The Incremental thread of Idle Clickers

Every few months, I hunt down a new incremental game and spend some time with it until I either beat it (if it’s possible) or get tired of it. There’s no thread on the forum for these games and it would be nice to have some tribal knowledge for next time I want to click on something for a few minutes, then automate the clicking. Here are a few of my favorite clickers:

Universal Paperclips - browser-based game which uses local storage. Completely free, with no IAPs, no ads. It has an endgame (though you can prestige at the end if you want to.) In this game, you make paperclips… really a lot of paperclips.

Spaceplan - The “prototype” game is a browser-based game. Totally playable, free with no IAPs or ads. There’s a app/Steam version that costs a couple bucks and adds some new features (still with no IAPs or ads) and doubles the length. It famously has an ending. This is probably my favorite clicker ever. Funny game about conquering the solar system with potatoes.

Kittens Game - Link is to the (free/no ads) browser version of the game, but there’s an app version as well. The mobile version costs a couple of bucks, but it’s a one time purchase and has no ads or IAPs. It’s about a village with kittens. Lots of cat puns. Multiple prestige levels. Months of content.

Trimps - A free/no ad/no IAP browser game that is broadly similar to Kittens Game except that it has a quest/combat mechanic that is central to the game and is about trimps instead of kittens. Multiple prestige levels. Months of content. The offline progress system in this game is pretty unique. There is no mobile app version available.

Antimatter Dimensions - Free browser game. There’s a mobile version as well. The mobile game has both ads and IAPs, but I just paid I think $2 to get the ad bonus permanently and then totally ignored both ads and IAPs. (The game never puts ads in front of your face; you have to seek them out.) This is a pretty clever game–about as stripped down as a clicker can get; it’s about making numbers bigger–but the way that the gameplay changes in each prestige level, the achievements, challenges and options, keep it consistently interesting. It’s waiting for a major update that will add an endgame, but what’s there will give you 30-60 days of entertainment. There are a bunch of mods available for the browser version that add content as well.

Armory & Machine - This was the first clicker I played all the way through. (It has an endgame.) It’s free, but has ads. There’s a sequel in development, with an early access version available.

Clicker games I’ve tried and hated: Adventure Capitalist, Swarm Simulator

Back in 2017 I had fun completing Vostok Inc., a game that brands itself as “The World’s First Twin-Stick Action Arcade Clicker,” on the Nintendo Switch. I think it was @LMN8R that first talked about the game here on Qt3, which got me interested.

There’s also demo available on the Nintendo store page.

The store blurb:

Do you love money? You’re the newly appointed CEO of Vostok Inc. As a greedy, space-capitalist your ultimate goal is to make as much as you can.

Raise some start-up capital by twin-stick blasting enemies, asteroids and anything else that gets in your way; then embrace your new-found quest for moolah as you colonise, explore and exploit over 40 planets across 6 unique solar systems. Harvest planetary resources and rescue executives to multiply your profit margin, all while you stay blissfully entertained with a whole host of captivating retro mini games that will keep you coming back for more.

Battle your way through each new solar system, take down evil bosses, enjoy a thumping customisable synth soundtrack, then kick back, relax and let the moolah roll in, to make you filthy, stinking, rich!

My only complaint about the game is that some of the money accumulation upgrades at endgame don’t make any sense, and there only a couple things worth upgrading by that point which will significantly impact your income (compared to the dozenish available), but for the most part the game was compelling enough for me to spend the 75ish hours (per my profile) it took to finish everything.

How about Evolve or Incremancer.

Those look awesome. Added to my ever-increasing list of incrementals to check out when the urge takes me.

Realm Grinder - A Classic and a pretty deep one at that. Essentially the ascension game changes over time. Supports builds for active and idle play, and you’ll eventually want to explore both as there are unlocks and such tied to both.

Clicker Heroes

The Perfect Tower The best Tower Defense Idle game I’ve ever played. Fairly deep. Sequel in the works.

Swarm Sim - there’s a version out there with graphics (so they could release on phones and such) but I prefer the original. Oh, I see you mentioned you hated it. It’s got some quirks (energy was ultimately too much of a PITA).

Clickpockalypse 2 - idle party-based rpg game (very light mechanics, though)

NGU Idle - this might be the deepest idle game out there. I’ve lost track of how much stuff there is in it. There are in app purchases for a slow-gain in-game currency.

Anti Idle! The dev resurfaced recently and rekindled hope of there being an updated version (for steam or download). I won’t hold my breath, but you never know.

