Idleplex


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Rating: 4/5 (72 votes)
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Idleplex

DoraPopularized by games like Candy Box! and Cookie Clicker, the incremental/idle trend of games that play themselves has been going strong for nearly a year now, and don't you think it's about time John Cooney (jmtb02) threw his hat into the ring? After all, if you're looking for stylish charm, you usually don't need to look any farther, and Idleplex showcases every bit of the wonderfully weird and addictive gameplay you've come to expect from the developer... now in idle game format! Taking the form of a slew of off-kilter arcade minigames, your goal is to generate cash by playing to buy more "boards" (game windows) that will play alongside you, all of them packed with upgrade potential, until eventually you have the greatest goat mosaic of game windows of them all!... oh, didn't I mention? Goats play vital parts in most of the minigames you can play, from a Breakout clone to a simple shooter, but they aren't the only barnyard critter you can unlock... just the cheapest.

IdleplexIf all of that sounds weird, well... it is. Purposefully so. What do you expect from a game that offers poop mongering as an expensive and profitable activity? The game runs by itself whether you're actively mowing the lawn or clicking nuggets yourself, even in another window or tab, and chances are you'll want to let it do so since upgrades quickly become very pricey. Figuring out what boards are best worth your time and money is important to getting the most out of your cash flow, especially since not all of them are created (or scale) equal, even though you can buy multiples of all but two of them. While you'll have to do a bit of hands-on playing yourself to make the most of things in the beginning, Idleplex quickly becomes so adept at generating cash for you that you can just leave it alone for long periods of time, popping in to spend it on upgrades whenever you get a tidy chunk.

Compared to some other games in the genre, Idleplex does sort of lack a lot of long-term goals and discovery. Part of the fun of incremental games tends to be being continually surprised by the weird things you discover and unlock, and while Idleplex does have some of that, it might not have enough to keep every player enraptured. What it does have, however, is an absolutely fantastic presentation that's every bit as slick and colourful as you'd expect from a John Cooney game, the sort of thing that feels bouncy and goofy and energetic in the best possible way. It's strange, sure, but if you're a John Cooney fan, that's not just what you expect... it's what you want. Idleplex is an interesting addition to the genre, and one that's polished to a mirror sheen... I mean, you wouldn't want a game featuring a poop chute not to have the best possible graphics, right?

Play Idleplex

27 Comments

Is there a reason this is hosted on Kong instead of JiGs? I'd much prefer my traffic to stay here!

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I like the basic concept of this one, relative to other clicktoys, but the execution isn't that great.
Its not too long before you simply have several copies of most things, which need individual upgrades, so it becomes more of a hassle to go around and upgrade each individual thing than anything else. This also makes it so it is about rebuying the same upgrades over and over rather then getting new ones.

It would also have made the game much better if the upgrades were spaced further apart(which removing the redundancy would accomplish), and the individual minigames were interesting to play and magnified your income more. The initial two games have the most fun potential, but are also the least productive things you can do once you get alter ones coming on, and after a while even the later, simple games are pointless to interact with due to everything else coming in making your contribution pointless.

If instead you upgrades less frequently, but had a choice between "let it sit for a while to earn money, or play the minigame to earn it much faster", it would take advantage of its premise much better. As you progress in upgrades, the most lucrative game to play could vary, so you would end up mixing up which one you play for more interest.

Following from that, I'd have more of the upgrades be qualitative rather than quantitative. Sure, having a few quantitative upgrades can give some good baseline upgrades, but adding in upgrades that will change how the gameplay functions would keep things more interesting. There were some hints of that, but it could have been expanded on much more. This would make getting to the income to unlock such upgrades meaningful and exciting.

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Couldn't have said it better, Mystify. Considering this has Kongregate itself listed among the developers, it's not surprising there's at least an exclusivity period, if not downright exclusivity, period. Also, the game seems to implement Kong's Kongpanion things, so yeah. I don't see it going much farther than Kong.

As for the game itself: meh. There are much more interesting clicktoys with much sparser presentations than this (see: Civ Clicker. Heck, see: Coinbox Hero, also by John Cooney.) With developers like this going in to this, I honestly expected some more forethought in to the game execution. What I got instead, was a game where the only serious methods of increasing income lay in 2 upgrade paths (jumper panels and mower panels) which are the least interesting bits to interact with manually. I felt honestly disappointed by this overall.

