Mobile games are becoming increasingly popular, especially during COVID-19 in 2021. This article provides valuable information for understanding mobile game categories and variety of its genres.

Everyone can enjoy mobile games of different genres. There are numerous popular and straightforward casual games available. Adventure games challenge your brain with puzzles and stories. You can enjoy hidden object games and survival games that challenge your skills. Arcade games are fast, while clicker and idle games are addictive. In this article, different genres await you.

Mobile games make money in different ways. Identifying genres helps you understand the market and find competition or new rising apps.

mobile games genres

Classification of Mobile Games:

There is no fixed classification of mobile games. The different types of games and the new things game makers try to make it hard to put them into clear groups. However, we can still find some common categories for group games based on how they work.

The five main categories include Hyper-casual, Hybrid-casual, casual, Mid-Core, and Hard-Core games. This division is based on differences in target audiences, functions, and concepts.

different classification of mobile games

Hyper-Casual Games:

Hyper-casual games are super easy and quick to play, just a tap. They are designed for everyone, with no need for tutorials. These games are perfect for quick breaks and are especially good for people who find it hard to focus for long periods, like younger ones.

In addition, simple mechanics is fantastic for some players. It is easily accessible, although difficult to master. Short daily sessions, enjoyable mechanics, and straightforward graphics, hyper-casual games are characterized by vibrant colors, fun mechanics, and enjoyable mechanics.

To elucidate, they keep players coming back for more, usually in a short period of time. Despite low retention rates, session numbers are high, offering plenty of opportunities for monetization and directing users to other related apps.

hyper-casual mobile games environment sample
hyper-casual mobile games environment sample
hyper-casual mobile games environment sample

 

Hybrid-casual Games:

Hybrid-casual games are an exciting blend of casual and mid-core gaming elements. They provide an accessible tap-to-play experience with advanced features. Games like Ancient Battle by Lion Studio combine simple gameplay with complex systems and social features, ensuring player engagement and loyalty. Developers can use innovative monetization methods like free-to-play and in-app purchases to boost revenue in this growing market. These games have gained popularity due to the pandemic’s impact on extended gaming experiences.

Casual Games:

Casual games are super popular on mobile, played by 58% of Android users. They’re easy to play with short sessions and are not complicated. These games make money from in-app purchases and ads. Although they were first loved by computers, they’re now big on mobile phones. In this group, you’ll find puzzles, arcades, lifestyle, hyper-casual, simulation, and AR/location-based games. Some of the top Casual Games include Township, Family Island, Candy Crush, Temple Run, Fruit Ninja, Hom Escapes, Subway Surfers, Project Makeover, and Crossy Roads.

Casual games have been around longer than hyper-casual games and offer a way to relax and escape stress. They don’t always have clear goals or time limits. Casual games are designed for a wide audience, can be in any genre, have simple rules, don’t require a big commitment, are somewhat challenging to learn and are generally relaxing to play.

Mid-core Games:

Mid-core games mix casual and hardcore elements for a wider audience. They skip limiting features to focus on what most players like being neither too easy nor too hard. They’re inclusive in mechanics and themes, often using symbols and pop culture instead of extreme content.

The ideal mid-core game is engaging and tough for hardcore players yet accessible and visually appealing to casual players. Some doubt games for everyone can exist, but with clever design and compromises, they can. There are already games in this category.

In this picture, you can easily compare niche and broad audiences in Casual and Mid-core games. Some mid-core games have a niche audience, while others are more casual. You can compare the audience behavior using this picture.

Hardcore Games:

Hardcore games are the ones that need a lot of time because they have complicated stories or battles that you can’t stop and start easily. Some hardcore games are MMORPGs, first-person shooters, and MOBAs.

This picture shows Hard-core games

Genres of Mobile Games:

Giving information about genres helps you understand your rivals better. By delving deeper into your niche, you can identify similar options. This detailed analysis helps assess your competitiveness. For instance, when Battle Royale became hugely popular, it formed its unique subgenre, allowing companies to study it as a separate market category.

This article in the next sections explains various categorized genres of mobile games.

