Friday, 27 September 2013

Today's Review: Cookie Clicker

I seem to have exhausted my snack supplies, which is probably a good thing for my diet, and perhaps a good opportunity to put a bit of variety back into my reviews. So instead of reviewing cookies, I thought I'd review a game about cookies. It's Cooke Clicker, a browser game by Orteil.


The premise of the game is explained in the little dialogue box up top. You feel like making cookies. Conveniently, you are also provided with a cookie to click on, and doing so makes a cookie. You are now on your way. Your cookie clicker experience has begun.


At the beginning of the game, one click on the cookie produces one cookie. Simple enough, but it's not exactly the most efficient way to make cookies. You'll probably need some help. Thankfully, after you've made a few cookies, you can use said cookies as currency to buy some automated cursors that will click on the cookie for you every few seconds. It doesn't sound particularly efficient, but at least you're getting more cookies than before. Also, you start to get little updates on how your fledgling cookie business is going. Here, my family has tried some of my cookies. Yay, things are going well. But more help would be appreciated.


Once you reach the 100 cookie mark, you can hire a little old grandma. Grandmas make good cookies, obviously, and this one will bake one every two seconds for you. What a nice old lady. If you like, you can purchase more grandmas, or more cursors, or you can even use your cookies to purchase upgrades to make your grandmas and cursors more efficient at making cookies, thus increasing you CpS (Cookies per Second). So there we have it, the basics behind Cookie Clicker, a fun little game that gives you a little taste of the cookie making business. At least, that's how it started... I'm not sure how I got here:


You see, there comes a point where a few grandmas aren't quite providing you with enough cookies. At this point you can buy a cookie farm, that grows cookies for you at a much greater rate than grandma can bake them. Still not enough? Why not a cookie factory? Or a mine? Or even an antimatter condenser that condenses the fabric of the universe into precious cookies? As you can probably tell, things escalate quite quickly with this game. As you buy more cookie producing equipment, and upgrade said equipment, the amount of cookies it costs to upgrade more goes up. 

Enough upgrades? There are never enough upgrades

After a while, you don't even have to click on the cookie anymore, you have hundreds of cursors doing it for you, producing about a million cookies per second, not to mention all your grandmas, factories, mines and whatnot producing even more. But even with millions of cookies, you still won't have enough for the top level upgrades, and therein lies the horrible, addictive element of Cookie Clicker. It employs evil game design to keep you clicking. There are upgrades to buy, achievements to unlock, all which help you make more cookies per second, but which require the fruits of many seconds worth of cookie making. You can leave the counter running, accruing millions or billions of cookies while you're out or asleep, but it's always tempting to just click on that cookie yourself as many times as you can, so you can earn more cookies, so you can buy buildings to earn more cookies, so you can buy upgrades to earn more cookies. 

It's a vicious circle, but the situation quickly becomes out of control. The ticker at the top goes from informing you how your home town has started liking your cookies, to highlighting the working conditions of your cookie mines and factories, to eventually warning you that the entire known universe is now full of cookies. I've had my Cookie Clicker game running for a day now, and I have gone from my humble one cookie per click beginnings to some kind of tyrannical galactic cookie emperor earning 385m cookies per second. I'm not even anywhere near finishing. 

Every question mark is like a hole in my soul

Cookie Clicker is a game that highlights the utter ridiculousness of all these addictive internet games. Whether it be Farmville or Candy Crush, there are a bunch of gamers sitting around doing repetitive things, and then waiting for increased periods of time in order to do more expensive or difficult repetitive things. Cookie Clicker knows how to keep you hooked, and it's shameless in doing so. I know how ridiculous it is that I've been playing it for so long, but I really can't stop. Not when that next upgrade is so close. Only several hundred billion more cookies to go...

I may sound like a babbling idiot, spouting nonsense about cookies per second, antimatter and grandmas, but this truly is a well designed game, that whilst infuriating at times, is completely addictive. It has a great interface filled with weird and wonderful objects and features, and it's being updated all the time. Reading this review probably doesn't do it justice, the only way to truly experience Cookie Clicker is to play it yourself. Just don't blame me when it takes over your life...

My rating: 4/5








2 comments:

  1. My husband got completely addicted to this game! I don't see the attraction myself I don't have the patience for these sorts of things. I was playing Candy Crush but I got stuck, had a tantrum and deleted it.

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    Replies
    1. Your impatience is a virtue. It's too late for me, save yourself!

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