This week has been a thing of madness. The side project I referenced in my last post is wrapped up (or at least, my involvement with it is) — but it has been replaced by several more. As if some multi-headed hydra whereupon the cutting off of one head results in several more.
It’s almost true that I haven’t had a chance to play anything at all this week. The thing driving the ‘almost’ in there is… Cookie Clicker.
If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an idle game. Or, an incremental game. Or a clicker game. On the surface of things — a pretty braindead experience. Scratch a little deeper though- and OK, it’s still a pretty brain dead experience. But depending on the particular idle game in question there can be quite a lot more under the covers than might first be anticipated.
Cookie Clicker presents this through various mini-games (I’ve unlocked 3 of the 4 so far) and quite an extensive talent tree to unlock between ascensions. Ascensions being essentially where you bank some aspect of your current progress for a multiplier effect in subsequent runs — the cost being that you must reset back to square 1 to make use of the multiplier.
The first reset is a pretty big deal. Your progress on that first run is rather hard-won… Well; it is from a time elapsed perspective at least. It will vary from game to game when the optimal time to do it is, and also just how much of a burst that first reset will give you — but universally, the early resets run a heck of a lot faster than your initial run until you start hitting the mid- or even end-game runs.
Essentially though, everything you do in these games boils down to one thing: Making the numbers get bigger. Crazy big. In that screenshot above, I managed to stack three different (two of them quite significant) buffs over the top of each other and ended up on about 16 billion prestige levels from the run. Which, to be clear, is a 16 billion per cent modifier on future runs.
Cookie Clicker probably isn’t the best idle game I’ve played, but its roots go back a long, long way — to 2013 or so. It wasn’t the first-ever game of this style, but it was the first to become wildly popular. I didn’t play it (beyond a little muck around) when it first came out but it relaunched recently onto Steam.
I thought I was just going to skip over it again.
Turns out; not so much.
The perfect storm of having no time to really play much this week, the fact this one can run happily in the background doing its thing and that it happened to appear on the front page of Steam for me with a price of ~$6 NZD (the free browser version is still floating around too) meant my assertions I wouldn’t play it rather quickly broke down.
Fortunately, the weekend is here.
And while I may regret the decision come Monday, for my own sanity I’m going to cut a line between the weekend and work and head back to the Tales of Arise in my free time while I got it.
Cookie Clicker won’t be seeing any insane combos like the one above from me this weekend — but that’s OK.
One of the things I’ve unlocked on the talent tree is up to two days of ‘offline’ progression so I can entirely close out of it and production will continue happily without me. :)