Adventure Games:

In this section, at first, you’ll discover different types of Adventure games. We will provide clear explanations and use images for a better understanding of Adventure games and their’ sub-genres.

  • Action- adventure,
  • Adventure (other)
  • Build & Craft
  • Hidden Objects
  • Hidden Objects: Other
  • Quest puzzle
    • Escape, stealth, other.
  • Quest: Other
  • Survival
  • Survival craft
  • Survival: Other
  • storytelling (Visual Novels)

The name “adventure games” might not be quite right. They’re not always about exciting adventures; they often involve solving puzzles within a story. Action is rare, and the story is a big part of the game.

Adventure games are like the parents of some game types. They have a player-controlled main character, and the story in these games is really important. These games often have tricky problems to solve, and you need to think to figure them out.

When you play adventure games, you often need to explore, solve puzzles, complete missions, or find hidden things. Unlike some other games, adventure games are not about fast actions or fighting. They are usually slow and let you take your time, except for the action-adventure type, which can be a bit faster.

 Adventure Games sample

Action-adventure:

Action-adventure games mix adventure and action. They have a big open world, and you control the main character. In these games, you do action and fight, but you also solve problems and explore. It’s a mix of fast and slow things, so you need to be quick and good at solving issues.

Action-adventure sample

Adventure: Other

Adventure games don’t fit in a specific subgenre because they have a mix of different gameplay elements or unique features.

Adventure:- Other sample

Hidden Objects:

Hidden Objects games involve finding various hidden items within a scene. These items can be presented in different ways like images, text, anagrams, or silhouettes. To make it more challenging, the game might add obstacles like darkening the scene, time limits, or larger objects.

Hidden Objects sample

Hidden Objects: Other

These are straightforward Hidden Object games where your main task is to find listed hidden items in a scene. These games don’t have extra puzzles.

Quest Puzzle:

HOPA (Hidden Object Puzzle Adventures) are quest games where you find hidden objects and solve puzzles, like matching or jigsaw puzzles. These games often have exciting and mysterious stories.

Quest Puzzle sample

Quest games are interactive adventures where you explore, find clues, collect objects, and solve puzzles to complete tasks. The games usually have intriguing and sometimes mystical storylines. They can be text-based, graphic-based, or involve puzzles and riddles.

Escape:

These are adventure games where you’re trapped in a place and have to escape by interacting with your surroundings. You also need to avoid getting caught by someone scary. These games are often set in a horror or thriller theme.

 Escape Puzzle  games sample

Stealth:

In these games, you play as a character who sneaks around enemy areas, trying not to get caught, while completing missions like stealing, scaring enemies, or helping trapped people. These games are often set in horror or thriller themes.

Stealth Puzzle  games sample

Quest: Other

This tag is for Quest games that don’t fit into a specific subgenre because they have mechanics from different types of games. It also includes classic point-and-click adventures.

Quest (other) games sample.

Survival:

Survival is a main tag for action-adventure games where the hero’s main aim is to stay alive in a hostile and often frightening place filled with threats.

Survival Craft:

Survival Craft is a subgenre of survival games where the character must explore the environment, discover materials, make tools and weapons, construct and enhance buildings, and defend against enemy threats (such as animals, zombies, or other humans) to stay alive in a perilous world.

 Survival Craft  games sample

Survival: Other

Survival- Other includes all Survival games except for Survival Craft games.

Survival: Other - sample
Survival: Other - sample

Arcade Games:

In this section, you’ll initially explore various kinds of Arcade games. We’ll offer brief explanations and include images to enhance your understanding of Arcade games and their sub-genres

  • Arcade
  • Clicker/ idle
  • Idle Builder
  • Idel merge
  • Idel tycoon
  • Clicker/ idle (other)
  • Destruction
  • Fighting games
  • Melee Arena
  • Rhythm games
  • Runner games
  • Satisfaction games
  • Shark (eat and grow)
  • Survival Arena

Arcade games are named after old, simple games. Mobile arcade games are quick and about getting a high score or reaching a goal. Some games are called arcade games because of how they look, even if they could belong to other types.

