8 months ago
It was in the middle of 2013 when Orteil released the game titled Cookie Clicker for the world to play. It was revolutionary, and quite addictive. Who wouldn't want to make trillions upon trillions of virtual cookies? This game soon became the first Idle Game, and it spawned a completely new and casual type of games for the masses to play.
Before looking at what Cookie Clicker has spawned, first we must look at its gameplay and why it's so addictive. The premise of the game is simple. You "click" a giant cookie (hence why the game is called Cookie Clicker) to get cookies. Cookies are the currency of the game, just like coins in another game where you can buy stuff. On the right side of the screen is a "store" where you can buy "buildings" to automatically generate cookies for you. How many cookies you get is measured with a unit called "cookies per second", or CPS. There are also other things you can buy and unlock. This makes the game vary more as you go on throughout the game.
Other things you can buy are upgrades. This can do various things such as increase your CPS or increase the efficiency of your buildings. The upgrade on the picture below will double the efficency of your Cursor Buildings (doubling the CPS) as well as double the amount of cookies you get from regular clicks. Not all upgrades are like this, though. Some may make Golden Cookies (explained more in the next paragraph) appear more often, or simply increase your CPS by 2%. There's also more special upgrades that you can buy with cookies later on.
Another element in Cookie Clicker are Golden Cookies that appear about every 3-5 minutes at first. With upgrades, they will appear more often, though. Golden Cookies have random effects when they are clicked on, and they generally provide a big boost in the amount of cookies you have. One such effect is adding a random amount of cookies based on your CPS, multiplying your CPS by an amount for some time, as well as multiplying the cookies you get per click by 777 times (yes, I'm serious!) These Golden Cookies also provide an incentive to play the game more often, because of the powerful boosts they will bring.
Why Is This Game So Addictive?
Personally, I've gotten addicted to this game before. But what exactly makes this game as addicting as it is? One such theory is the simple incentive to get as many cookies as you can. But what makes it so that you don't stop? It's simple, many players may want to "complete" the game. This may be getting all of the achievements (because they can provide a boost to your CPS), finding out what all of the buildings are, or wanting to get that last expensive upgrade. You know playing will help you get to those goals faster, and humans love getting their goals gotten quickly. Who wouldn't want something like the picture below?
A New Genre: Idle Games