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A quiet, gentle new genre is creeping toward your computer and all you have to do is click. And click. And click. And there is the surmise of the entire incremental genre, or clicker. Many see them as time wasters, with little stimulation to keep entertaining, but others find the steady accumulation of numbers addictive.

What is an Incremental Game?

The objective of most incremental games is to advance through the given scenario, be that an RPG setting 4 Fantastic Video Games Based On Dungeons And Dragons 4 Fantastic Video Games Based On Dungeons And Dragons If I mentioned tabletop RPGs to you, what is the first one that pops into your head? If I had to guess, I would assume you are thinking of Dungeons and Dragons. Sure, some people... Read More , an oil company, or a bakery, by building resources related to your clicks. The games are extremely open ended, often offering a reset feature to gain additional knowledge, investors, or resources based on accumulative experience for the next replay. After a while some incremental games require little input, essentially rending their gameplay idle. This has given incremental games a sub-genre using the moniker, idle game.

Incremental games are popular for a number of reasons, but the central tenet of their popularity stems from their ease of access, their ability to fit around a normal life, their use of common gaming themes and aesthetics, and the ridiculously wide-range of incremental gaming scenarios. They have mass appeal Casual Games with Surprisingly Good Stories Casual Games with Surprisingly Good Stories Say what you will about casual games, but it would be tough to argue that they're noted for story. Read More without entirely alienating ‘core’ gamers Video Games That Converted Me From Casual Gamer To Hardcore Addict [MUO Gaming] Video Games That Converted Me From Casual Gamer To Hardcore Addict [MUO Gaming] Throughout the life of a gamer, there are certain games that make us cross over from the realm of casual gaming to being a hardcore gamer. If you look back at your gaming life, you... Read More , it can scratch a tycoon-game itch on the move, and it has numbers that increase: a serious trigger for any gamer.

Clicker Heroes

“Ever wondered what one quadrillion damage per second Learn The Lingo: Common Gaming Terms You Should Know Learn The Lingo: Common Gaming Terms You Should Know All hobbies have their own terminology; sets of words and phrases that are only known to those actively involved. Gaming is no exception. What follows are 20 of the most common terms associated with gaming,... Read More feels like?” asks the Clicker Heroes Steam entry. I hadn’t, but I’m glad I have some way to finding out. Similarly, reviewer internisus believes Clicker Heroes to be “a horrifying examination of human psychological weakness.” I can also agree with this.

Clicker_Heroes_2015-09-07_22-18-36

You begin with a minimal load out, with only one hero, delivering tiny amounts of damage. Each time you click a monster, you deliver damage, each monster that dies delivers gold. As you accumulate gold, you can level up a stable of Heroes, unlocking powerful, prolonged attacks. I played for 7 hours and racked up 3,679BN DPS, with 91,976 Click Damage, 1,478T gold, dispatching 18,289 monsters in the process. Sounds impressive, right? Any hardened Clicker Heroes player will definitely tell you I’m at the beginning of my journey.

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For a game based upon one action, clicking, there is surprisingly longevity to the play, and whole world of nuanced load outs for the highest possible DPS and Click Damage, as well as an end-game involving World Ascensions, sacrifice, dark rituals, and relics. The Clicker Heroes subreddit is a must view for anyone serious about the game, beginners and experts alike.

Sandcastle Builder

Yes, an incremental game dedicated to building sandcastles. All the fun of sandcastle construction, none of the sand in your food. Truly win, win. Sandcastle Builder burns a little slower than action-packed Clicker Heroes, but keeps your interest with a number if interesting tools for spreading sand, such as the Trebuchet, and the steady accumulation of buckets is satisfying for the sandcastle in your mind.

Sandcastle Builder#

It is a real slow burner, and certainly not for those needing masses of visual stimulation, but Sandcastle Builder also has an end-game featuring dragons, ladders, glass, and whole host of other random objects.

I should add that this is XKCD’s Everything You Need To Start Making Webcomics For Free Everything You Need To Start Making Webcomics For Free Given enough time and determination, anyone can make webcomics for free – and that includes you. Read More attempt at an incremental, so…yeah, you’re in for a trolly-time. You might want to read this detailed guide explaining just how high the sandcastles can be.

