I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve sunk so many hours into Cookie Clicker that I’ve lost count. Or more appropriately, I’ve let Cookie Clicker sink many hours into itself. Because as anyone who’s spent any length of time with the idle game would know, after a certain point, you don’t really have to do anything other than watch the numbers get bigger and bigger and bigger.
For the initiated, Cookie Clicker – and other idle games of its ilk – are built around, well, idle gaming. Doing a bunch of nothing and watching a lot of something pile up on itself. It’s a strangely satisfying experience, and now with version 2, Cookie Clicker is even deeper and even more satisfying. The legacy system, the game’s form of long-term cookie clicking, is now deeper and neater than ever. It resembles the skill trees found in many RPGs. Only this skill trill will take weeks if not months to fully unlock, because you see, Cookie Clicker is a long term commitment.
Fortunately you don’t have to actually do much except leave it running in a browser window while you are engaging in more productive activities, like video games that require you to actually do something. Cookie Clicker might be one of the most well-known of idle games, and helped to spawn an entire sub-genre, but it’s certainly not the first. I remember, over a decade ago, leaving Progress Quest (an idle game satirizing MMOs before World of Warcraft was even a thing) running on my home computer, and then coming back after a long day spent learning to see how much higher the numbers had climbed.
It’s no wonder these damn things are so satisfying. In a way, the boil down what many people find addicting to video games into its base components: numbers and progression, and now here I am, about to spend another 6 months “playing” Cookie Clicker, and it doesn’t bother me one bit.
The patch notes for Version 2 of Cookie Clicker would take a rogue scholar to sort out, as they are a culmination of over two years of occasional beta updates, but the highlights give any returning clickers a good idea of what to expect from this new version:
- 3 new buildings: banks, temples, and wizard towers; these have been added in-between existing buildings and as such, may disrupt some building-related achievements
- the ascension system has been redone from scratch, with a new heavenly upgrade tree
- mysterious new features such as angel-powered offline progression, challenge runs, and a cookie dragon
- sounds have been added (can be disabled in the options)
- heaps of rebalancing and bug fixes
- a couple more upgrades and achievements, probably
- fresh new options to further customize your cookie-clicking experience
- quality-of-life improvements: better bulk-buy, better switches etc
- added some general polish
- tons of other little things we can’t even remember right now
I don’t even know what some of that stuff means, and what the end game of something like Cookie Clicker might entail.
I guess I’ll find out, though, in a few weeks, if not longer.
Let the good times click.