Popularized 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.
If 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?