Clicker/Idle:

Clicker/Idle games involve repetitive actions like tapping to earn currency. This currency can be used to buy and upgrade items that accelerate earnings, sometimes even when you’re not playing.

Clicker/Idle  games Survival: Other - sample

Idle Builder:

Idle Builder Clicker games where you construct structures, often by tapping. As you increase the number of workers, their level, or the speed and profitability of construction, the process becomes more automated and faster.

Idle Merge:

Idle Merge games where you combine two identical items to create a new, higher-level item that generates more currency each second.

Idle Merge sample
Idle Merge
Idle Builder sample
Idle Builder

Idle Tycoon:

Simple tycoon games are business simulations where you invest in your business, improve it, and hire workers to earn more money. Idle tycoons let you make money even when you’re not playing because they automate many tasks.

Idle Tycoon: sample

Clicker/Idle (other)

 Other Any Clicker/Idle games that don’t fit into specific subgenres because they have mixed mechanics or unique features.

Destruction:

Games centered around breaking or destroying various objects and environments.

Idle Destruction games sample

Fighting Games:

Fighting Games where characters engage in close combat, often one-on-one, within a confined 2D arena.

Melee Arena:

Melee Arena Games with arcade-style hand-to-hand combat taking place in confined spaces with a top-down view.

Idle Melee Arena games sample.

Rhythm Games:

Rhythm Games incorporate music as a central gameplay element. Players must perform actions in rhythm with the music.

Runner Games:

Runner Games in which a character runs continuously, avoiding obstacles by jumping, ducking, and moving sideways. These games typically use a third-person view and simple swipe controls, with the objective of running as far as possible and achieving a high score.

Satisfaction:

Satisfaction These are calm and soothing games that imitate the process of making or beautifying items. Players need to slide their finger across the screen to mimic actions like coloring, cutting, cleaning, polishing, and crafting.

Idle Melee Runner games sample
Runner Games
Idle Rhythm games sample
Rhythm Games
Satisfaction games sample.
Satisfaction Games

Survival Arena:

Survival Arena games where you must survive by surviving your opponents. It’s a challenge to stay alive in these competitive situations.

Casino Games:

Here at first, you can see casino games and then it is explained the sub-genres of casino games.

  • Casual Casino
  • Casino Card Games
  • casino Domino
  • Bingo
  • Slot games

Casino mobile games are like casino games in real Casino but are designed to be played on mobile phones or tablets. They let you bet money or chips on different outcomes, such as slot machines or card games, just like in a real casino. These games are meant for entertainment and can be played on your mobile device. They have categories like gaming machines, table games, and random number games, and they often favor the house, but you can still win sometimes.

You can play poker, roulette, and slot games on your mobile. These games let you gamble and even win real money, which is a topic of a lot of talk and argument, and its subgenres include Blackjack, Poker, Rummy, and Teen Patti.

Casual Casinos are games that blend the core features of a casino with casual game elements, like home renovation or town building.

Other categories of casino games are Claw Machine, Coin Pusher, Fish Hunter, Keno, Mahjong, Okey

 

Slot Games:

 These are casino games that mimic real slot machines. They have spinning reels with symbols, and the player’s aim is to get a winning combination when the symbols appear randomly after spinning the reel.

Idle Slot games sample

Game for kids:

Here, you’ll first encounter kid games, followed by explanations of their sub-genres.

  • Educational Games
  • Games for Kids: Activity
  • Games for Kids: Beauty
  • Games for Kids: Coloring
  • Games for Kids: Cooking
  • Games for Kids: Other
  • Games for Kids: Simulator
  • Simulator for Kids: Profession

Educational Games are made to make learning fun for kids. They can also teach good things like teamwork and discipline.

This category includes apps that encourage people to learn by new ways of learning.

Kids’ games have easy play and help kids learn. When making a game for children, it’s important to make sure they can’t buy things by mistake while playing.

Idle Kids games sample

Party Games:

Here some sub-genres of Party games are listed.

