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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cookie Clicker Madness

One of the blurses (that's a blessing + curse) of working in the games industry is that, in the course of a normal workday, you're often sent links to various games...and you're encouraged to give them a try. It's really part of the job and it is awesome actually. I'm not complaining about it by any means.

Occasionally, however, a game sweeps through the office with such abandon that everyone gets hooked on it until they have basically played it into the ground (e.g. reach the end, get all available achievements, rage quit, etc. - it varies from person-to-person).

Last week, we all discovered Cookie Clicker and, for the most part, lost our collective shit over this game. Right off the bat, it reminded me of Candy Box! They both have an experimental sort of feel to them. Both have wonderfully bizarre backstories that emerge during gameplay, complete with twists and turns that draw the player into a world where sweets are currency and just about anything can happen. After some initial work, both games practically run themselves (at least the candie/cookie collection parts are more or less automated).

In both games, you gradually decend into madness. Cookie Clicker starts out with a giant cookie icon that you... click. And click. And click. And click... until you figure out how to unlock more stuff. Candy Box starts out with an on-going candy counter. I'm not going to give you any spoilers, you can either google it or play it yourself.

I've been playing Cookie Clicker for slightly over a week now. My main goal is to unlock all of the currently available achievements (and hope that the game doesn't update too much before that happens). Last Thursday, I experienced a set back after I forgot to export my saved game before clearing my browser cache and...cookies. The irony did not escape me.

The crazy part of Cookie Clicker is that once it gets going -- once you have all of these cookie generating opportunities -- you start to build up absurd sounding numbers of cookies. As I write this sentence, I have about 45 billion cookies with which I can buy all sorts of upgrades and whatnot. I have cookie mines; cookie factories; cookie spaceships that import cookies from a cookie planet; a cookie portal from which I can pull cookies from a cookie dimension; cookie time machines to collect cookies from the past before they're eaten; and, as of yesterday, cookie antimatter condensers that turn antimatter into cookies. Plus, 130 cursors that click the cookie every 10 seconds and an army of 110 mutant grandmas to help bake cookies. Currently, I'm generating 120+ million cookies per second.

In the time it took me to write that last paragraph, I now have 72+ billion cookies and counting.

I know there's a grandmapocalypse coming. I know because others have told me... because the news ticker relays the horrifying tales of the consequences of my cookie lust. My cookie milk is starting to run red with blood (or raspberries) wrought from exploitation across space and time of planets and people in the pursuit of total cookie domination.


But I want those achievements. I've unlocked about 70% of the achievements so far, so there's not that much left. However, I do see falling cookies whenever I close my eyes. That's totally normal, right?

Click to enlarge

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