AdVenture Capitalist and Clicker Heroes, AKA “Games that Kind-of Play Themselves”


Work hours are picking up, a new class is starting soon, and the list of to-dos is growing larger and larger. How does one keep up with his or her schedule and also find the time to game?

The answer: simply find games that play themselves!

OK, so technically games like AdVenture Capitalist and Clicker Heroes don’t really play themselves, but they are set up in a manner that allows a player to either actively monitor his or her progress in the game, or make a few quick decisions and leave the game to run by itself for a while after that.

Not making sense? I’ll explain the premise of Clicker Heroes, which is probably the more popular of the two.

In Clicker Heroes, you are tasked with beating monsters and advancing through levels. Each level has ten monsters to beat before you can progress to the next level, and on every fifth level there is a boss. To beat monsters and bosses, you click on them. When they are defeated, they drop phat loot. This all sounds extremely boring until you factor in the fact that you can “hire” heroes to essentially click for you. With each level the difficulty scales upward, so you have to hire new heroes, activate special powers for these heroes, and make the occasional click or two or five hundred.

Still sounds pretty boring, right?

The real premise of the game is to do math. No, seriously, if you want to keep progressing through the levels at the fastest pace you have to actually, literally, do math. There comes a point in each game where progressing, no matter how hard one clicks or hires or monitors, is as slow as molasses. To progress, you have to start over. There is a special ability held by one of the heroes that essentially restarts your world, which sounds pretty counter-intuitive to progressing in a game until you realize that restarting the world activates the really good bonuses (paid for by hero souls, which certain bosses drop). These really good bonuses come with a price, though, and if you’re not careful (and you don’t do your math), you could end up reducing your DPS (damage per second, the driving force of the game). Anyway, there are several other facets to the game, most of which involve even more math and add much needed levels of complexity to a game based on clicking your mouse.

AdVenture Capitalist follows suit, with the premise of that game being to make money. You start out by clicking to run a lemonade stand, making pennies. You can progress to purchasing franchises, sports teams, and oil rigs, and hire managers to run these for you. There is an important sociopolitical message buried underneath all of this, but the basic point of the game is to watch numbers go up. Like Clicker Heroes, you can restart your game to add bonuses/percentage gains to your profits.

Long story short, you can play a game and do other things. Isn’t this like, the ultimate dream? Or maybe a worst nightmare? Doesn’t everyone like watching numbers go up?

BTW, these games are free. Go forth (if you want) and not-waste time by having the games play themselves!

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