Notorious time-waster Cookie Clicker has finally arrived on Steam, threatening to immortalise how much of your fleeting time on Earth you’ve expended clicking virtual biscuits with Steam’s time played tracker.
Released as a free browser game back in 2013, Cookie Clicker is, uh, exactly that. Click a cookie, get a cookie. Keep clicking cookies, get more cookies, cookies that can be used to unlock bulk cookie-clicking tools like grannies, cookie factories, and time machines for abducting cooking in bulk from the future.
The game has been in active development since, ported to mobile and kickstarting an entire genre of idle games that take advantage of our primal desire to make numbers go up. Not too shabby for a game whose own creator describes it as a joke.
“Cookie Clicker was made as a joke but took off almost immediately, which perplexed us very much at first,” creator Julien Thiennot (AKA Orteil) told Waypoint earlier this week. “It wasn’t meant to be fun! We just tapped into the core psychological appeal behind a lot of games: getting something done. Life is a confusing mess where progress is often unclear and unrewarding, but video games make goals much more explicit; for idle games it’s as bare-bones as making a number go up.”
Despite not meaning to be fun, Cookie Clicker took off. There are now hundreds of “Idler” games listed on Steam, all following the same format laid down by Orteil so many years ago. Cookie Clicker joins them on Steam with cloud saves to store your baking between devices, and full Steam achievement support to flaunt your cookie-clicking prowess with.