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Clicker and idle games I've tried

For the past while I have been enjoying chill games in the clicker and idle genres. Sure, they're kind of pointless, but there is a primal satisfaction in watching Number Go Up. They're nice to throw on in the background while you're watching something, and since I have been binging Intelexual Media's backlog recently, I've been getting a lot of playtime in!

Here are the ones I've tried so far and my thoughts on whether they are worth investing your time in, too.

(the) Gnorp Apologue

This is the best one. I would even recommend it to people who don't normally play clickers/idlers, because it's that fun. There are little creatures called Gnorps and they have GOT to hit this rock. Why? Don’t worry about it and get to smacking!!!

The Gnorps are so funny-looking, and the tooltip descriptions often made me laugh. It's also mesmerizing to watch. I find myself staring, entranced, at the explosions of rainbow blobs coming forth from the rock after my kajillion rockets do a beautiful, coordinated figure-8 in the air. Great stuff and worth picking up at full price.

Melvor Idle

It's literally Runescape but as an idle game. Let that summary determine whether you think you will enjoy this. It brought me nostalgic glee to catch and burn mountains of shrimp like the good old days. I love that purchasing the Steam edition of the game gets you access to the browser and mobile versions as well, and you can sync your progress between platforms. A lesser developer might have made you buy them separately, so I appreciate it.

My largest criticism of Melvor is that I don't care for the art style. (I realize that's a subjective complaint, and you may like it more than I do.) The monsters are drawn to look like emoji, and everything is flat and simplified in a way that, to me, lacks personality. Considering it's based on Runescape, I wish there had been more inspiration from the aesthetics of the original. Also, the game does a poor job of explaining Township mechanics. TBH I mostly ignore that part and let my villagers fend for themselves. Sorry, guys. 🤷‍♀️


Fishies! All you do in this one is buy fish, wait for them to grow up, and then sell them to buy........more fish. Or you can keep and name the fish and they'll generate a bit of money each day. The fish age in real time, but you can speed up their growth by clicking to feed them. That's all there is to it. It's very simple, but the fish are cute, and there is a gacha-like aspect to it as well where you might sometimes "pull" rare colours of fish. If you like collecting things, you could try collecting every type of fish and all the rare colour variants.

Because the gameplay is so minimal, this isn't a game that I typically have open for long periods of time. But sometimes it's nice to have a little game that you briefly check in on each day. I can open it up, sell or keep the grown-up fish, buy some new packs, feed them for a while, and then take off. Recommended for low-pressure progress and cute fishies.

Realm Grinder

I'm glad this one was F2P, because I would have regretted buying it. It was fun at first to watch my kingdoms generate insanely high numbers of revenue, but unfortunately it got boring quick. One of the major reasons why is that your realm is a static image, and the map only changes when you build your first type of any building. Once you've built them all (which takes 2 seconds after your first abdication) you're staring at the same picture for the entire game. You're making progress, but it doesn't feel like anything is happening.

Also, I hated that allying yourself with the evil factions introduces slavery into the game. Yes, I know, it's the EVIL route, I get it, I'm not stupid. But everything else about the evil factions is cartoonish and fantastic: you're building witch conclaves and hell portals, gallivanting around with demons and the undead. That's all fun in a "mwahaha!" kind of way. Then the game is like, hey, also? There's slavery, the Awful Thing from Real Life that still has reverberating, traumatic effects on the African diaspora today! And it's impossible for me to feel excited or engaged by that. Witchmaxxing is fun, but slavemaxxing...makes me feel itchy, even if it's just a game. And if you don't ally yourself with all of the factions to collect their unique powers, you're seriously hindering your own progress. Between that and the lack of visual engagement, I dropped this one.

Capybara Spa

This is a hardcore game for real gamers. There are a bunch of capybaras and you put them in little bathtubs and feed them snacks and put flowers on their heads. TBH I think only girls are good enough at games to get the hang of this one; it might be too much for males to fully grasp.

All jokes aside, this game is so stinking cute. The graphics are colourful and the capybaras have these big, shiny anime eyes that make you go "D'AWW." I don't think you can 100% idle this one since AFAIK there's no way to automate putting the capybaras in the bath, but you can recruit little insect helpers to assist with the snacks and whatnot. And get this: you can put BABY CAPYBARAS next to the BIG CAPYBARAS and they're all happy in the bathtub together. How can I not smile at that?

Bunny Park

By the same developer as Capybara Spa and also adorable, though with a few flaws. Clear your park of debris, grow vegetables, and place decorations to attract bunnies! Well-fed buns will dig up coins that you can spend to improve and expand your park. You can also pat the bunnies, but be careful not to pat them while they're napping, or else they'll make a 🫤 face at you and you'll feel sooooo bad about it.

As cute as it is, there are a few things that could be improved about Bunny Park:

I do like the game, but because of these quirks, I would recommend either grabbing Bunny Park on sale or going for Capybara Spa from the same developer.

Idle Space Force

Another game that I liked at first before I ran into a major flaw for me personally. It's a Space Invaders-like game where your goal is to fly to different planets, defeat enemies to collect their materials, use those materials to upgrade your fuel tank, fly to even farther planets...and so on. A simple but effective gameplay loop. The problem is, some of the materials can only be collected while you are actively using the app and not just by running it in the background. This is a problem for me, as with a mobile idler, I want to be able to switch between apps and check in on it every few minutes to see how my progress is going. I can only spend so much time tapping to shoot bullets before I get bored and want to go back to reading my articles or what have you. I would sooner recommend Melvor Idle as a mobile idler option because you can make actual progress in the game while the app is running in the background.

Ironically, I have yet to try Cookie Clicker, which I know is THE most popular clicker/idler/incremental game out there. I was worried that I might run into the same problem I had with Realm Grinder where I get bored staring at a static image of a cookie. But since it's so popular and beloved, maybe I'll give it a shot anyway.

I hope you enjoyed these mini-reviews and perhaps came away with some chill games to try out. If you have any idler/clickers that you love and I haven't mentioned, feel free to shoot me an email and I'll look them up!

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