"100,000!" "Slow. I'm at 100,000,000!"
That's the kind of conversation I hear from my friends now and no, they're not stockbrokers. They have fallen thrall to a new online gaming sensation: Cookie Clicker.
All you need to do is click
The whole premise of the game is simple. You have a big cookie. The more you click on it, the more cookies you have. But the point of the game is not sitting in front of your browser and clicking. Instead, it's a numbers game. With your starting cookies, you can purchase other cookie producing elements, which will fund your next acquisition. Add in achievements and upgrades and you have the timesinks of all timesinks...that doesn't cost you a ringgit.
Can't. Stop. Clicking.
[Picture source: Photobucket]
Once you've clicked a fair amount of cookies, you get enough cookie currency to hire a few grandmas to bake them for you. Why give yourself carpal tunnel when you can outsource cookie production to little old ladies, right? Be warned - grandmothers undergo a rather frightening evolution once you've purchased the requisite upgrades and have attained all the grandma 'types'. I won't spoil it for you except tell you the end result will include the words "grandmother" and "apocalypse".
After grandmothers, you can further oppress the working class by buying up farms, factories and mines. Then the game really goes out of whack when it allows you to bring in cookie shipments from other planets, concoct batches in an alchemy lab (who needs gold when you can have cookies!) and then progress to cookie-spawning portals, use time machines to steal cookies past and future, and then the ultimate achievement: condense antimatter itself to spawn even more cookies.
These cookies won't burn
You don't actually have to babysit your cookie-producing mechanisms. Being a browser-based game, Cookie Clicker saves your progress and you can keep running it in a tab, generating cookies while you get around to doing actual, err, work.
At this time my cookie empire has reached 2,949,452,645,451 cookies with my empire generating 818, 822, 634 cookies per second. In a few minutes I will be able to reach 9 billion cookies...so I can pay for more kittens to man my cookie labs.
For more baking goodness, visit the informative KnowYourMeme entry which has links to Reddit awesomeness and news that a Cookie Clicker grandma figure is in the works! With Orteil's plans to add new characters and a dungeon mode, expect Cookie Clicker to still be fresh and addictive, like a good cookie should be.