I can say that one of my guilty pleasures are idle/clicker games. If you take them for face value, it's just numbers going up trying to get your money through microtransactions. But there's a little task of optimization and evolution that always catch me, at least for some weeks until I got bored. I replayed Cookie Clicker way too much in my life to get here now and deny the fun I had.

Sixty Four called my attention when it promised a different take on the genre. Not only the game would tell a story — like some of my favorites, Spaceplan and Peter Talisman — but it would incorporate strategy and planning elements that could remind you of some management games like Factorio. In theory, it does all of this, but it wasn't enough to be interesting enough for me.

Sixty Four

Let me explain. The world of Sixty Four starts only as a blank void with a mining machine at the center. If you keep clicking on it, the device starts to bring minerals from the depths in the form of black big cubes. If you click some times in the cube, you got some smaller cubes you can use as a resource. And then you keep doing that in clicker fashion until you got enough resources to build new tools around the mining machine.

Those new devices can automate some processes, like extracting minerals or breaking the big blocks, or just make them faster. After some time, the big black cubes will have more colors: when broken, these new pieces will became advanced resources that can be used to create more devices. During your slow progress in Sixty Four, you will start with a lonely machine and, some hours later, you'll be managing three different resource types.

The big problem is all those "automations" are also powered 5by the resources you are collecting and you need to fuel them manually every time. Even some more advanced devices will work for just 10 minutes until their power source runs out. And, because all of the processes in Sixty Four are connected in some way, the bottleneck is always the weakest machine. It's the first idle game that I know that you need to check every minute to keep it idle.

Sixty Four

I played Sixty Four for at least 20 hours, but most of that time all the devices would be in a halt because I forgot to click in a machine every 30 seconds. Even the most bizarre mobile clicker games, with an enormous amount of dark design patterns, allows you to be away from the game for half an hour to live without stopping your progress. This isn't possible here, at least, not during the enormous amount of time I was still excited about finding out what the game was about.

Not even the narrative that tries to glue all of that together was enough to get me engaged. The mystery behind a white void that spawns black cubes from nowhere is cool — and as far as I know, the plot itself goes to interesting places at the end — but the pacing is one of the worst I ever seen. For a ridiculous amount of time, all you can see is chat messages between two people who cannot, for the life of them, describe what is happening. The abstract atmosphere also makes it difficult to understand what to do next in Sixty Four, and the game doesn't do a good job to show you the next task.

For a genre that always gets a bad reputation of being too simple to be that addictive, I'm impressed how Sixty Four is an idle game that made me less excited the more I played. This package is full of content, way more that a lot of other clicker titles — a mysterious story, some puzzling mechanics, a lot of resources to manage — but, at the end, the experience is so boring that I can only recommend it to those who are really big fans of the genre. Sometimes less is more, but I don't think this little amount of fun is worth the enormous amount of hours this white void asks from you.

The team behind this game sent me a press key so I could play it and write my review. Thanks for the trust!