Admitted, the top tier upgrade in most incrementals tends to be the only one worth getting after a while, but where that is the case there tend to be goals, events, or options beyond the linear upgrade path with its considerable dropoff of useful interaction over time.

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I enjoyed the game until it got to about 9 windows and started to drag. If it were hosted somewhere with a persistent server-side save, I might have pegged away at it daily for a bit. Elsewise I need a game I can finish well within one shift.

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cyberphlash Author Profile Page February 22, 2014 8:49 AM

This is a great concept - the mini-games give you a lot to do, but as others have pointed out, it's lacking balance in a couple ways. First, the cost of upgrades are too high compared to what they give you incrementally in cash. I let it run overnight and got $400M, and spent it on a couple upgrades that barely increased my cash flow. I didn't upgrade the paddle game all the way, but that seems to barely return any cash. Second, the mini-games don't play by themselves very well. Upgrading the mongering game on every type of bonus except Automonger results in a huge flow of nuggets but they all go unopened. The first hour or so is fun setting up the screens and getting started, but there's no middle game, and the endgame looks to be weeks away. I love all the other jmtb02 games, but I think this could've used a little more thought or further testing for playability. This should inspire a new branch in the idle clicker genre, though. -M

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This game really taxes my machine, which isn't the newest but isn't that old. Flash isn't the best platform for complicated games, and this is why — the game hangs when I'm in the garden room, trying to grow and harvest things. The chat room dedicated to this game had similar complaints.

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A good idea tainted by some bad decissions.

I suppose, the worst decission was to reuse the same game board several times. There is little added play value to the second mower, the third and so on. If it would have been 16 unique mini idle upgrade games, this could have been awesome. Also with more interlocking of the mini games in regard to upgrades, maybe more than one resource ("money").

The second one is it aims to kill my CPU. Sorry, but if a game plays by itself this kinda wrong enough. I know, i know it is an "idle" game, but if it has to be that way, it shouldn't keep one core spinning at 100% doing this. The money explosion animation for example does not add to the game, so I'd really wish I could turn off these kind of bells and whistles. Or have it true idle, like just aproximation the DPS while the game was not running by time difference it was off.

Also I agree the amount of logarithmic growth (which all games of this kind share) goes frustratingly slow too soon. Heared a conversation in chat like "should I upgrade stuff or just wait 3 days from now on until I can buy mystery seed". Also not being able to skip upgrades would help. Or phrased differently, if you buy upgrade 2 you get its value deducted when you later upgrade upgrade 3 instead of jumping to 3 at once.

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Is "Boss Mode" not less CPU intensive fuzzyface?

I've dipped in and out of this over the last couple of days. I'm still not quite sure what the benefit of having pigs and cows are. Does the DPS they generate really make all the out-lay in the farm worth while?

I'd definitely like to be able to get rid of some screens or at least reorder them. The Brickout board generates nothing compared to the others, it would be nice to be able to delete it and put something else in that space.

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can anyone explain the poomangering and the gradening to me?

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Mystify touched on just about everything I'm thinking except it would be great to have an option to delete a game board, namely gardening, as I cannot figure it out.

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnrLT_DgOiK7Leoj0eRHY69GNEFT33XtTU Author Profile Page February 23, 2014 12:07 PM

Game MIGHT become vaguely playable if it didn't hang the browser for a second every time it saves.

Utterly RUINS try to play it for any longer than a minute.
Or is it just me?

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A few tips for Idleplex:

I don't have all the answers, but here are a few things that have worked for me.

The biggest upgrade of the game is the "?" fourth seed in Extreme Gardening. I costs $95 Billion (yes, Billion). That's going to take a LOT of income to reach.

You achieve this income by building LOTS of upgraded boards. One limit to this game is your processor and graphics processor. But, a little planning can help to cut down on this load by concentrating on areas that will give the highest returns.

Upgrades:

Note that when you are upgrading your boards you can skip upgrades and save the cost of the ones that you skipped. Use this! Especially once you get your income up. Eventually you should be building a board, then doing each upgrade that you are going to do all the way to the max in one shot.

Gameboards:

There are six game boards available to purchase in the game. Some have much better return than others, and some are much more processor intensive than others.

