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Time Management Games 101

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Casual games are commonly thought of as much more relaxing experiences when compared with traditional games, and in most cases that's true. But not when it comes to time management games. This genre is fast paced and often quite hectic, forcing players to balance out numerous tasks simultaneously in order to be successful. They start out simple enough, but before you know it you're overrun with goals to accomplish. Here's everything you need to get started with time management games.

The Basics

Time management games have you going through a series of different, progressively more challenging levels, each of which features a goal (or goals) and often a time limit as well. These levels will start out simply enough, beginning with the basics, before adding more and more features and challenges to keep you busy. A great example is the Diner Dash series. In these games you play as a server who has to seat guests, take their orders, bring them their meals, collect their payments, and clean up after them. As you move through the game additional meals, customer types, and other features are introduced, making the game increasingly more difficult. The key in these games is to do your jobs as quickly as possible, thus earning a higher score and more points.

Many of these games feature goals for each stage. So, for example, you may be asked to earn a certain amount of money in order to beat the level, or serve a certain amount of customers. There are also usually time limits associated with each stage so you'll have to accomplish these goals within a limited amount of time. In most cases completing stages will earn you points that can be used to upgrade the tools at your disposal. So, for instance, in Diner Dash you can improve your restaurant in various ways, while the Farm Frenzy series lets you buy new equipment.

Variations

This basic set-up is used in almost every time management game, and usually only a few features differentiate games in the genre. One of the key differences is simply the setting. There is a wide range of different themes for these games, ranging from the aforementioned farms and restaurants, to the weddings found in the Wedding Dash games to the prison from Death Row Diner. Though the gameplay is largely the same, the tasks feel somewhat different because you're in a new environment.

There are also plenty of cases of games that merge time management elements with different styles of gameplay. Royal Envoy blends the genre with a city building game, while Life Quest combines time management with a life simulator. Even a game like The Oil Blue, which is a oil drilling simulator, features elements of time management. Since games in this genre tend to be so similar, these types of "hybrid" games are a great way to get the time management experience while still playing something that feels fresh and different.

Now that you know the ins and outs of time management games, check out some the best titles the genre has to offer.

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