Cookies. Squirrel!

I lost my momentum when I was momentarily distracted by a squirrel.

Cookie Clickers is a completely ridiculous, no-point-to-it, time-sucking, free game app for your phone.

Fact is, there’s no real competition. Unless you happen to know other people who are playing the game, and decide to be in competition.

Truly, this has to be the dumbest game ever invented, and I’m dumbly addicted.

The premise is to make as produce as many cookies per second as possible, by tapping on the big chocolate chip cookie in the center of your phone screen. You read that correctly; yes, I do mean “cookies per second.”

To level up, you simply need to accumulate cookies. You will use your baked cookies to purchase Power Clicks, Auto-Clicks, Grandmas, Robots, Various levels of Cookie Farms, Cloners, Atomic bakers and Aliens who run labs and factories, all of which will enable you to make more cookies. Which you’re only doing because you can, and because it satisfies some strange self-competitive thing deep inside you.

At the time I began jotting notes for this week’s Knabble, I was making about a little over 17,000 cookies per second. My bank is only currently 64 million for two ridiculous reasons. The first is that I accidentally bought something for 100 million cookies. I have no idea what I bought, but it grabbed 100 million cookies out of my jar. I was so close to the 200 million I was aiming for to level up.

Exactly, how did that happen? Well, it’s like this…

There are golden cookies which fly across the phone screen. These gems are randomly tossed, at a high speed. If you happen to be clicking when one drops, it is worth beaucoup cookies. If you happen to be paying attention and fast enough to catch it.

There also is a timed conversion to chocolate milk instead of regular milk. You can see that one coming by monitoring the brown fill-up line at the bottom of the screen. You’ll want to be ready to click s little faster for the short amount of time the choco-milk is flowing. Clicking during the chocolate phase increases the tapping cookie production by 10%. If your click is worth 16 cookies, fast-tapping into the chocolate river earns 160 cookies, and so on…

Then, there is Cookie Rain; a shower of golden cookies predetermined by the completion of the yellow at the top of the screen. Golden cookies rain falls for a very short span. In order to catch any, you must directly tap on the individual golden cookies. If each golden cookie is worth 2,000 (beginner status), swiping 10 golden cookies has just increased your stash by 20,000 cookies, in approximately 10 seconds.

Bottom line: fast and frequent increases cookie dough. Should you be distracted from this hardly riveting game, yet keep blindly clicking, you risk ending up in a danger zone. At least that’s what’s happened to me… a few times.

The first time, I was sitting on my couch waiting on company, and tapping my phone screen rather seriously when I was momentarily distracted by a squirrel. Seriously, there was a squirrel at my living room window, and a lot of pitiful kitty crying because there was an obstructive glass between them and nature. I may have looked away for 10 seconds. Just long enough to glance away and back for a second glance. I can’t say for sure that my fingertips were on auto-pilot, but I never stopped clicking. I was close enough to almost purchase a level-up booster. When I checked my gains, I was unpleasantly surprised to discover I had accidentally tapped myself into the Shop. That’s that cute little store front with the red striped awning icon at the lower right of the screen. That’s where you will find and be able to purchase cookie-making upgrades with cookies you’ve earned. You’re beginning to see the cyclical nature of this useless endeavor, yes?

Unbeknownst to me, I had been continually clicking on purchases. I needed 200 million cookies to get to the next level where I could spend my cookies to purchase more factories to make more cookies. I’m not sure what I ended up buying to the tune of 100 million cookies. I had been at 164 million. That was a bummer. Even more of a bummer was that I managed to do it again. And again, once more after that.

Like I said, I’m never going to catch up to the one person I know who plays. But, I was honestly disappointed to have lost so much ground. I figured I had a few options. 1. I could stop playing this ridiculous game. 2. I could give my uninterrupted, full attention to where I was clicking. Or, 3. I could turn the phone upside down and play upside down, which would make it rather unlikely that I would blow cookies… again. Option # 3 won. I purchased the S-factory at 260 million. Oh, did I mention that following purchases, the price of other purchases go up? Well, they do. That’s why my 200 million S-factory ended up costing me 260 million.

So, there you have it. The game is very helpful in long lines and waiting rooms. I have been doing a lot of waiting and silently clicking lately. The dinging and ringing kinda get to you after a while, so I politely assume they would probably annoy those nearest to me. I’m a hundred percent sure I will never catch up to the person who introduced me to it. They’ve got somewhere around 200 million-billion cookies in their bank.

Current status, as of this evening, is a little less than 900 million. The next level – Alien Tech – is available for purchase at 780 million, and it’s “Decision Time.” Decision Time is a conundrum concocted solely by me. Do I go for the next logical level up, or hang out for the Alien C-X at the current purchase price of 1 billion chiparoos. Alien Tech raises production by an additional 20,000 per second. Added to my current CPS (cookies per second) of 52,697, that means my leveled-up CPS would be 72,697.

Suppose, though, I decided the hang to my hoard in favor of a higher level by accumulating an overage. The Alien C-X will increase my current rate by 30,000. It’s tempting, but here’s the rub: the additional 20K will get me to the next level of an additional 30K faster for a total jump of 50,000 CPS. If I skip Alien Tech and go baking all the way to Alien C-X, my CPS will only be +30K plus current.

Well, huh. Maybe it’s not so mindless after all. Maybe it’s a lesson in patience, or concentration. Or maybe, it’s just a lesson on greed. Maybe, it’s a disguised exercise for the analytical mind. Maybe all these fake cookies are supposed to kill the appetite for real ones. Maybe it’s just a plain old nothing-else-to-do waste of time. Or maybe, it’s a really addictive, well-thought-out, optionally ponderous, remedy for the average Joe’s over-abundance of stressful, restrictive time management and having to wait… a lot. Maybe…

Just so you know… I went with the Alien Tech and the 20K increase. I mean, who wouldn’t, right?



 Quotes for the Week:


“People have got to learn: if they don’t have cookies in the cookie jar, they can’t eat cookies.” Suze Orman


“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.” Barbara Jordan


Enjoy this week’s discovery links:

The Science of Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Cookie Clicker – Apparently also available @ iTunes:

The  Badger explains Game Addiction: