A sub-genre of the wider ‘Incremental Games’ which would also include your Cookie Clickers of the world. There was a time when I would play some of the clicker genre as well, I think Clicker Heroes might even have been my first foray into the genre as a whole.
But at this point, if the game requires me to run an auto clicker for efficient play, it isn’t for me any more.
Idle games I once thought to be largely behind me, too. Mostly because the genre title is… Well; it’s a bit of lie.
They don’t generally require extended periods of interaction from the ‘player’, which I suppose is one reason I picked up another one (NGU Idle) last year when Mum started needing more time and support. But they do require fairly regular interaction.
There is generally going to be some upgrade to buy or activate, or some setting to toggle for additional efficiency. In NGU Idle, where I’m up to, it’s generally about keeping on top of upgrading the active levels on my Gold Diggers, ensuring Yggdrasil is pruned regularly, my Cards are played and the right *ahem* Mayo is being generated to play future cards, and to keep spending the EXP generated in order to keep increasing my stats and invest them into Wishes.
That may all sound like a lot, but it represents less than 10 minutes of play generally.
The exception to that 10-minute requirement is when you perform a ‘Rebirth’. This is a common concept amongst the genre, sometimes going by the name of Ascension instead — but the idea is the same. Sacrifice your current power state in order to gain some other permanent increase in your stats.
It contributes to your meta-progression, basically.
My current game time for NGU Idle is ~490 days. That’s pure idle time though, not the ‘actively loaded’ time. Either way, it’s by far the longest I’ve stuck with an idle game. Every time I think I might be done with it, I invariably load in again after perhaps a week or two.
The appeal is rather simple.
It’s distilled Numbers Go Up. Incidentally, precisely what ‘NGU’ stands for in this case. The same core motivating force in an MMO or ARPG stripped of almost all other trappings.
It shouldn’t work, but… it does.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll even ‘finish’ this one
Pretty close, from an achievement perspective!
But… There is a whole other difficulty to go, and the start of this one was pretty rough for a while.