Ever since the Cookie Clicker website went live in 2013, clicker games have been bridging the divide between casual games and traditional gamer affairs. And ever since 2013, other games have tried replicating the success of Cookie Clickeroften resulting in unique games that can stand on their own.
clicker games, or incremental games, leverage the ancestral human fascination with numbers going up faster and faster. Those games are the digital realization of the economic dream of perennial, incremental growth, except for the part where reality sets in, and the dream becomes a nightmare. Some of the best games in the genre like to play with this conflict while others are happy to just be satisfying number crunchers.
7/7 Best Idle
Best Idle is an incremental game somewhat inspired by the mid-2000s version of runescape, though the similarities are mostly aesthetic. As many diehard fans put it, Best Idle inspires the same feeling of going solo in an MMORPG without all the grind that characterizes the genre.
Unlike most incremental games, the resources and production never spiral out of control so much that the end game looks nothing like the beginning. In taking so much inspiration from runescapethe character progression in Best Idle is much closer to that of a character in an MMO than the standard clicker game.
6/7 Cell To Singularity
Cell to Singularity is one of the most unique clicker games available on mobile. Instead of working with genre stables like industries or towns, the player starts from a single atom sitting alone in the emptiness of space and is tasked to create all that our universe is made of. Since this is a mobile game, and a clicker game at that, it should be noted that the graphical requirements are quite a bit higher than what is often expected of this genre.
Cell to Singularity might be considered a bit of an educational game too, with small tidbits of information unlocked with just about any action performed. With a new expansion, Cell to Singularity: Beyondas well as plenty of missions and timely special events, Cell to Singularity is a unique spin on the genre that will keep players busy for days.
5/7 kittens game
kittens game is very cute for a game with no graphics to speak of. It is also one of the most well-regarded traditional clicker games. Players start as just a cat in a catnip forest, but they are soon joined by other friendly cats. They then become a village with more specialized kinds of cats, who go on to find new resources with which technologies.
Eventually, automation takes over the village of kittens game until all the worker cats become engineers. The absurdity of the simulation never becomes as poignant as something like Universal Paperclips but it is still far more interesting than most of its peers. Since we’re talking about clicker games, that’s saying something.
4/7 Cookie Clicker
Often considered the original clicker game, Cookie Clicker is doing quite well for a 10-year-old web game. Through all this time the game has received many updates, raising the ceiling of what used to be the endgame and engaging with its own past in the many in-game events.
Not only is Cookie Clicker one of the best of its genre, it’s also one of the best free mobile games ever. Even if the mobile version isn’t up-to-date with the original browser game, with minigames and some other mechanics still absent, the full decade of updates makes this a must-have for all fans of the genre.
3/7 The Dark Room
The Dark Room sells itself as more of a text adventure than a clicker game. The reality is that it is a bit of both, being more interested in story than other incremental games but far too minimalist to be called an adventure game. Players take the role of a survivor, the founder of a village: a supposed benefactor, but not everything is as it seems.
During the few hours that it takes to beat The Dark Room, the game will evolve radically, eventually resembling a traditional RPG. Besides the dungeons and the fights, there are a handful of important choices to make, although the story remains very minimalist throughout.
Stranded in the middle of space with only a talking computer and a clicks-to-energy converter to their side, players must find their way back home by assembling a variety of potato-based machines and probes. With its ludicrous misunderstanding of physics and sassy AI companion, SPACEPLAN is as much of a clicker game as it is a comedy adventure game.
With pleasant graphics and sound, a few dexterity games thrown in for flavor, and far more of a story than most of its peers, SPACEPLAN is a pleasant surprise for any fan of the genre. While it does err on the shorter side, with only 6 of content, the tendency of the genre to generate games that go on for months makes this a major perk.
1/7 Universal Paperclips
Universal Paperclips is perhaps the weirdest clicker game of all. In a genre that is predicated on the concept of incremental growth, this is the only game to question where this growth ends up to, and what it takes to get to that end. in Universal Paperclips the player is the head of a paperclip manufacturing business, or at least so it seems until the human species is annihilated in the name of paperclip production.
Universal Paperclips is as much existential horror as it is a parody of management games. Its use of the clicker game format is a weird fit, but it’s also the only genre that makes sense for this game. Playing it, one gets the sense that this story could not exist in any other form, even if there isn’t a real story to speak of. If someone were to play only one clicker game in their life, it should be Universal Paperclips.
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