̶B̶a̶d̶ Good Game Design – Clicker Games (Idle Games, Incremental Games)

Snoman Gaming recently made a video talking about how Clicker Games are “Bad Game Design”. I disagree, and I take it upon myself to deconstruct his video and arguments. As a content creator who has created videos for this genre in the past, I felt it was my SWORN DUTY to defend against these travesties.

I’m not trying to stir up drama, so please be respectful in your arguments to me or Snoman.

Watch Snoman’s video here:

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Scroll down for links to the games!

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Links to games mentioned at the end of the video:

Mine Defense ►
Realm Grinder ►
Kittens Game ►
A Dark Room ►
Spaceplan ►
Wizard and Minion Idle ►
Pixels Filling Squares 3.0 ►
Idle Wizard ►
NGU Idle ►
Trimps ►
Universal Paperclips ►
Antimatter Dimensions ►

Links to games in the video, but not mentioned:

Candy Box ►
Candy Box 2 ►
Galaxia ►
Fragment Hunters ►
Clicker Heroes ►
Cookie Clicker ►

Leave a comment if I forgot one and I’ll try my best to add it!


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  • Hey man, first off I wanted to thank you for doing a very level-headed response in a respectful way, as well as presenting my original thoughts accurately and not out of context. My short answer is that for the most part I agree with you – turns out there are a TON of newer incremental games I had never heard of after I made my video, and I played some of them and definitely agree that they are more in-depth than the ones I had experienced in the last several years. I'm shocked I didn't find them when researching, probably because I went looking for clickers instead of idlers which are pretty different honestly. Happy to know the genres evolving, I do think you did it justice.

    Just a few more quick points: my video came from my perspective and experience on the genre, definitely not a quick buck cash in. In fact it's been on my mind to make for years now and I'll admit it would've been more relevant back then. I said many times that I got hooked on them too, and don't think poorly of anyone that enjoys them, just more of less wanted to talk about my time with them and how it basically felt like going cold turkey from a drug habit lol, having to quit them altogether because I felt like I was wasting my life. Again, that's my view but I know others totally love them.

    Also, you're right than any game can manipulate players with microtransactions (and I would argue any of those games that DO are just as bad lol), as with the reasons I found the genre poorly designed (real time/no end) – but my point was that it was the COMBINATION of the lack of real gameplay with these other elements that really made them toxic to me; they're not inherently bad on their own. Obviously with the examples you gave that isn't necessarily true. So I suppose take my video with a grain of salt saying those older examples are the bad apples.

    Keep doing what you're doing bro, I realized I'd seen some of your other vids on the endslate, you make good content. Peace

  • i love clicker games, i searched them a lot to find new ones

  • i remember playing a lot of clicker games beforehand on kongregate, you know just the ones that are famous and well known. I accidently tried out realm grinder because it sounded fun. And i was really suprised at how realm grinder become more of a idel strategy game where you would deliberatly not play and let the game do the farming while you would do anything else. The game wouldnt even need to be open. I like the fact that you, as the player, can devise a plan and go through. Especially after you unlock new races and new stuff (mercenaries, alchemy, spell upgrades, excarvation upgrades etc etc). At some point u do grow tired, but plowthing through reincarnations was fun. There is always one or two tough ones, but if you do them the game really opens up.
    At one point i got 12 reincarnations in a fucking day because i planned the abdictions and just plowed through. There are a lot of games which have sophisticated system besides the clicker theme itself, adding features to a game that are not your typical clicker mechanic. If done right that's what makes those games diverse. RN there is a flood of idle games on phones and oh boy, most of them suck.

  • Great video. I'd argue that converting a player to spend real money in your game is a sign of good game design. Whether it is done ethically is another question.

    I personally prefer the more simple idle games. I don't want to think anymore, just give me that stress free dopamine hit.

  • Hearing your points for the reasons you like these types of games and what they're involving into, I'm getting the impression that we've already seen the final evolution of this genre decades ago. It's called Real-Time Strategy. And possibly Tower Defense. From Factorio over Frostpunk to StarCraft. Give it a go, it's fun.

  • Animal crossing must be TERRIBLE to him

  • A dark lit room is one of my faaaavorites in idle games

  • I wouldn't define management games as clickers as the clicks you need to do in order to gather food of build a barn are more of orders. In clickers, when you click the main button, you shouldn't lose anything unless you are buying upgrades.

  • 5:34 trimps gang where you at?


  • If any of you want to see the lesser known origins of the very popular NGU Idle, search on kongregate for “Idling to Rule the Gods”. It’s practically the same mechanics wise but has weird obsession with its own book-long lore.

  • I enjoyed this video a lot!
    Thanks 🙂

  • NGU Idle has a shit ton of cool features

  • List of good idle/incremental games i've found:
    Crank –
    Dunno Dice –
    Reactor Idle –
    Ordinal Markup –
    Incremancer –
    Factory Idle –
    The Perfect Tower –
    NGU Idle –
    Armory & Machine 2 –
    I will expand this list if i remember any others.

  • Idle heroes is my favorite idle game. It has an idle part of it and an active part in it.

  • My fav still Idlers And Dungeons 🙂

  • Me watching this while I have Cookie Clicker on the background

  • I love some idle games like Adventure Communist, Adventure Capitalist, and even the trailer park boys one.

  • Watching this while playing cookie clicker lol

  • i'm nto watching this while playing 4 idle games you are

  • I don’t care what anyone says. Cookie clicker is something special and will always have a special place for me

  • You didn't even mention cookie clicker!?

  • I don't know how to feel about this video

  • What is the name of the Game in 6:56?

  • The only one of those mentioned as "good" ones that I have played and didn't like was NGU. I thought it was just a bunch of random ideas that didn't individually make sense, and then a bunch of ways that tied them together that didn't make any sense at all. Universal Paperclips and Realm Grinder have a bunch of paradigm shifts that actually make sense within the context of the game. NGU's new mechanics just were so totally divorced from what I had been doing before that it was very off-putting.

  • I used to play other clicker games while I was idling cookie clicker, now I always have like 15 open at once, I have a problem.

  • I can relate to the glitch, I was playing Antimatter Dimensions and when I came back to it the next day I found that I had essentially reached the end of the game. I was really bummed that I couldn't do it myself, but thankfully the game has built in cloud save backups (at least mobile version) and I was able to go back to before it happened, which I was happy about because it meant I wouldn't have to restart from the beginning.

  • I've just discovered a game called Grim Clicker on steam, and i'm really addicted.
    Try it yourself, thanks me later 😉