Cookie Clicker is on Steam (opens in new tab). I won't bore you with my own personal Cookie Clicker anecdote, because thousands of players have tales of being sucked into the cookie acquisition vortex. Basically, Cookie Clicker launched as a browser game in 2013 and is credited, along with Candy Box, for popularizing the idle/clicker genre. It's a fiendishly habit-forming game about collecting cookies via mouse clicks, but until now it's been hard to figure out what the public's attitude towards it really is, because browser games don't have Steam reviews.
But that's changed now, and a mere day after its launch, Cookie Clicker has an 'Overwhelmingly Positive' rating on Steam, putting it in the same vaunted category as Half-Life 2 and Portal 2.
Are people serious about loving Cookie Clicker, though? For years it's been hard to tell. Cookie Clicker is addictive but its also extremely frivolous and annoying. It's one of those games that really blurs the line between 'satisfying videogame experience' and 'lizard-brain feeder'. In 2013 people thought it was a joke; now Cookie Clicker is one of hordes of clicker games on Steam.
Some reviewers are offering sincere appraisals:
Another reviewer points out (opens in new tab) that this is a good game if you're after something that can be played with one hand. Elsewhere, Fat Mac reckons "It is nice and satisfying to see the numbers build up with the clicks per second by clicking and idling," which is somewhat of an understatement. It's transcendental to see the numbers build up.
So there's quite a bit of sincere appreciation for Cookie Clicker, which is nice. One reviewer admits they "love selling grandmas," alluding to the presence of cookie-baking grandmas who can expedite the cookie acquisition process. Quite frequent are elitist denunciation of autoclicker software.
But things do get worrying. Some reviews read like the howls of an imprisoned mind, enslaved by the diabolical, irrational desire for more, and more, and more baked goods.
It's not all madness, however. Cookie Clicker has measurably improved some players' lives. "This game has literally changed my entire life in a hilarious domino effect involving its old forums," user camwoodstock writes (opens in new tab). "I simply would NOT be the same person I am today if not for this game. I wouldn't know the people I do if not for this game. I wouldn't know who I am if not for this game. It helps it is a great game that, even as that old forum has fallen, I have continued to play it, always in the background, like a Zen Garden I have tended to and cared for."
That sounds really positive, you have to admit.
Why not abandon the mundane tyranny of modern life, labour, food that's "just ok", Ubisoft games, and surrender yourself to the inscrutable power of grandma capitalism? I highly recommend you don't, but if you want to stare into the doughy, chocolate chip void, Cookie Clicker is on Steam.