I think Wizard and Minion Idle might be a little more complicated than NGU. It starts off feeling like a clone of NGU, then fairly quickly diverges into it’s own game. WAMI features a lot of different systems and automation, so decisions are based on getting many different systems to synergize for a goal (and maybe that goal is one of your systems is weak, and needs to be buffed!) One of the things I like is that while it has an adventure system like NGU, it’s harder to completely farm out items at any one level, AND you gain bonuses for items you aren’t currently equipping. Rumor is they are also adding in multiplayer, but unsure how soon it’ll be added. The game is still under heavy development, but probably has at least a year of continuous play content.

Mine Defense Is an older incremental that features a ton of unfolding gameplay and interesting systems. There are often “tricks” in this game that let you cut the corner on optimizing moving forward by leveraging a few systems. It really does look like a lame clicker to start, but unfolds rather quickly into something else entirely.

Sandcastle Builder What a weird game. If you like XKCD at all, this is worth at least checking out. If nothing else, it’s very different from a lot of other incrementals listed.

Cookie Clicker Possibly the first “clicker” game ever, or at least the first popular clicker that caught people’s attention. Worth checking out just to see where the genre started, and it’s kinda weird fun in and of itself. It is however a “clicker” instead of an idle incremental, so feel free to grab a mouse macro or autoclicker.

Shark Game Similar to kittens game [builder]. Shorter, worth playing through once.

There’s just nothing to it and it shoves ads up in your face all the time. Prestige just starts you out faster next time, and the energy mechanic is rate-capped to create an artificial time limit. It’s fun until your first rocket, then is just repetitive. I’ve never played the browser version, so that may be better.

I thought incremancer was a cool idea, but needs a ton of development before it’s interesting for more than a day or two. About 3 days in, I’d gotten to level 130+, and the gameplay was basically the same as at level 50, and I’d exhausted buying all possible buildings.

Yep. I liked my time with it but it needs more. I played to maybe 250 or so and liked the automation that showed up.

This is the dumbest game ever made. I just click this button to make paperclips? Click click click. Lame. Oh maybe I’ll mess with the price. Meh.

Wait, you can unlock auto clippers? Hmm, ok. Wait, what’s this CPU and memory thing? I’ll mess with that a bit… hey wait, is this thing fully automated now? Oh, I see, when I hit production quotas I unlock more…

(3 hours later)

Ok, I’m back from my meeting. How is production going guys? Damn, we are low on materials! Let’s just watch the counter for a while, there is an unlock for buying… Oh wait, I’ll just order a ton of wire, and… let it run overnight?

Yeah. So yeah. What the hell just happened? Did I just discover a new genre?

Arcanum! Go be a mage or something. Free, no IAPs, no ads. Sees regular updates with seasonal content!

Welcome to the party :) I spent awhile feeling guilty for wasting my time on these then just accepted that I enjoy them, appreciate the active/offline gameplay tempo, and get mesmerized by watching numbers go up. Universal Paperclips is a great one to start with, and not too long.

Started playing this on a whim about three weeks ago and haven’t shut it off since. It captures any OCD tendencies one may have. I find it equal parts fascinating and deeply stupid.

Do I bought, and completed, Spaceplan last night thanks to this thread putting the full version on my radar. So good!

@Matt_W, you sonofabitch. Thanks for introducing me to this genre. Spaceplan is confusing at first but I love the orbit graphic in the middle. Fun!

Thanks for the Kittens Game recommendation - it’s kind of clicker meets Civ meets crafter. I’m a bit leery of a .ru URL, so I’m not going to install the app, but I like the dynamic.

My soul has been stolen by NGU Idle. I made a spreadsheet to figure out optimal Augment spending. I used Wolfram to plot the energy/magic tradeoff in Wandoos. It’s rapidly approaching my most hours played of any game I’ve got on Steam (mostly because I just leave it running), enough that I’ve made my hours played private out of shame. Do I Rebirth now or try to get some more ITPOD levels?

You reach a point where you can easily max everything out, which is when the next difficulty starts and you get to worry about all of that again. I’m just about at the end of Evil.

This fuckin’ game man.

For real. Just unlocked Yggsdrasil and am trying to complete my first No Augment challenge. The game is brilliant in all sorts of very subtle ways: exactly what information you’re given, the precise way that everything is calibrated. Example: the fact that your maximum ITPOD level is the highest you’ve beaten minus 1. That minus 1 is everything. It means you can’t just grind your way up it by resting between levels.