Time Clickers

Time Clickers is a nice variant on the incremental style, where your clicks are replaced with the crosshairs of a laser pistol 9 of the Weirdest Weapons in Video Games 9 of the Weirdest Weapons in Video Games Video games are weird. Allow me to clarify: Video games seem to have an even greater capacity for weirdness than any other kind of media. Read More and the enemies are cubes of assorted colors. You have the same building of DPS and Click Damage as with other games, and you can level five weapons to form your attack ‘team,’ mercilessly destroying block after block, boss after boss.

Time_Clickers_2015-09-09_13-18-24

Levelling up your DPS weapons is relatively easy, but the bosses, every five levels, are also solid. Time Clickers also features a rather punchy dubstep wubby-type soundtrack to accompany your incremental shooting, adding to the pacey feel of the game.

Cookie Clicker

Cookie Clicker 6 Bizarre Browser Games You Can Play Now 6 Bizarre Browser Games You Can Play Now Buckle up, because it's about to get weird. Each of the following browser games is a hot slice of crazy from the far corners of the Internet that you have to see. Read More is one of the oldest and best known incremental games. You’re building a cookie manufacturing empire, from the hordes of cookie baking Grandma’s, to the grow-your-own cookie farms complete with cookie seeds.

Cookie Clicker

It is another steady build-up of resources toward the final production resource, the Prism, which boosts your production by ‘converting light itself into cookies.’

CLICKPOCALYPSE 2

Clickpocalypse 2 is a long form RPG incremental with a procedurally generated dungeon How Procedural Generation Took Over The Gaming Industry How Procedural Generation Took Over The Gaming Industry Read More for you to watch the heroes put sword to beast. Your four heroes gather loot as they go, gaining XP and new skills along the way. The game also keeps track of your total kills, allowing you to spend them on incremental perks such as higher gold drops, more scrolls drops, more rare items drops, and so on.

This is another incremental game with a busy subreddit. Even with only 306-odd readers, there is still a new post almost every day, so it can be worth trawling through for tips and questions during your playthrough.

Progress Quest

This is another older game with an excellent RPG element These RPGs Are So Good You Won't Believe They're Really Free These RPGs Are So Good You Won't Believe They're Really Free There are plenty of bad RPGs that sully the genre's reputation, but if you know where to look, you'll find that there are free titles that deserve to sit alongside the paid games. Read More . Your goal is to build a ninety-pound teenage into a fearsome warrior. My class was Fighter/Organist, identifying as with the ancient tribe of the Enchanted Motorcycle.

Progress Quest is more of an idle game: past the first few clicks, the game largely plays out without your input. You can play in your browser, or download the original client, and watch the story unfold.

AdVenture Capitalist

AdVenture Capitalist is financial management incremental game, with a focus on building a successful business empire. You click through Lemonade Stands, Pizza Deliveries, all the way to Banks. Time and profit boosts are delivered at different levels, pushing further into the game. Similarly, you can hire managers to keep your empire ticking over whilst you are away, as well as additional multipliers you can purchase with your profits.

AdVenture_Capitalist!_2015-09-15_12-43-03

By the time you’ve unlocked each manager, the game becomes idle, your only required input deciding which upgrade to splurge your outrageous bank balance on. I’ve only played this on Steam for half an hour, but have played the Android version for far too long. Both offer the same steady build, the same ridiculously large numbers, and the same end game of retirement. AdVenture Capitalist keeps you coming back, mindlessly, for more.

The below image is the Android version, but I wanted to show you the quintillions.

AdVenture Cap

Autoclickers

If you’re really, really serious about nailing a high score/conquering the world/building an empire, you might want to investigate autoclicker software Gamer Trick: The Automatic Mouse Clicker For Games Gamer Trick: The Automatic Mouse Clicker For Games Read More . Most autoclickers allow you to assign left, middle, and right mouse buttons at individual intervals, set pauses between clicks, and set a stop time for a specific amount of clicks.

However, some incremental games will limit the number of ‘manual’ clicks per second (CPS) to negate the effects of an autoclicker. For instance, Cookie Clicker limits manual clicking to around 250CPS, even if your autoclicker and computer are able to handle more.

Auto Clicker

Has multiple options, interval tracking, single or double clicking, and individual mouse buttons.

Auto_Clicker_3.0.1_by_Shocker_2015-09-10_12-40-06

Orphamiel Autoclicker

This is a slightly more advanced autoclicker with dynamic cursor movement i.e. you set a location, rather than drag it around the screen, clicking everything as you go, click interval programming for hours, minutes, seconds, and milliseconds, and a repetition limit.

