Orteil's quirky webtoy Cookie Clicker has recently gotten an upgrade, going from a simple but cute diversion to a... well, still simple and cute diversion, but with a shinier interface and some upgrades and achievements. Or is it?!... well, yes, mostly, but with a few twists that make playing now less of a grind and more engrossing. You still begin with a single cookie you click on to generate more, and as your cookies build up, you can spend them on things to make more cookies for you, or on upgrades to produce those cookies even faster. This time around, you can even sell facilities back.
If you played the original Cookie Clicker featured in a recent Link Dump Friday, the most immediate difference is going to be both the significant visual and user interface overhaul, as well as the fact that the game now runs smoothly in its own tab. To be honest, it looks great and now feels like a much more fully fleshed project that compels you to spend time with it in a way that the bare-bones original just didn't. It's weird, silly, and the vague yet freaky storyline that emerges through the sparse text as your cookies pile up and your success grows is a clever touch. On the other hand, it's still not quite as involving on a gameplay level compared to similar, yet more elaborate games like A Dark Room or Candy Box!, which does sort of relegate it to something you glance at from time to time rather than something you have a lot to do with as a player. The text, unfortunately, rarely has any actual impact on the game itself, making it pointless beyond a laugh... even if the game informs you that your cookie factory workers go on strike over wages, for instance, your factories still generate cookies in exactly the same way.
That isn't, incidentally, a strike against it, just an acknowledgement that Cookie Clicker isn't the same beast as its inspiration, and shouldn't be expected to be. It has a few surprises in store, an a ton of personality that, combined with a sly sense of humour and a unique style, make it a definite charmer. It progresses much faster than it did before, and is well worth keeping a tab open for if you're a fan of surreal, dark humour, and have always suspected your cookies would bring all the people to the yard.
Thanks to Sara and Alex for sending this one in!