Clicker Heroes: The Essence of MMORPG’s Distilled Down to its Purest Form

I know I get addicted to MMO’s. I avoided this game for so long, but the temptation was too great!

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If you’re not familiar with idle games, let me first explain what they are. As their name suggests, they mostly involve a lot of idling. That is, you set the game up, then either leave it running, or switch it off, and it plays itself for you until you return. One of the games that really made this genre popular was Cookie Clicker. The goal? Make your numbers bigger. Just like all MMO’s out there.

In Clicker Heroes, you click monsters (doing a certain amount of damage per click) until they die. You pick up the gold they drop, use it to upgrade your click power, or buy other heroes. The interesting part begins when you buy heroes that do automatic damage per second (DPS). That is, they are able to deal damage without you having to click. So, you’d buy these heroes, then turn the game off to do other things. During this time, your heroes deal damage and collect gold coins so that when you return, it is as if you’ve been playing the game for that duration.

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Most idling games are very similar. Buy upgrades which allow you to DPS faster, thus buying more upgrades. Eventually, you’ll hit a wall, which is where you’ll use the prestige system to reset your upgrades, but get a permanent buff to your damage, depending on how high of a level you reach. While this system also exists in Clicker Heroes, and is really important, there are other little things that made Clicker Heroes a lot of fun for me to play.

Firstly, as you can tell from the screenshots, the art style is just great. It’s very cartoon-y, but very colourful and just has a nice aesthetic. The music is not too bad either, but after a certain number of repititions, it can get a little annoying.

Clicker Heroes also has skills, which can be seen on cooldown in the screenshot above. These skills can boost your active clicking damage, increase the amount of gold dropped per monster, etc. It’s a small thing, but it does set this game apart from some of the more primitive idling games out there.

The other feature that Clicker Heroes has is the Ancients system. Every time you prestige (called “Ascension”), you get a certain number of hero souls, based on a number of factors which include the total number of levels on your heroes. Using these souls, you can buy and level up ancients, each providing you with a minor buff per level on that ancient. Some ancients have a maximum level, while others do not and can be leveled indefinitely, allowing for infinite scalability throughout the game.

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Another feature that Clicker Heroes has, and is probably my favourite feature is the relics system. Every time you ascend, a relic will be dropped in a particular zone. Each relic has a bunch of stats, which match the buffs provided by the ancients (only a lot weaker). You can equip up to four relics. Any others obtained will either have to replace equipped relics or be salvaged for things called Forge Cores. At the time of this post, Forge Cores do not have a use in game. I find relics particularly fun because they act like little surprises. You don’t know what you are going to get. You’ll just have to wait and see!

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Clicker Heroes is crazy-addictive. For an idling game, I sure have spent a lot of time active in the game. It has very quickly become my top-played game. It is a lot of fun, but I will warn you: this game isn’t for everyone. There is no real purpose to this game, as there is no “final level” or “final boss”. It is endless, but that is the nature of idling games. But, if you do like to see numbers that represent you getting larger and larger, this game might be for you!

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