The online city-planning game CityVille is meant for “casual gamers,” and there are plenty of them: 92 million active monthly users, to be exact. But such simple gameplay and basic graphics would turn off any sophisticated player, right? Wrong—as JP Mangalindan, writing in Fortune, found out. A lifelong “hardcore traditional console gamer,” he tried out the game to research an article; now he’s completely hooked, playing “at least an hour a day.”
That may be “embarrassing” for someone who takes gaming seriously—but the fact is, “without my knowing it, my priorities had changed. I don't have the same free time and patience” required for console play. But “CityVille in all its simplicity lets users wade in at their leisure, no manual or tutorial required, for a few minutes, then walk away feeling like they made some serious headway,” Mangalindan writes. “It's so much more accessible—oh, and it's free.” Read the full column here.