Game Review: Cookie Clicker

Cookie Clicker is a free, simple, and addicting online game that allows players to make cookies with every mouse click. Through a series of upgrades and continuous clicking, the game challenges players to make as many cookies as they can. It may not sound like much, but Cookie Clicker provides a strangely engrossing experience that can last for hours at a time. The objective is to make as many cookies as possible.

Players start with an icon of a cookie they can click. Every click produces one cookie. As players get more cookies, they can trade those cookies for new automated methods of cookie productions, from cursors that click the cookie once every ten seconds for the player and friendly grandmas who will bake extra cookies to time machines that bring cookies from the past and antimatter condensers that turn all the antimatter in the universe into cookies on a regular basis.

There are ten different items (or buildings) that the player can purchase to increase automated cookie production, all of which increase in cost with every unit the players purchase. Building items can be sold back at any time for half of its current price and each building item can be upgraded to increase its efficiency or the number of cookies produced per second (CpS). The game allows players to keep track of both the total current CpS rate and the CpS rate of each section of building items. The game also keeps track of players’ progress through a news ticker at the top of the screen that will display various humorous messages, quotes, and news stories based on player progress.

Players eventually gain the option to change the type of cookie they are producing after making several thousand cookies. These different types and flavors act as cookie production multipliers. Players can unlock achievements for reaching various numbers of cookies produced and building items purchased. Achievements increase the amount of milk players have, which can be used in conjunction with Kitten worker upgrades to further increase the CpS rate. The game will also randomly spawn golden cookies, which will give the player a bonus. However, players must be cautious in upgrading their cookie production capabilities, as some upgrades in the higher levels can trigger the Grandmapocalypse, which is every bit as terrifying as it sounds and can change the background and spawn detrimental or helpful red cookies. The Grandmapocalypse can be stopped or delayed, though for a serious price and reduction in the CpS rate.

Many games convince players to push through the necessary grind for the rewards of seeing that all-powerful experience meter fill up to that magic moment of leveling up. Cookie Clicker relies on much the same rewards to provide the necessary incentive for players to keep going, except in this case, the repetitive clicks provide an instant reward. Strangely enough, this simple concept makes for a very entertaining and highly addictive game. It allows for nearly any level of involvement once automated production starts, from players that want to play with complete and obsessive attention to detail to gamers who want to set up some building items and let the game run in a separate tab and forget about it. The game makes for a fun, engrossing experience that can draw in both casual and hardcore gamers alike. Fair warning though: this is not a game players with other immediate responsibilities should pick up, lest they find themselves right up against a deadline rationalizing the time for “just a few more cookies…”

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