Have you figured out how you'll procrastinate at work today? Stop. I'll tell you: you'll be clicking on cookies in the new version of Cookie Clicker [official site].
I still fondly remember when the feeling of "What is this and why do I keep clicking seriously what's wrong with me?" began shifting to "Oh no, what... what's happening? Why are they so... fleshy?" as a horror story unfolded through clicking to bake imaginary cookies. After a long stretch in beta, version 2.0 of the free browser-based idle game is now live. Look, I just want to see what's new, and then I'll stop, okay.
Idle/clicker games had a sudden and exciting burst in 2013. A Dark Room and Candy Box teased slow, pointless progression then opened up into strange and delightful worlds, which I'd really recommend if you haven't played them. I won't say more, because discovering what they even are is half the fun. Cookie Clicker is far more straightforward--click to bake virtual cookies, spend virtual cookies on ways to bake more cookies faster--but it raises mysteries nicely through the UI filling up with unexplained elements and the tone going increasingly dark and surreal.
Version 2.0 is the first non-beta release since 2014. Changes include new buildings, heavenly upgrades, "angels and switches and a dragon or two", and "other stuff". I am curious to see what happens.
Play in your browser over here.
Hey, did you read that essay on "rational recreation" and how the distraction of idle games helps us believe that work is meaningful yet also leaves us feeling indebted to work and working ourselves harder? Have fun with Cookie Clicker!