Cookie Clicker

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Cookie Clicker
Cookie Clicker Screenshot.png
Cookie Clicker's game interface
Designer(s) Julien Thiennot
Programmer(s) Julien Thiennot
Release date(s) 10 August 2013

Cookie Clicker is a JavaScript-based incremental game created by French programmer Julien Thiennot,[1] who is better known as "Orteil" (French pronunciation: ​[ɔʁtɛj], literally toe), and released on August 10, 2013. The aim of the game is to bake cookies at as great a rate as possible; as such, there is no true end to the gameplay. To start the game, the player bakes cookies solely by clicking on a giant cookie, gaining one cookie each time it is clicked. Cookies are used as currency to buy items like grandmas and farms that make cookies without user input and upgrades that increase the number of cookies per click and unit time.[2]


At first, the player clicks on the cookie on the left side of the screen to earn one cookie per click. With these cookies, the player can purchase objects, such as grandmas, farms, and cursors, that automatically make cookies at an improvable rate. Golden cookies, smaller cookies that appear and fade away over several seconds, appear periodically and grant bonus cookies or increase the rate of production for a short time. The player may also purchase upgrades to increase the number of cookies produced per second or per click. For the most part, cost scales with cookies-per-second; Javascript add-ons are frequently used to choose the most efficient purchase at any given time.

Because of the game's relatively simple code, cheats and add-ons are widely available and simply implemented by using browser consoles and bookmarklets.


In 2010, game designer Ian Bogost created a social network game on Facebook that utilized the worst mechanics of social games and raised them to the level of absurdity. Named Cow Clicker, the game's objective was simple; every six hours the player would click on the cow in order to receive a point. The game was made as an attempt to refute accusations that an earlier Facebook social game called FarmVille lacked the mechanics and complexity needed to be considered an actual game. Despite being created as a parody, Cow Clicker quickly became popular.[3][1]

In August 2013, Julien "Orteil" Thiennot created a different game called Cookie Clicker. Featuring similar mechanics and objectives as Cow Clicker, it also included new gameplay features.[3] The game was first posted on 4chan's /v/ board on August 8, 2013 [4] and later spread through social media sites. By 18 August 2013, Orteil had announced that his game had been receiving an average of 200,000 players per day.[citation needed]

Idle gaming[edit]

In an IGN article, Cookie Clicker is credited as one of the few games to have played a major role in the establishment of the genre of idle gaming.[5]

This genre involves games that orient the player with a trivial task, such as clicking a cookie; and as the game progresses, the player is gradually rewarded certain upgrades for completing said task. In all, these games require very little involvement from the player, and in most cases they play themselves; hence the use of the word "idle". This process of rewarding a simple action, or positive reinforcement,[3] is what causes idle games to be commonly known as “super addictive”. The design is such that, with each reward, the player feels a sense of pride as if they have accomplished something important, thus creating the urge to continue to play.

However, due to their mockingly simple mechanics, idle games are also considered by many of being relatively simple or, as stated in the IGN article, "super dumb".[5] Games such as Cookie Clicker have used this blend of simplicity and complexity to create a new genre that some may not even consider as actual games. Orteil himself described his works as "non-games".[1] However, even though idle games, or "non-games", do not contain many aspects typically associated with games, they have still had a prolific presence on the Internet. In early 2014, Orteil released an early version of Idle Game Maker, a tool allowing customized idle games to be made without coding knowledge.[6]

In late 2014, Orteil collaborated with Artix Entertainment to release an idle game for mobile devices called AdventureQuest Dragons.


Boing Boing reviewed Cookie Clicker as a "highly-addictive browser game".[7] Polygon has described the game as "intriguing", and its fan base as "obsessive".[1] states that it is ultimately a "Skinner box".[3] Destructoid emphasizes that it is "centered around the pursuit and accumulation of vast wealth", providing players with "the illusion of progress, without any substantial advancement actually being made."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Crecente, Brian (September 30, 2013). "The cult of the cookie clicker: When is a game not a game?". Polygon. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Makedonski, Brett (25 September 2013). "Cookie Clicker gets inside your psychological kitchen". Destructoid. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Schultz, Warren. "Milk and Cookies: Cow Clicker and Cookie Clicker". Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Thiennot, Julien (8 August 2013). "hello yes I just made the best vidya ever". 4chan (archived by Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Davis, Justin (10 October 2013). "Inside Cookie Clicker and the Idle Game Move". IGN. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Idle Game Maker Documentation". Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  7. ^ Boing, Boing (2 December 2013). "Distract yourself with free browser games". Boing Boing. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 

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