual games have very simple controls and are super straightforward and easy to learn. These games don’t usually have any meta-game elements and are designed for short playing sessions. We have divided hyper casual games into six different subgenres.

HC – PUZZLE

Hyper casual games where you have to solve some kind of puzzles.

Dig This!

Example games: AMAZE!!!, Mr. Bullet

HC – TAP

Hyper casual games that require timing and/or reaction and the gameplay focuses on tapping and/or holding a finger on the device’s screen at the right time.

Square Bird.

Example games: Fun Run 3D, Bikes Hill

HC – STEER

Hyper casual games that require timing and/or reaction and the gameplay focuses on the steering of an object either with a finger or by tilting the device.

Turbo Stars

Example games:Push ’em All, Dancing Road: Color Ball Run!

HC – SWIPE/DRAG

Hyper casual games where the gameplay focuses on swiping your finger or dragging and releasing the right way (e.g. shooting hoops in basketball).

Fruit Ninja

Example games: Baseball Boy, Five Kicks

HC – .IO

Very specific type of hyper casual games focusing on multiplayer player vs. player action. In short, the idea of .io games is to grow yourself (you might be e.g. a snake or a circle) by eating other player smaller than you and ultimately become the king of the whole gameplay arena.

Hole.io

Example games: Agar.io, Farmers.io

HC – OTHER

This subgenre covers hyper casual games that don’t belong to any of the hyper casual subgenres described above, but are nevertheless hyper casual by nature.

Barber Shop!

Example games: Pimp My Car, Nails Done!

Word/Trivia/Board Split Into Their Own Subgenres

To better distinguish between the growing number of Word/Trivia/Board games we have split the subgenre into three distinct subgenres.

WORD GAMES

A subgenre that includes all games where you have to solve word puzzles, think up words or otherwise play with letters and words

WordBrain

Example games: WordBrain, Words with Friends 2

TRIVIA GAMES

Games that test your general knowledge by asking you questions about various subjects (e.g. history, art, sports).

Trivia Crack 2

Example games: Trivia Crack 2, Wheel of Fortune

BOARD GAMES

Classic board game -style titles, either straight up conversions to mobile or games that otherwise utilize board game mechanics.

Exploding Kittens

Example games: Monopoly, Chess, Exploding Kittens

New RPG Subgenre IDLE RPG

RPG-games with a major “idling” component, meaning the game plays itself while you’re logged off and once you come back to the game, your characters have made progress and collected loot.

Example games: AFK Arena, Idle Heroes

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