You know what I'm talking about. Diner Dash, Cake Mania, Bejeweled... and even those dirty Facebook games.
I am one of THOSE people who play these games. A lot. And I am not ashamed.
I will never quite understand the disdain that many folks have for "casual games" - a game is a game, it really should come down to whether you enjoy it. Why limit yourself to only specific "hardcore-approved" titles? I get a lot of eye-rolling, or comments about how it's "cute" that I really like these things. Why is it that gamers separate "casual" out from "mainstream" or "hardcore" or whatever the kids call it these days?
Here are the reasons why I love these games:
I enjoy the challenge that alot of these games provide (they are NOT easy). I don't need to wade through hours of terrible, pointless narrative. They are almost never artificially lengthened. The tutorial is only about 5-10 minutes and then you're up and running. They run on almost every platform (iPhone, DS, every PC... facebook!). They usually have free to play versions that give you a good taste of what the game is like... or in the case of Facebook games, they are almost entirely free unless you have no willpower.
When it comes down to it, I primarily play games for that vague term known as "gameplay" - and when you really look at them, most casual games are just that - gameplay. They are not bloated with the other vectors of modern day games, such as a narrative and graphics - things I would consider to be icing on the cake. Of course, a cake without icing isn't always appealing, but I would much rather eat a great frostingless cake than a pile of frosting with nothing underneath it.
And as such, you can tell I've been playing too much Cake Mania lately. Mmmmm cake.