Broken Mouse Convention: the latest thread on incremental games (e.g. Cookie Clicker, etc.)

I’m currently playing Idle Formulas

It’s alright, it has a alright setting but is utterly bare-bones and is only half as engaging as I hoped it to be. My initial reaction was in fact pretty similar:


However, I’m now roughly ~10 days into it and am close-ish to finishing it. It has a tongue-in-cheek writing style and the premise is similarly pretty pure to swarmsim.

Without wishing to rain on your parade, there’s an incremental game thread here:


Also on focused on Antimatter Dimensions:

Another case of me going blind.

Shall I remove this and repost there?

I wouldn’t move this, honestly. That thread was started as a generic idle games thread, but after it was renamed to “Incremental Epic Hero 2”, it’s unreasonable to expect anyone looking for generic idle game discussion to look there. (And it’s fair enough, that game has 2x more discussion about IEH2 than about all other games combined.)

It seems better to have a clean generic idle game thread than try to reclaim a thread that’s doomed to be undiscoverable.

Another incremental game with a high engagement thread:

Fair assessment. I’ll be recommending a bunch of games I’ve played in the past in here and see if it picks up. Thanks for the input!

I’m fascinated by these games, but as soon as I hit some sort of hitch or stall, I feel like I “come to my senses” and just quit out and never play again. Sometimes even with a weird feeling of disgust, like I’d let myself get tricked.

The last one I spent any meaningful time attempting was Melvor Idle:

And when I quit, I’m pretty sure there was an absolute ton of stuff in there I’d never even seen. I wonder if this is my problem:


I wasn’t aware these games could be finished! This is clearly a genre I don’t fully understand or appreciate!

Yes, there are essentially three endings: story endings, you’ve-unlocked-the-last-type-of-incrementer endings, and sorry-the-game’s-not-done-yet endings.

Here’s one, a browser incremental game you’ll finish the same afternoon you start it.

Many of these have an actual endgame and endings. I have maxed out Melvor at some point (right around the corner when it became a full featured version) and still have a fully unlocked Melvor account for being part of the community before going 1.0.

Some games end up of just having nothing left to do. On Idle Formulas it has multiple endings that you can uncover and it seems to have some senseless post game on top of it. Maybe that part will be fleshed out eventually.

I looked at Lemonade Tycoon back in the day. I think the inspiration may be less the Tycoon-genre and more the 1970s MECC edutainment title, Lemonade Stand. (I also might be misremembering or engaging in wishful thinking because Lemonade Stand was as seminal for my gaming development as Oregon Trail but doesn’t get the same amount of love.)

Have you tried Universal Paperclips? It has a finish state, isn’t obscure in its mechanics, and is utterly addictive. I play and finish it every couple of years, it only takes a few hours of playing.

Space Plan is another one which has a definite endpoint, also recommended.

NGU Idle is still my favorite in the genre. Took me somewhere between 1 and 2 years to fully beat the game. I’d argue the final difficulty level (sadistic) is very poorly balanced and I lost a lot of steam getting through it. You could probably beat the game in closer to a year.

I’ve moved on to Melvor Idle - mostly for the Runescape nostalgia - which is a solid game in its own right.

NGU is great. In a similar vein, inspired by NGU is WAMI:

Then by the same developer (and a bit simpler):

I’m also playing one of the oldies but goodies that is somehow quite satisfying. This game is still being (somewhat) actively developed, even though it’s 8+ years old.

If you’re looking for a story and a game you can finish in a relatively short amount of time (space plan and universal paper clips are excellent) you can also check out:

There’s also this experiment which has been going on for a few years, and I think the developer is in some sort of analysis-paralysis where he wants to change one thing, and winds up changing ALL the systems in his game - this results in players hitting the end of the content pretty quickly, but it’s a great game until then:

I saw that Incremental Epic Hero 2 has started back up on at least some development after a long break, but I just don’t have the heart to dig back into that until the game has gotten a TON of updates - too many systems to remember to load that back up into my working memory unless I’m going to play it for a while.

Since there’s some discussion of history here, I feel like a couple other critical games in the history of Incremental Games are

Progress Quest

And Cow Clicker (which I think preceded Cookie Clicker, and was made as satire of Facebook games and then became incredibly profitable until the creator shut it down).

Dark Room is an excellent recommendation, it always kinda sticks with you, just because of how it continues and drives the narrative.

Is Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms any good?

I’ve finished Idle Formulas yesterday and it’s quite ok. The multiple endings and the final push on finishing the game was pretty nice, there is enough guidance to finish the game on your own. Took me 12d to complete.
Right when I finished, the developer announced that they’re working on a 2.0 version - so the save-game goes into the vault and then we shall see eventually.

The only annoying bit was that there’s a research button that needs to be manually clicked, which became pure Tedium™ eventually. There is some post game but it’s pointless.
There’s also a few things that could surely improved - the navigation is slightly disorienting and I wished for a calculator / formula testing. Reaching the end-game was also a bit annoying on a touchpad, but works much better with a dedicated mouse and keyboard in hand.

I beat NGU Idle in just over a year, but I was using an injector because I got tired of doing the same fiddly tasks every day. And yes, the last difficulty is poorly balanced.