OP_Auto_Clicker_2.0_2015-09-10_12-48-01

These two autoclickers are free, but there are other options out there. This post in the Incremental_games subreddit has a few more options for you to try, and might save you from a broken mouse, or carpal tunnel.

Incremental Roundup

Incremental games are seemingly here to stay. Their absolute minimal commitment level makes them appealing to the casual gamer, whilst others enjoying the chase of monumental scores, accompanied by equally mesmerizing and occasionally hard-to-pronounce numbers.

There are also a massive range of incremental games available for Android, and iOS, and you can find many of those games on this massive list. You’re sure to find something to destroy your mouse with!

Are you an incremental addict? Or are these games just a waste of time? Have you made an incremental? Let us know below!

  1. Carter
    September 9, 2016 at 3:55 am

    Incremental games are the best things that ever happened to the gaming world!

  2. ClickMaster
    April 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    A new generation of an incremental clicking game, intertwined with social and community elements, beyond just the typical unlimited clicking has been published .

    I tried to play War Clicks and it makes me feel to invite all my friends to help my country beat all country's neighbors.

  3. Alex
    December 23, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    I think that you did a realy good job a setting this up.Just I don't get what the "First" one is called.

    But besides that good job man

    • Gavin Phillips
      March 10, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks, Alex, and sorry for the slow reply. The first one is Clicker Heroes, available on Steam, Android, iOS, but at the moment, the devs aren't looking to port to Linux. Thanks again!

  4. frankmcfuzz
    September 30, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Having played a couple of these, I must say, I really don't think you should advertise these. They're not fun, and they're not hard, and provide no challenge. But they give your brain instant, constant dopamine for clicking enough to upgrade that one, final thing, but you, as a person, are actually not enjoying it. Getting a reward for doing nothing to earn it goes against the very core of game design.

    The free games you should be advertising (and believe me, a "Top *" article is advertising) are things like Haven and Hearth's online survival game, Agario's online cell growth game, Dwarf Fortress's infinitely deep city building game, Cataclysm Dark Days Ahead's zombie roguelike, Guild Wars 2's free MMORPG, SolForge or Hearthstone's Collectible Card playing, or any of the Mobas. Not like these soulless 'idle games'. A couple of my suggestions are even for very casual audiences.

    Regards, a Tap Titans recovering addict.

    • Gavin Phillips
      March 10, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      Hey Frank, thanks for reading and sorry for the slow reply. I think our readers enjoy understanding the entire scope of gaming available to them, as stupendously addictive as some of these titles may be.

      However, the list of free games you chose is also excellent, but I have found myself at times far more addicted to an MMO than I've ever been to a clicker. I lost two jobs playing EQ2, when it was still extremely popular. Similarly, I would argue Hearthstone's card-collection and pack opening dynamics are equally addicting, triggering the same instant reward sequence you mentioned (I was also a sucker for FIFA Ultimate Team packs a few years back, too).

      I have an addictive personality, I know this, so I mediate myself. I know not everyone has that power, and many wish they did, but I don't think our readers should be deprived of the knowledge of idle/clicker games because of you and I.

      Once again, thank you for reading and commenting, and I am genuinely sorry for the time it has taken me to reply.

    • Carter
      September 9, 2016 at 3:58 am

      while some don't like incremental games, others like me absolutely love them. the other video games you might play are just as much of a waste of time as these ones. How much of a waste it is depends on the person so not all people agree on that point

  5. Briallyn Smith
    September 29, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Oh no. I was literally just about to start writing a paper, and now you've reminded me about cookie clicker after two years of successfully forgetting its existence. This isn't going to end well.

    • Gavin Phillips
      March 10, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Hey Briallyn - sorry about that. I hope you got your paper completed before you unlocked the Prism?

  6. Gavin Phillips
    September 29, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks for that, Howard. Giving it a go right now!

  7. Howard Blair
    September 29, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    I tried A Dark Room, which starts out as a "clicker" (gather wood, keep the fire burning, etc.), then adds a "text-based-map explorer" element. All text (HTML)...interesting!

    • Gavin Phillips
      March 10, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Hey Howard, just wanted to get back to after all of these months. A Dark Room is brilliant! One of the best takes on the genre I've seen - thanks for sharing!

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