Is Cookie Clicker the Most Addictive Game Ever?
Right now I have an open browser window dedicated to a game about clicking cookies. Cookie Clicker is difficult to describe, and sussing out why exactly it's so addictive is equally hard.
At it's most basic, Cookie Clicker is a game about clicking cookies. Specifically one giant chocolate chip cookie that slowly spins on a third of your game space. But the game also combines it's cookie clicking madness with a management style game and a fantastic sense of humor, so somehow even though I have 21 antimatter condensors, I'm still playing.
The gameplay is incredibly simple. As you click more cookies you can purchase more power ups. The most basic power up is another cursor, which is just another cursor that clicks the giant cookie every 10 seconds. The second power-up is a grandmother to bake cookies. Things like that.
As you purchase more cursors and grandmas, their costs build up. Like you're creating a monetary tolerance to grandmas. Also, you can purchase items from the store that increase the efficiency of your clicks. A golden cursor for double efficiency, things like that.
All of this is in the quest to click the cookie more, to pay for more power-ups so you can get more cookies. It's oddly compelling, considering how aware you are at how mind-bogglingly pointless it actually is.
As you go you purchase more power-ups and more of the geriatric, you also receive achievements which affect your milk. You gain milk through achievements, and the milk can unlock specific achievements over time. I'll admit, I'm not 100% what the milk is about. I didn't even realize it was changing colors.
For all I know there is an endgame I haven't yet reached because I'm not super effective at cookie clicking. I'm at the point where I'm clicking 51 million cookies per second, but I haven't encountered any discernible story, plot, or end point.
That's not to say that the game lacks humor or imagination. First of all, it's a game about clicking cookies, which is a ridiculous and fun premise. Everyone likes cookies. But there's also a news ticker that runs along the top of the screen with "news items" related to cookies. Like: "News: doctors recommend twice-daily consumption of fresh cookies." The first time noticing this was a joy, and there's usually something worth reading that pops up on that news ticker.
Also some of the power-ups affect the appearance of your purchases. I own a lot of grandmas, about 88 at time of writing, and I can also buy different skill modifiers that also change the grandmas appearances. For instance, my grandmas now come in mutant, golden and farmer varietes, as well as a few others. My little grandma army is chugging along, creating 72,000 cookies a second.
There isn't really a clear point to Cookie Clicker. As best I can tell, there's no end game either. The developer, Orteil, has stated that he doesn't plan on implementing micro-transactions and for now it's completely free and pretty much ad-free as well.
Whether the game is a commentary like Cow Clicker or just ridiculously addictive remains to be seen. Cookie Clicker has only been out for about a month, and you can play it for free, here.