Cookie Clicker

CC3
8 Overall Score
Addictiveness: 8/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Deliciousness: 10/10

Addictive I Frequently Updated I Free I Rewarding

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Written by on October 19, 2013 in [, , , , ]

My fiance recently sent me a link that I mistook for – who knows what? Judging by the amount of odd subreddits we both like to one-up each other with, it could have been anything. Needless to say, I didn’t give it a click. I didn’t want to give her the pleasure of making me cringe.

Later that evening, I was taken aback by the constant mouse clicking she’d been doing while stationed in front of our desktop.

*Clickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclick*

It didn’t stop. For a good, long time.

*Clickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclick*

I finally was curious enough to ask why she’d gone so mouse crazy all of a sudden. “What are you playing? Are you back to Diablo?” “No, it’s not Diablo,” she said. “Didn’t you click the link I sent you?” “No,” I informed her. “I thought you were sending me a /r/WTF link.”

The good news was that the link wasn’t a gross one. Bad news was that it was actually much worse. It was a time sink of the highest degree. That was the day I discovered Cookie Clicker.

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Cookie Clicker is a free browser game where you make cookies. Yes, that’s it. See that giant cookie on the left hand side? You click that, you make cookies. Simple enough, but then you have all these funky things on the right. Make enough cookies and you’ll be able to purchase a cursor that will click for you. Make some more and you can purchase a grandma to bake cookies for you. Eventually, you’ll go on to purchase buildings, rocketships, time machines and other items that will automatically net you more and more cookies as the game grinds on.

Here’s the trick, though. While there’s an “endgame,” the game never really has to end. You can keep on clicking that cookie as many times as you want. All those purchases you’ve made to automate the cookie-making process? They can keep racking up the numbers in perpetuity. If you really want to shake things up, you can soft reset the game and get rewarded new achievements and power ups.

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Those achievements and power ups are one way Cookie Clicker keeps you playing. As you continue through the game and make more purchases, the rate of CPS (cookies per second) and baking efficiency increases in kind. Thus, it becomes easier to hit certain targets that earn you earn in-game achievements and power ups through the act of making cookies. It’s a system where you’re always left with a feeling of realistically being able to conquer the next plateau. Once you think you’ve made it, you see that there are more achievements available, more power ups to gain and most noticeably, higher prices for the purchasable items.

The bar continually rises higher with each advancement – not in a frustrating manner, either. The game rewards you for being patient. Whether you’re at your desk clicking away or letting the game run for days while you do other things, you’re constantly making some type of advancement. The game also rewards you for keeping it open. Large “golden cookies” will appear on screen at random intervals to deliver bonuses if clicked. If unclicked, no biggie. It’ll take you longer to amass just the right amount of cookies needed to get to the next step, but it’s not like you’ll be penalized for missing one. The lack of punishment is key to the game’s charm.

Cookie Clicker is an overwhelmingly positive experience. With almost every move you make, there’s a clear progression for which you’re rewarded at every turn. While red cookies can act as obstacles later in the game, they don’t really take away from the quotes, objects and animations that provide instant feedback on how you’re doing. There’s no real “wrong” way to play and the barrier to entry, from age to computer specs is really, really low. Cookie Clicker is a maddeningly addictive game that everyone should check out if they have a few minutes. Scratch that – a few days.

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Author: Anthony Guzzardo View all posts by

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