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This egg-farming game is my new addiction

 
As I type this, my chicken farm is populated by 7.3 million chickens producing 2.7 billion eggs per minute. I have 41 septillion dollars in the bank, which will buy me a couple more upgrades for the machine-learning incubators that hatch new hens for me automatically. By all human-scale accounts, I am the greatest magnate in the history of civilization, but by Egg Inc. standards, I’m roughly halfway through. Maybe even less.

Egg Inc. (available for Android and iOS) is a game I downloaded to my Google Pixel on a whim one day, and booted up on my flight to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. It seemed like a decent distraction to fill my disconnected time. But it turned out to be so much more than that. This is one of the smartest and best-designed mobile games I’ve ever played, even if it doesn’t require a great deal of skill or thoughtfulness from the player. It just wants me to give a damn about my chicken farm and to tend to it regularly. And it rewards that loyalty with gloriously, endlessly escalating numbers and upgrades.

At the outset, all you get is a hatchery, a tiny shack that barely counts for a hen house, and an open area to do research. But as you hatch more chickens — done by tapping on a big red chicken button, obviously — and build up cash from the sale of eggs, a vast array of upgrades make themselves available to buy. Before long, you’ll have enough money to add legitimate housing for your chickens, including an "Eggkea" and a vast tower structure that reminds me of Taipei 101. Though you’ll need to balance your economy to also support a shipping department. Hatch more chickens, sell more eggs, rinse and repeat ad nauseam. Except you never get sick of it.

The genius of this game is not in its mechanics, which consist of either tapping a small red button with one finger or bashing away at a space bar-sized version with four fingers. No, the addictiveness comes from the bottomless pit of upgrades you can procure and the sense of satisfaction you get with each incremental step. I’ve tried to explain this game to my colleagues in Barcelona and they’ve all either given me a raised eyebrow response or asked me if I’ve played Cow Clicker before. This isn’t that. Egg Inc. is just supremely well thought out and I like it quite unironically. If I’m not cool enough to convince you, maybe deadmau5 and his epic 100-million-chicken farm might:

The article was published on : theverge
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