Today I was checking my Steam library to find out if the Witcher games had controller support, given my severe WASD disability, when Clicker Heroes came up in my recommendations queue. I’d seen a tweet yesterday from Kotaku about it so when I saw it was Free to Play, I thought why not. This was about 5pm today. It’s now after 10.30pm and I am still playing…
The premise of Clicker Heroes is very simple, but not anything I’ve played before because I tend to stay far away from addictive Facebook-esque games like the infamous Cookie Clicker. However, the merest hint of being remotely RPG-ish (monsters, heroes and abilities) and I’m sold. Essentially, you just click on the monsters to kill them, and there are ten in each area you need to destroy before you can move to a new area. Every five areas, you meet a Boss monster that you must defeat within a 30 second time limit. Each monster destroyed yields gold, which you can use to purchase new heroes and level up existing ones, as well as buy abilities that increase the damage your heroes inflict. There are also special abilities you can use to boost your attack, such as increasing your click rate or damage per second. These have a cool down period, so it might be best to save them for when you need them (or just wait out the cool down period).
As you progress, the enemies get tougher, but so do your heroes, and more importantly so does your reward. And you are going to need those gold coins in abundance, because if you are like me, and possessed of the ‘just one more unlock’ gene, you’ll be pouring your hard-clicked money into levels and abilities like nobody’s business. Tip: occasionally, you will see a little dude appear on the screen and if you click him, you’ll get a ruby. Rubies can be redeemed in the store for gold and skill cool down refreshes, hero upgrades and something called souls and acensions – not sure what they entail just yet, but I’m pretty sure I want them.
There are a bunch of achievements to unlock that generally require hoarding a massive amount of gold, but the awesome thing about Clicker Heroes is this: you don’t have to keep clicking to earn gold. You can leave the game running, and your heroes will slowly chip away at the enemies and gold will accumulate automatically. Sure, you can speed things up by clicking, but you don’t have to, say, if your fingers get a bit tired! I left it running while I had dinner (and also while I’m writing this review) and I became an instant billionaire. Sure to come in handy later down the track!
Bosses are typically extremely high powered so you can’t just click your way to victory without some help, and this is where your heroes’ abilities come into play. Once you’ve done some grinding, and levelled up your heroes, jump into a Boss level and hit all your unlocked abilities, then click like crazy. So far I’ve only unlocked three of these abilities, but they are extremely useful. Clickstorm gives you 10 clicks per second for 30 seconds, Powersurge gives you a +100% damage per second increase for 30 seconds, and Lucky Strikes gives you a 50% chance of inflicting Critical Clicks for 30 seconds. The higher powered the ability, the longer the cool down – Clickstorm and Powersurge refresh after 10 minutes, but Lucky Strikes takes half an hour. There are nine abilities you can use, but bear in mind it will take a lot of time and clicking to earn the cash to level up your heroes accordingly and then purchase the ability. Lucky Strikes cost 120billion, and that was after levelling Alexa the Assassin (who cost 15k to unlock) to level 100. Levelling starts out cheap but increases exponentially. The 100th level for Alexa cost around 13million. That’s a lot of gold!
I’ll be sure to leave Clicker Heroes running overnight tonight, and tomorrow I’ll be a squillionaire!
Clicker Heroes is available now on Steam and is Free to Play.
Overall score: 3.5 stars