Games That Play Themselves (More or Less)

Wish you could play games at work without having to do anything so taxing as drawing a picture, using a keyboard, or even paying much attention? We got you, boo.

Idle games (sometimes known as “incremental” or “clicker” games) are the self-driving cars of video games. In their initial stages, idle games require a very simple, repetitive action, like clicking your mouse on an object. This action earns you an in-game currency. With your accrued currency, you can eventually purchase or build items to earn currency on your behalf, allowing you to turn you attention away from the game – leaving it idle in an open browser window – as you go about whatever it is you do at your workplace. Math? Testing the tensile strength of chairs? Awaiting the coming of our new insect overlords?


But, by no means does the lack of activity make these games any less interesting. On the contrary, they’ve proven to be immensely compelling, maybe even mildly addictive. For every milestone you achieve, another dangles just out of reach, requiring more clicking, or more building, or more sitting idly by as the game does the work for you.

So, for anyone looking for a slightly less challenging, less mischievous, but possibly still doom-following experience, here are three recommended idle browser games you can start playing at work right now.

Go ahead, click me.

Cookie Clicker
One of the most popular idle games of all time. Build your cookie empire replete with cookie-making grandmas, alchemy labs, and time machines. An achievements system makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Bonus, you get to look at a great big cookie.

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Click to enjoy.

Progress Quest
For those who prefer an old-school RPG/D&D style, progress quest (not to mention Race and Class selections including “Talking Pony” and “Puma Burglar), perhaps Progress Quest is more your speed.

Click me, too.

A very recent addition to the idle games genre, what Spaceplan lacks in visuals it more than makes up for in humor and general silliness. We seriously can’t wait to get back to work to continue launching space potatoes and see how the whole thing ends.

Have a frank and productive day.