Note: This is the pilot episode of my planned series in which I’ll do short reviews of all the games I have in my Steam list, alphabetically and daily, if possible. I know, Cookie Clicker is neither from Steam nor taken in any particular order, but I’ve been playing it on and off for a while now. The point of this post is to have a show of concept for the series – a template to build the other episodes upon, if you will. The title is a play on words. Take of that what you will.
Idle games are a curious breed – they are games and yet they do not actually utilize much gameplay. They play themselves for the most part, some taking your input to go in a whole new direction. Among the games of this genre comes Cookie Clicker from Orteil, a browser game where you bake cookies. Yeah, that’s about it. But it’s not. There’s a lot more than that. Maybe. At least that’s what I tell myself when I look at the fact that I’ve played this game for weeks. WEEKS.
But there’s a good reason for that (in my mind anyway). The surface level gameplay of Cookie Clicker is clicking the big ol’ cookie. When you click the cookie you bake a cookie. To help you with the gathering of cookies, you buy/build various thematic facilities that bake cookies passively. All of these facilities also cost cookies, and the more of them you buy, the more cookies they will cost. In addition, you can buy upgrades that increase the cookie baking potential of your buildings. That’s about it – no complex key combination, no special anything else. But it’s going to capture you. Eventually you won’t even have to click the cookie (there’s even an achievement you get by never clicking the cookie to begin with), but you still won’t stop playing. You’ll still check in every once in a while to build another time machine that brings cookies from the past (before they are eaten) or buy another granny to work in indentured servitude under you.
The whole thing is wrapped in a charming hybrid artstyle of pixel art and beautiful web design, giving insight into this alternate cookieverse where your quadrillions of baked cookies will create quasars and alternate dimensions.
You should play it, if only to know what all the fuss is about. It’s also free and web-based, so there’s nothing stopping you! Play it here: http://orteil.dashnet.org/cookieclicker/