By Jeff Bond on October 8, 2013 at 11:00am
It sounds simple enough. One day, a man named Orteil made a game when he was bored. Click a cookie, get more cookies, and spend cookies on items and upgrades to get even more cookies. Why? No reason. Just because. Then the Internet found it. Add in more buildings and some achievements, and you have the latest viral game.
Again, the premise is simple, earn and bankroll cookies. You start off with nothing. Clicking the giant cookie earns you one whole cookie. You click a few more times, and you can purchase your first unit, a cursor that auto clicks for you. Awesome! And so the so cycle begins. Along the way, you can purchase other units such as sweet little Grandmas, Time Machines, and Antimatter Condensers.
As time goes on, you realize you have now invested hours into collecting cookies and buying upgrades. Cookies are no longer measured in nice little numbers; they are in the millions! Now a few days have gone by, and you have almost all upgrades and are measuring your cookies in the billions and trillions! This is the addiction that is "Cookie Clicker.
The game itself is web-based and runs relatively smoothly with only slight lag when purchasing more units. The interface is simple yet intuitive, and the graphics lend themselves well to the silly atmosphere. Regular updates by the developer have added new content on a decently regular basis, as well ensure that if you run out of things to do, it's not for too long. That being said, it does start slowing down after a while, and you run out of upgrades. The time between new purchases grows as you wait to earn more, eventually leaving many to simply leave the game open in another tab and simply check in every once I'm a while.
For what it is, a game developed as a side project, it's pretty damn good. Regular updates and new content such as dungeons should give you plenty to do. The income curve in the later game could use some tuning though, as it does start to wind down after a while. All in all, absolutely worth a few hours of your time, if not more. Just remember what you're getting yourself info, a silly little web game.