  • Interactive Guessing
  • Mafia/Betrayal
  • Mini Games
  • Party Royale
  • Truth or Dare

Party games include Interactive Guessing, Mafia/Betrayal, Mini Games, Party games-Other, Party Royale, and Truth or Dare.

Idle Party games sample.

Puzzle Games:

Here, at first, the sub-genres of puzzle games are listed and all of them are explained.

  • Block puzzle
  • connect puzzle
  • Match 3
  • Merge
  • Hexa Puzzle
  • Trivia
  • Word puzzle

Puzzle Games are fun and require you to use your brain to solve problems. If you want to make games like these, it’s a good idea to get help from a top game development company.

The Puzzle genre is really fantastic and more than half of smartphone users prefer puzzle games over other types. These games include brain-teasers like Dominoes, Scrabble, Sudoku, crosswords, and more.

This tag includes puzzle-solving games that test the player’s intelligence, logic, problem-solving, and strategic abilities.

Blocks Puzzle:

Blocks Puzzle These are straightforward games set on a grid where players must strategically move and position blocks, reminiscent of games like Barley Break or Tetris.

Hexa puzzle:

Hexa Puzzle Various puzzles involving hexagonal elements that players manipulate.

Blocks Puzzle sample
Blocks Puzzle
Hexa Puzzle sample
Hexa Puzzle

Connect puzzles:

Puzzles where you match identical, or related objects. Sometimes, matched objects vanish instantly, and you aim to find items to connect one by one and clear the grid gradually. In other cases, your goal is to create a pipe-like connection between typical objects without any crossing or overlapping.

Word games:

In these mobile games, everything is about words. You can find all sorts of word games, like word searches, Hangman, crosswords, and even new ones like Wordle. The advantage of it is that It helps you get better at spelling and learn new words.

Role-Playing Games (RPG):

Here the sub-genre of RPG games first are listed and all of them are explained.

  • Idle RPG
  • Puzzle RPG
  • Team Battlers
  • MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena)
  • Action RPG/MMORPG

In RPG games, you follow a story and do extra tasks to make your character or team stronger. For example, in Arcane Quest Legends, you create a character and battle against zombies, demons, and more in many levels.

 Idle RPG:

  Idle RPG games sample

Games that merge idle gameplay with traditional RPG elements like hero collection and enhancement, gaining experience, and equipping weapons. Battles occur automatically without direct player control, focusing on team management and resource allocation. AFK gameplay is common, enabling players to gather resources while inactive.

Puzzle RPG:

Games that blend classic puzzles, like Match 3, with simple battle mechanics. Players fight battles through puzzle-solving. Progress is linked to the heroes recruited to the party. These games often involve Team Battler elements like hero collection and gear upgrades.

Team Battlers:

In these games, you have quick battles between two teams of 3 to 6 characters. You might control them directly, or not. The metagame is about creating and managing teams, which can vary for different challenges, and improving characters and gear. Advanced titles offer various modes like player versus player (PvP), player versus environment (PvE), special tournaments, and live events.

Puzzle RPG sample
Puzzle RPG
Team Battlers sample
Team Battlers

Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)

This is a kind of game that’s newer on mobile but came from PC games. In this game, each player controls just one hero and must work together with their team to win. Teams fight each other to take over the opponent’s side. A game like Arena of Valor has different modes, like five vs five, three vs three, and one-on-one. It has many heroes, and quick matches, and you can play with others.

Action Games:

These games are exciting because they have great stories, realistic fighting scenes, and awesome graphics. To stand out in this type of game, you need to make high-quality games.

While action games are popular with console and PC gamers, they are less common on mobile devices. It can be difficult to control them on small screens due to the number of fast-moving parts. Action games have different kinds, like platform games, shooter games, stealth games, and battle royale games.

Battle Royal Games:

In this type of game, you play in a made-up world, and you fight until there’s only one person or group left. These games have been liked for a while on consoles and computers, and now they’re popular on mobile too. Take Fortnite, for example, it’s one of the most loved games in the world, and you can play it on your phone.

Multiplayer Games:

 In these games, you can play with other people and complete tough levels together. To impress your players, you need to provide top-notch game development services consistently.