Also note, once you purchase a new board or an upgrade, it is yours, you cannot delete boards that you decide you no longer want.

Extreme Brickout:

This is the board you start out with, and has the least return of all the boards. This board has more "playability" than some of the others, but it also gets VERY busy with the graphics when fully upgraded. If fully upgraded, things will be bouncing all over the screen.

My advice here is to upgrade this one just enough to bump your income slightly to start, then leave it alone and do not build anymore. Do not upgrade the last item (launchers), you won't need more than the one. Upgrade each of the other items ONCE.

Now just play along until you have enough to purchase an Extreme Animal Jumping.

Extreme Star Shooter:
Again, some of the better gameplay, but will get extremely graphics/processor intensive when fully upgraded. It does have higher return than Extreme Brickout, but not enough to make it worth it. Skip this one altogether and save for an Extreme Animal Jumping.

Extreme Animal Jumping:

This is one of the two boards that I recommend building multiples of (Extreme Mowing is the other). Build one and and upgrade each item two or three times. Do this in chunks, skipping a couple if possible. You can upgrade all four items on this board.

Save for your first Extreme Mowing.

Extreme Mowing:

This is the best idle income maker. Build one of these but only upgrade Mow Bonus and Mower Speed. Don't waste money on Animal Density and Berzerk Bonus. They are not going to be worth it for now. Instead, save that money for more boards/better upgrades.

When you get out of the mower screen and it goes to idle where your mower is and what it is doing can greatly affect your income. I have seen people talk about finding the "sweet spot", but haven't had much luck with that myself. Here is what HAS worked for me:

1. Open your mower.
2. Move your cursor/mower all the way to the left of the screen.
3. Take your mouse out of the game screen on the left side so that your mower stays on the left.
4. Move your mouse around the outside of the game window to the right side so that it is just outside the game beside the "back" button.
5. Move your cursor over the back button and when your mower shoots across the screen, click the back button to exit and put the mower in idle with this surge of mowing.

Alternately you could move your mouse onto the right side and use the escape key, but I have better luck getting the timing right with the button.

You may have to repeat this a couple of times to get the optimum output. And, you will need to repeat this anytime you exit a mower.

Save up for Extreme Gardening.

Extreme Gardening:

The third board you buy should be Extreme Gardening. You can only buy one of these.

I don't recommend doing much with it to start with, but it will give a decent idle income for this point in the game. And you will want it later anyway.

So, just buy it and leave it alone for now.

Once you do decide to do something with it, here is what it does:

Carrots give you a chance to get pigs instead of goats. Pigs give slightly better income in some parts of the game, but really aren't worth all that much IMO.

An example is in Brickout (which, if you are following along you aren't really using anyway). When a goat falls off of the screen, it gives you a $1 coin. When a pig falls off, you get $5. Five dollars instead of one? That sounds like it would be worth it! But, a pig gives the same amount when it bounces off your paddle. And since an animal will be bounced several times before falling off, you really will see very little overall difference in income. The same sort of thing applies to the other boards as well. And to get the this small advantage you would need to fully upgrade seeds, boxes, animal upgrades in boards, etc. And then be constantly planting, harvesting, etc.

Turnips are like carrots, except they give you cows. Cows are better than pigs. But, again, not worth it IMO.

Crackers are the exception here. Crackers give you a "Crackerplier" that when full can increase your DPS by 3 times! Later in the game you can buy these if you want. You can get a significant boost in income, but be aware that you will have to spend some time planting and harvesting to gain any benefit.

The Fourth Seed. I'm not even sure what this one is yet. But, it appears to be the object of the game...you are working towards obtaining this.

Extreme Poop Mongering:

This board has fair output when idling and has VERY high output when actively playing it once fully upgraded.

If you don't intend to just let it idle you can upgrade everything EXCEPT Poop Shoot Size. Only upgrade Poop Shoot Size enough that a few are bouncing off the screen without getting "mongered". Any more than that is a waste. Once they start bouncing off the screen, increase Automonger. When Automonger is high enough to keep up again, increase Shoot size, and back and forth.

If you intend to actively play this one, then you can fully upgrade the poopshoot size, click like mad and rake in the dough.

Once you have these built, continue building and upgrading Mowers and Jumpers to increase your income.

