Hello, my name is Alex and I am addicted to Cookie Clicker.
It all began in 2017. I was in sixth form and I didn’t like studying between classes, I liked playing mobile games. Subway Surfer and Jetpack Joyride were my go to games. But one day I happened upon a new game. A game about clicking on a cookie to get more cookies and I… Well, I became number 1 in the whole world at it.
Above is insanity. Perfectly captured and preserved. Albeit on a much older version of the game and far from the best experience you can get while clicking on a cookie. Nonetheless, it gripped me. Gripped me so hard that I had to uninstall it because it was starting to get in the way of, y’know, studying.
And it wouldn’t enter my life again… Until 2021. It was available on steam, I bought it and what else is there to say? Well, for starters, the numbers one can get in the better version I now had put those in the above image to shame. Quadrillions upon Quintillions, upon Sextillions of cookies were realistically achievable thanks to numerous guides and surprisingly intricate strategies all involving clicking on a cookie.
My first run of this game lasted 848 hours and put it as my most played game on Steam. Now, to further put that into perspective, my second most played game on Steam is Crusader Kings 2, sitting at 374 hours. Yes. Clicking on a cookie until a point where I didn’t have to because the game was automating cookie production, usurped a 4x grand strategy roleplaying game with more intricate systems than I can possibly convey. And it did so by a long shot. Also bear in mind that I grew my playtime in Crusader Kings 2 over the course of three and a half years. It took Cookie Clicker a few months to decimate it entirely.
Cookie Clicker is a drug. Something about making a number become a bigger number incites a dopamine hit apparently more gripping than any other game I’ve got in my Steam library. But it’s by design. What’s also by design is how pointless it is. It never ends. There is no conclusion. At a certain point, the game’s achievements will mock you for having spent time getting them and try to get you to stop playing. Hell, the number of cookies you bake is totally arbitrary since a quick visit to the game files can change it on a dime. And when it hits you that this is going absolutely nowhere… You stop.
I stopped for about 210 days. I know this because, when I reopened the game, it told me that amount of time had passed. I didn’t know what to do so I wiped my entire save and all my progress accumulated over 848 hours and started the process again.
That is Cookie Clicker in a nutshell.
As far as idle games go, it’s a perfect game. It achieves the only thing an idle game needs to achieve and does so in an entertaining, self-aware way… While still being a dumb game about clicking a cookie for no actual reason. There’s a lot of humour, achievements for completionists and even a storyline about eldrich grandmas causing the apocalypse as a direct result of your cookie production. It’s all pretty neat.
So, would I recommend Cookie Clicker? Well, that depends on if you want to lose your mind or not.