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Sure, they count as video games by definition. Most gamers don’t consider them real video games though because they often ask very little of the player in thinking or skill and ask far more of them in the ways of opening their wallets and spending money.
They are most often designed to be extremely easy and “trick” the player into feeling rewarded for doing virtually nothing in order to keep the player playing. Sometimes, they’re easy for a while to lull you in, then they become extraordinarily difficult. It’s okay though, you can buy some power-ups or extra lives, and they’re only $0.99 each!
How about those building games? Designing your own town, or military base, or building a business. You have a great time building things for a few minutes until you suddenly have to wait 16 real-world hours for a building to complete. Don’t worry though. If you don’t like waiting, you can buy some diamonds, or gold, or cash, and you can use 5 of that to build your building right now. Best of all, it’s only $4.99 for 20 of them!
This is what most gamers see mobile games as. A very obvious and shameless cash grab that is made with as little effort as possible to extract money from easily swayed players.

Do games on mobile phones count as video games? - Quora (shhhh)
 
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