Shooter

  • First-Person Shooter (FPS)
  • Third Person Shooter (TPS)
  • Top-Down Shooter (TDS)

Shooter is an action game where your focus is shooting enemies, and you can use melee weapons as backup. They’re not like RPGs, as they don’t have complex character progression, upgrades, or deep stories.

These are different shooter games with varying perspectives and gameplay styles, including first-person, top-down, and sniper shooters, as well as other subgenres like heavy weapons.

Simulator Games:

Here at first is listed the sub-genre of Simulator games and all of them are explained.

  • Dating Sim
  • Simulator: Beauty, Tycoon
  • Simulator: Other
  • Animal Simulator
  • Farming simulator
  • Home Design
  • Job Simulator
  • Simulator: Beauty
  • Vehicle Simulator

Simulation games copy real-life stuff and give you a different world to play in. Some teach you things, like flying a plane or running a business. Others let you live a normal life in a game, like The Sims Mobile app.

There are different categories including Animal simulator, breeding, city builder, farming, Home design, job simulator, vehicle simulator

Simulator Games sample

Racing Games:

  • Arcade Racing
  • Simulation Racing

Arcade-style racing games are all about having fun and going fast, without worrying too much about realism. You can do crazy tricks like power sliding and the crashes are over-the-top. Simulation racing games, on the other hand, try to be as realistic as possible, with real cars and serious racing. Kart racing games are like arcade games with simple controls and fun characters. Futuristic racing games use sci-fi cars and sometimes have combat. Nintendo’s Super Mario Kart started the kart racing trend, and F-Zero and Wipeout are well-known futuristic racing games.

Racing games are easy to understand since they are familiar and simple. You drive through a track and try to be the fastest. These games are a bit like arcade games.

Arcade racing includes racing Bike, car, kart and on the other hand racing games are divided to chase racing – combat racing – drag racing- drift racing – stunt racing – traffic racing – trial racing.

This picture is an example of Racing games.

Sport Games:

Sports games that you usually play on video game consoles are now on mobile too. You can find games for different sports like archery, hockey, football, or skateboarding to compete in the sport you like.

This picture is an example of Sport games.

Strategy Games:

Strategy games were liked even before mobile or desktop computers. Unlike games of luck, these games depend on your choices. You need to be aware of the situation and make decisions based on what other players do. On top of this, you can see sub-genre of Strategy games.

  • 4x Strategy
  • Card battler
  • Real-Time Strategy (RTS)
  • Tactics
  • Turn-Based Tactics (TBT))
  • Card Battler (CCG (Collectible Card Games)
  • Turn-Based Strategy (TBS)

What causes the separation between racing and sports games?

The main reason people play games is the motivation and the kind of fantasy the game offers. Sports games recreate real sports and players. You want the experience of an NBA game with real announcers, players, and more. Racing games focus on the cars and driving experience, letting you drive cool cars in unique ways. It’s about feeling like you’re in a high-speed race, different from sports games that aim for the NBA experience. Racing games are closer to flight simulators than sports games.

Tabletop Games:

There are listed sub-genres of Tabletop games and some of them are explained.

  • Board Games
  • Card Games
  • Digital tabletop games cover various categories:
Card and broad Games:

In these card games, you select the right cards to earn rewards and points, often found in poker and casino games. Mobile card games use digital cards to mimic real card games like solitaire. Some clever developers have used touch-screen interaction to enhance the experience of sliding cards, making the games more enjoyable for players. It’s important to hire skilled developers who understand this type of game.

Other tabletop games:
  • Board Games like Chess and Backgammon.
  • Dice games like Yahtzee.
  • Traditional Domino board games.
  • Mahjong Solitaire with titles like Mahjong Club.
  • Sea Battle games like Fleet Battle.
  • Tabletop: Other options.

tabletop games sample
tabletop games sample

Conclusion

Consequently, in the world of mobile games, categorizing them is not always easy due to their diversity. Still, we can group them into five main categories and some genres that are explained at the top. Each category and genre serves different player preferences and monetization strategies. All in all, this information helps us become professional game designers and develop our company.”

Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.