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The Evolution and Origins of Idle Clicker and Incremental Games

The Evolution and Origins of Idle Clicker and Incremental Games

In recent years, the gaming industry has experienced significant development, with many game titles being created daily.

Incremental games, which are famous for their simplicity and gradual progress, have become increasingly popular among gaming players.

But what makes these incremental games become so addictive and able to captivate players for long hours? Actually, the answer lies in the mechanics and psychological aspects behind them.

However, to understand that clearly, you should first look deeper into the history and growth of idle clicker and incremental games, and our article will help you with that!

We will also spotlight Mr. Mine, developed by Playsaurus, as a successful example of this exciting genre.

The Birth of a Genre

To begin with, we should know how this genre first emerged in the past.

Looking back to 2002, Progress Quest was considered the first game in this genre. However, it was a satirical project.

In this game, players were able to set up their own characters, and the game played on itself, from leveling up characters to defeating the boss.

Progress Quest game

In general, players were watching an unfolding story about their characters rather than actually playing it.

Due to their simplicity and minimal visuals, the idle game genre was ignored for several years. Some games created based on these principles were regarded as experimental games rather than mainstream.

It was not until 2013 that incremental games gained recognition among players with the success of Cookie Clicker. This game was created by Orteil and allowed players to click on a big cookie on the screen to earn a single cookie per click.

After that, players used their earned cookies to buy assets and upgraded their games to continue earning more cookies.

Cookie Clicker game

Although this game seemed simple and easy to play, it gained a huge fan base at that time and showcased the potential of this game genre.

In this modern life, incremental games continue to develop and gain a sustainable place in the gaming industry.

An outstanding modern representation of the genre’s roots that can be mentioned is Mr. Mine. When you step into the world of this idle mining game, you will able to delve deep into the Earth to uncover hidden treasures.

The game is a combination of idle mining and clicker gaming mechanics. Players can easily play the game by clicking on the screen to gather resources.

With the simple mechanics of idle clicker games, the gradual progress encourages players with a sense of achievement and continue to stick in the game.

The Mechanics Behind Idle Clickers

Incremental games are often built with simple yet addictive gameplay mechanics that can captivate players for long hours. Let’s take a closer look at how these game mechanics work!

Typically, players will start with a basic action, such as clicking on the screen. With this action, they will receive rewards such as currency or resources. These resources are essential for players to progress in the game from a modest level.

Realm Grinder game with a lot of upgrades

As the players continue to click on the screen, they will be involved in the cycle of upgrades.

They can spend accumulated resources to access new features or purchase automation tools.

These upgrades might be auto-clicking that allows players to earn resources or currency even when they are offline.

This special automation works as a great aide, allowing players to progress through the game while having time to enjoy other activities.

In addition, many idle clicker games incorporate the concept of “prestige”.

This means players reset their progress in exchange for special rewards or bonuses. As a result, they will start over the game with greater power, thus allowing players to progress faster and further.

In other words, players will use “prestige” to set new records and achieve higher levels in the game.

The Rise of Incremental Games

Idle clicker games have come a long way from their beginning. Initially, this game genre only involved clicking to gather resources and gradual progression.

However, as more and more players engaged in the game, they expected for more engaging experience.

Hence, developers decided to evolve this game genre by incorporating more complex gameplay elements to adapt to players’s expectations.

We can mention Adventure Capitalist and Realm Grinder as outstanding examples of this strategy.

A screenshot of Adventure Capitalist idle game

For Adventure Capitalist, players are able to develop their own businesses, from small startups to empires. You have the ability to make strategic decisions like investing in new projects or hiring managers.

On the other hand, Realm Grinder allows players to build their own kingdom by making complex choices, such as selecting factions, managing resources, and so much more.

While adding resource management and strategy elements into the game makes it more challenging, it also motivates players to unlock their game progression.

The Psychology of Idle Gaming

Idle clicker games are easy for everyone to start playing, but there are some psychological aspects behind them that make these games so addictive.

To begin with, idle games excel at harnessing our natural desire for progress and achievement.

People naturally gain a sense of satisfaction when they reach specific goals. Idle game developers understand this clearly, so they provide a constant stream of rewards and game achievements to keep players motivated during their progress.

Mr. Mine's offline rewards

Another psychological aspect is “dopamine loops”. In gameplay, every player’s behavior that creates a reward triggers the release of dopamine, which is associated with the feeling of pleasure.

This reinforces the player’s desire to repeat that behavior, thus creating an ongoing loop.

Additionally, evolved incremental games focus on player engagement for long-term progression.

As players have to make their own decisions in some aspects, they strive to optimize their strategy and reach new progress in the game.

Crossing Platforms and Mobile Dominance

As technology has advanced constantly, idle clicker and incremental games have found a new home on mobile platforms.

To adapt to these platforms, developers had to make significant adjustments. They not only redesigned the games to fit the mobile interface but also optimized touchscreen controls for the best gaming experience.

As a result, idle clicker games seamlessly made the transition to mobile platforms due to their simplicity and accessibility.

Mr. Mine on Mobile Platforms

After the shift of incremental games into mobile platforms, they have gained higher popularity with a vast audience of gaming enthusiasts. In that way, they have also generated more revenue through in-app purchases and advertisements.

We can mention the idle mining game Mr. Mine as a successful example of this movement.

The mobile version of this game offers various underground mining adventures, resource management, upgrades, and missions.

Thus, the game becomes more and more engaging, encouraging every gaming player to enjoy on their phone.

Ready for mining fun on your phone? Experience Mr. Mine today for free!

Game Community and Modding

People who like idle clicker games have created their own gaming communities.

In these places, players often share their ideas, tips, and strategies to make the games even more interesting.

Developers highly value the feedback and suggestions from these communities, so they often use them for gaming updates and events.

Mr. Mine discussion on Steam

As a result, the interaction between developers and players continually enhances the excitement of idle games.

On the other hand, modding and player-generated content further enrich the idle clicker genre.

Since idle games are known for their simplicity, modding allows players to add new characters, challenges, or even different stories to the plays.

Meanwhile, players have the ability to craft their own characters and elements using player-generated content.

By using these tools, idle games become more interesting because players feel like they’ve added something “personal”.

For example, Cookie Clicker add-ons take the base game to new heights with new features and upgrades.

Challenges and Future Trends

Developers often struggle to keep the game genre exciting and new. If idle developers make similar games, it’s hard to surprise players. So, they need to be creative to keep things interesting.

In response to the challenge of keeping the genre exciting, developers might have to experience various approaches.

One emerging trend that can be mentioned is creative narrative, which immerses players in engaging stories or adventures.

Or the developers can choose to simplify the game further to reach a broader audience. In this way, the games can attract newcomers while ensuring a relaxing experience for dedicated players.

Looking ahead, the future of idle clicker and incremental games appears promising.

As long as developers continue to adapt and innovate, we can confidently expect more promising game titles in the future.


Despite their modest beginnings, idle games have become a big part of the gaming world nowadays.

Thanks to their simplicity and accessibility, anyone can jump in and feel that sense of accomplishment as they progress.

But here’s the interesting part: there are mechanics and psychological aspects behind the game to retain players for a long period of time.

Despite all aspects, we can not deny the promising future of this game genre. So, keep clicking and enjoy the journey through these simple yet addicting games!

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