Spaceplan Is Cookie Clicker Launched Into Orbit

Everybody stop what you’re doing. It’s important. There’s this free game called Spaceplan, you see. Spaceplan will be the end of us all, just like Cookie Clicker devastated our forefathers, and Candy Box was the bane of their ancestors in turn. Spaceplan needs to be stopped. Now, before you click ‘read more’ I need to warn y– hey! Wait! You’re not ready! Don’t go in th–

You wake up aboard the spaceship Clickity Click (or whatever you want – you can rename it). Your KinetiGen needs to be booted up, the computer tells you. Click on it. Click on it again. And again. Okay, now we need to bring some more systems online, the computer says. Get clicking. Click, click, click. Awesome, now we have some things to produce solar power automatically. But other things have go to be clicked. The Thing Maker is filling up with options, the Idea Lister has new devices, and the Fact Holder is totally empty. I guess you should do some more clicking. It’s stupid really, just clicking away. And yet… you can’t stop… OH GOD WHY CAN’T YOU STOP?

Spaceplan, by J Hollands, starts off as a vaguely creepy clicker game and turns into an orbital madhouse. Soon you are launching space potatoes at the behest of your on-board computer – an aloof AI who approaches everything with the seriousness of a drugged kitten. It’s the star of the show, really. You rejoice as the Planet Looker comes online, showing you a destroyed planet. You need to find out more – by clicking. Spud probes, System Peekers, Planet Boosters, solar panels made of gold. And all the while you orbit this dead rock, generating millions of watts and watching as your probes circle the orb, losing energy when you drift into the planet’s shadow. What could be down there?

I left Spaceplan running at a critical moment in a tab all day yesterday and forgot about it. When I returned to it at midnight, the system had radically changed and all the updates from my AI companion were a terrifying, hilarious log of stellar upsets. It is just another clicker game, but it also retains all the humour that made those that came before it so good. It also has a terrific ending. You can play it on the creators website.

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35 Comments

  1. Jerppa says:

    I don’t know what “Cookie Clicker” or “Candy Box” are.

    • Mr Bismarck says:

      Run. Run while you still can.

      • Premium User Badge

        Skabooga says:

        If you run another .5 km, you’ll unlock the upgrade that allows you to run 10% faster!

      • opasnimiki says:

        What are you talking about? Those are the dullest things I have ever tried “playing”. I don’t even want to call them games because they are just made for people who think find big numbers impressive or whatever… The fact that some people find them engaging makes me feel worried for future of humanity.

        • teethslapper says:

          Don’t hate the potato.

          Hate the solar orbiting mass.

        • theslap says:

          Cookie Clicker is mostly just about numbers getting bigger and bigger. Candy Box is entirely different. It’s an incremental game but there is a quest line, some farming, and many decisions along the way. I highly recommend Candy Box 2 and A Dark Room as well.

          • JB says:

            +1 for A Dark Room. The way that changes as the game goes on is great.

        • bjohndooh says:

          They are simple little diversions.
          What else would you call them but games?

          If visual novels and such things can be games, why not things like this?

        • Yglorba says:

          Candy Box 2 is more like the Frog Fractions of clicking games. It looks like a clicking / idle game, but really isn’t.

    • Ejia says:

      Yes, I agree that ignorance is the best course of action here.

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      Here you go, mate.

      link to orteil.dashnet.org

      Ha.

      Hahaha.

      AHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Do you know what the word ‘bullshit’ means?

  2. RaunakS says:

    Wasn’t there a pretty little universe creator type game where you smashed bits of comets together to create planets then bigger planets then stars and then black holes, et cetera et cetera? I can’t for the life of me recall its name.

  3. jellydonut says:

    Cookie Clicker was just braindead addiction food, but this is actually pretty to look at, funny, and it’s got a sweet sci-fi theme.

    I resented clicking on cookies, but this one I don’t regret starting.

    • Aquarion says:

      This. Also, it has AN ENDING. Where it ENDS. And The ENDING IS GOOD.

      • theslap says:

        Ya it’s nice to have an ending in these sorts of games. I think “A Dark Room” did it best personally. I found this game fun but a bit short. The sound effects and UI are amazing though… drew me in instantly.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          Yeah, clickers like Cookie Clicker don’t appeal to me (beyond the basic psychological pull) but something like A Dark Room which does something more involving and different might.

          I’m not assuming this falls into the latter, though.

  4. teethslapper says:

    If this wasn’t space themed I would probably have dismissed it. As it stands now, I’ve already passed it on to a friend and we are becoming hopelessly intrigued.

    Probetatoes orbiting…
    Roots planted…
    50% Pod power requirement…

    What the hell have you done?

  5. pfooti says:

    Does it bother anyone else that they’re using Watts when they probably mean Joules?

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Yes. Also, “Spudnik” is the only good joke in the game.

      • Marr says:

        I liked “but I’m a robot who can’t feel and you’re a person experiencing a very linear narrative so…” as a plot justification.

    • Jetsetlemming says:

      They’re clearly not heavily invested in technical plausibility: One of the clicker upgrades reads “Each press could power a small town: 500 Watts per click”. It could be a hint that it’s taking place in such an efficient future that entire small towns can be powered for what light bulbs take now, or such a distant past that a small town would only contain a single light bulb.

      • MetaSynapse says:

        What the hell kind of light bulbs are you running that draw 500 watts??

      • Marr says:

        Yes, but Watts per second. Blarg. Might not be quite so painful if we didn’t see news media doing that every time there’s a science to cover.

    • dltra says:

      Yes, definitely. After a while I stopped caring so much – it doesn’t matter really, after all – but it’s a strange obvious error to make. Seeing watts/sec as the rate of power generation grated my nerves even more; it was /so close/.

    • Marr says:

      Also at the end there, you’re using the resources of all of space and time, or whatever, to produce a staggering 2-3MW. IE: One modest residential zone substation.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    I don’t know why you mentioned Candy Box and Cookie Clicker but not A Dark Room – an idler game that’s actually good.

  7. dltra says:

    I hate clickers. They shouldn’t be addictive, they’re nothing really, but at least this has a few things going for it that make me feel less guilty for being so into it that I’ve left my laptop idling at home while at uni today: a scifi theme, a semblance of a story, a fairly sleek design.

  8. chuckieegg says:

    Really enjoyed that. A funny sense of humour with a rewarding ending I didn’t see coming. (It also helps that I wrote a quick app that can drill out 200 mouse clicks a second).

    • uh20 says:

      This clicker actually got me to mess around with wayland-libinput coder code: having a fake mouse click away at the button in a confined window.

  9. melin says:

    As a fan of idle/cookie clicker style games I’d like to mention that I would consider this game to be a story-based game with idle game elements rather then the other way around.

    This game is quite an enjoyable jaunt and I suspect a good gateway to lead anyone down the gilded path of idle games.