Cookie Clicker is a free idle game initially developed by Julien “Orteil” Thiennot where you start your bakery and quickly take over the world in less than an hour of gameplay. A satirical take on capitalism and big industries, you start producing cookies humbly by clicking a big cookie to constructing giant factories, loaning cookies to people, and even converting gold to cookies!
Released: 8th August 2013
Price: Free with ads
As is typical of other clicker games, Cookie Clicker includes a whole slew of variables and stuff that you need to keep track of to increase your production of Cookies per Second (CpS), so you can buy items such as buildings or upgrades. Tapping the big cookie manually produces some cookies, while your buildings automatically manufacture them without any effort on your part. Upgrades allow buildings to create more cookies in less time, or add a multiplier to your CpS, or unlock special events or items such as the Bingo/Research Center.
The game’s progression starts fast thanks to extremely affordable buildings, upgrades, and slows down the more you play, although the game never felt drawn out thanks to the lack of game-breaking in-app purchases. Idling lets you produce a fair number of cookies in a period, while active play is rewarded thanks to beneficial buffs from the golden cookies that randomly appear.
There are even more things to look out for when playing the game, such as gaining achievements to increase CpS via kitten manager upgrades, or the Legacy system which allows you to ‘ascend’ and start over with some benefits. As the game has no end, you can keep playing for however long you like.
What Little Narrative There Is
Cookie Clicker parodies the lengths people would take to increase production and sprinkles it with a lot of humor, often dark. When you start your bakery, your first batches of cookies are thrown out and when you do get off the ground, your cookies spread miles away. But this quickly changes as you hire more grandmas and buy more properties to produce cookies, leading to not just owning the media, but also centering the entire world around cookies as either food or even currency.
As you play further, you’ll commit transgressions from employing child and slave labor by very casually buying upgrades, to lengths such as turning gold into cookies, mining chocolate planets, opening dangerous portals into the Cookieverse, or even turning antimatter and light itself to cookies. Even when the news ticker shows incidences of casualties thanks to one of your contraptions, you’ll always want to produce more tasty chips.
For a simple time-wasting clicker game, it is surprisingly critical of the speedy growth of big businesses and the lengths they’re willing to take, whilst simultaneously not being in your face about it. That’s perhaps the scariest and best aspect of the game; you could bring forth the apocalypse if it meant you’ll have 1 trillion more cookies per second.
Cookie Clicker somehow manages to be both a parody of big industries and a clicking game where it’s all too simple to chase billions, trillions, and quadrillions of cookies per second. The absence of in-app purchases means the game is perfectly balanced for both idle and active playstyles. Combined with the fact the goal is to produce more cookies, the game is a simple time-waster that you could pick up to pass the time on the commute!