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scherzinger.david Author Profile Page February 23, 2014 3:05 PM

Everyone saying Exteme Star Shooter is worthless are missing out in late game, and while Extreme Brickout isn't the greatest, it can give you some marginal rewards later on.

With no multiplier and only goats, fully upgraded idle boards should give you about this much:

Brickout: 2-2.5k DPS
Star Shooter: 18-25k DPS
Animal Jumping: 20-30k DPS
Lawnmowing: 8k-25k DPS

I haven't found that actively playing a mowing game with maxed out berserk bonus actually provides any worthwhile return, but you will have to tune each board to find a "sweet spot" that yields the maximum amount.

Farming for animals helps early game, as pigs give 5x as much as sheep, and cows give 50x. They don't help in late game when most of the money generated simply by letting the games run beats out the animal bonuses by a few orders of magnitude. Farming for crackers can give you some insane DPS though.

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I don't understand how to play the star shooter game. Which game type is it supposed to emulate? What's the object/goal?

Ditto for the lawnmower "game": is it really just a lawnmower chugging away in a one-dimensional fashion? If this were an actual game, how would one go about losing?

Not that it makes any difference for playing Idleplex, of course; I'm just curious.

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I think the author of this article understood nothing to the game.

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Leopardmask Author Profile Page March 10, 2014 8:51 AM

Anyone else have everything in their farm disappear when they close and reopen the window? I almost always leave with a full farm and when I come back it's empty.

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deceptionofraju Author Profile Page March 13, 2014 4:53 PM

I just found out yesterday what the mystery seed does:

It resets you back to the beginning of the game, but with a +20% "prestige" bonus, I assume added to your DPS.

I've been trying to figure out how to get the floating animals and the extra cash on Extreme Gardening (as seen in the screenshot), but I give up. Has anyone else figured out how to make that part work?

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Hello,
Sorry for my short comment. But I think it's funnier to understand games by yourself.
If you want criticism that helps you for this kind of articles : you seem to have completely forgotten that most indie games (and all jmtb02's) are about concepts not graphisms.
So when you don't get the concepts don't fill it with nonsense on its graphisms (they are just simple if not shitty).

What I don't like is that the way you understood the game you souldn't make an enthousiast article out of nothing for jmtb02 fanboys.
Either say that you didn't got it and that maybe it's a failed game or try to anlyse it more :

- Why is there only one poop window or one red one.
- Is it really just a game where you just wait for hours ?
- Why is there only a few different games ?
- Why is it made in a way that makes it lag anyway ?
- ...

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- Is there something odd with the way the uprgades are priced ?

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I think you misunderstood my message or I did with yours.
Eitherway it's surely because of my english that is not so good.
First, I didn't mean to be rude or unpolite. I don't see where you see that.

Second, I really enjoyed this game. What I say in spoilers are the questions that could make you realise what is important in the game (more than clicking on poop, spending hours and seeing colors and animals).

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Ok. I don't mean to monopolize you or the comment section. So I will only discuss the game.
The gameplay is not shallow.

- the "low quality" button !! to purposely glitch the DPS

- seeing when you buy 1 square and then another 1 on an uprgrade you wasted your money on the first one

- making experiments on the firsts games to find their mechanics (the position of the lawnmowner, the useless upgrades...)

- clicking the nuggets as the only game that works better when you play it
...

I think it's a game about understanding quickly game mechanics (the obvious ones like having a screen-wide bar on the first game, the stupid ones like the prices, the illegal ones like the glitch) in order not to lose time.

It shows that when you put unusual mechanics in a game it add a dimension for optimization.
Like a different universe where laws of physics have shortcuts because it's a game and it's supposed to be easier than in real life.

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i really like this, i think it's very funny.

but what i love most is the music, & the way the game works so well w/ the music. very symbiotic, if you will, just really smashingly excellently done.

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Has anybody figured out what precisely makes the lawnmower game do better or worse? Elie seems to have figured something out, but hasn't shared it... and I know that I can have 2 equally upgraded mower games and one is doing much better than the other. I also know that clicking into that game to upgrade it is risky because I frequently lose a lot of DPS and have to move the mouse around randomly until I get at least some of it back. But is it the mouse position? It seems to be at least partially position, but I don't think that's all. Is it moving it around, or failing to? I can't figure it out.

Thanks!

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