It was September, 2021 when it started. Kotaku editor-in-chief Patricia Hernandez asked me to handle a post, a story about a clicker game on Steam getting patched to allow cheating. What a fun, novel notion, certainly worthy of a story. No problems there. That was how my problems with Cookie Clicker began. I’ve now baked 245,507,000,000,000,000 cookies.
Clearly I’m late to clickers. Hell, I’m extremely late to Cookie Clicker, which has been around since 2013. But I guess it’s about what you fall into, not when you fall into it.
The premise is idiotically simple. You click on a picture of a cookie. That is, for too long, it. However, if you’ve played any other clickers you’ll know the deal: the more you click, the more extras you can buy to enhance your clicking. And as you gather those, the price for more extras goes up accordingly, locking you into an eternal loop of unending stupidity.
When I wrote about Cookie Clicker last month, I was so young and naïve. Ha ha, I joked, look at me still playing hours later! I even set up a trap in Kotaku Slack to get Patricia to tell me off, so I could screenshot it in, for the lulz. I look back on those halcyon days with a mixture of regret and hate.
Here’s the screenshot I used back then:
Here’s one from my desktop right now:
Actually it’s up to 21.441 quadrillion in the bank now, because since I pasted that in a few bonus cookies popped up, and I had to hammer the cookie to make the most of them, and then forgot I was writing this.
I’m saving up for 34 quadrillion, so I can buy a third Chancemaker, but there’s a horribly strong chance I’ll blow the lot before I get there on rounding up numbers of other facilities in order to get more achievements (no, I’ve not become some sort of achievement-chasing loony; achievements increase cookie production, obviously).
Wait, no, just about to hit 22 quadrillion now—a 30x time machines cookie appeared.
Oh God, someone help me.
I did manage to not play for about three weeks. I had to reboot my PC (eurgh), and forgot to restart the game. I was free! And then I remembered about it and here we are. It mostly ticks away in a tiny window in the corner of my silly-wide monitor, because the smaller the window, the easier it is to spot the bonus cookies when they fade into existence. Oh my, when you get the Cookies Everywhere bonus, that’s a treat in a tiny window. Combine that with a 7x frenzy, and the cookie production is just…what is wrong with me?
It’s not like I’m playing it all day long! I only popped into my study about a dozen times over the weekend to just check on it, and then click a cookie, then—you know—I needed to do some cookie admin at that point. Oh, and I taught my son how to use a mouse so he could play too. That’s normal. Perfectly normal.
This is all Patricia’s fault.