Idle Progression Games - Tablet Tuesday

Zyngor | Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Coming close to a wrap, with the 25th day of Blaugust. This post humbly represents my 12th contribution. Stay tuned for a baker's dozen!

The idle incremental progression genre falls on an interesting spectrum of the gameosphere. Pending content, it really has no age barrier restricting anyone young or old from participating and appreciating the task at hand. Most idle games offer two distinct gameplay styles - active and passive. The latter is associated with the "idle" aspect, in which some automatic mechanic keeps the incremental progress going (it's a definite plus if the developer allows for progress even when the game isn't running, allowing for constant gains and a nice big fat chunk when the player loads up again). That being said, there is usually some means to actively boost your progress, at the cost of personal time.

It is usually expected to check in on your progress regardless, allowing the user to purchase any upgrades to help further the increments (which, as time passes, tends to get smaller and smaller) for both the idle and active gameplay. These types of games have mostly occupied spaces on Flash gaming sites like Armor Games and Kongregate, but have transferred quite nicely as we see a shift to the mobile platform. The boon of having both touch screen technology and on-the-go access makes it much easier to check in on your progress and perform manual "clicks" (at the expense of possibly smearing your display).

I have been playing a bit of two incremental-based idlers on the tablet, and I figured I could do a brief blurb for both. These titles are Tap Titans and Cow Evolution.

Tap Titans' interface
Tap Titans plays just as you would expect an idler to if you have done any Flash-based idle games on the desktop, especially something like Clicker Heroes. You assume the role of a red-scarved sword-wielding hero who must take on an assumed endless bevy of increasingly-difficult foes. Fear not, for there are others who will join your cause for the right amount of gold. You can level up yourself and your allies with gold, and at certain levels acquire active skills (through yourself) and passive bonuses (through your allies).

By having a centralized hero, they will act out your active taps, slashing away in typical berserker fashion. The remaining allies are your idle army, diligently auto-attacking away. Any form of upgrade will serve to boost your active and overall DPS, and there are indeed plenty of allies and other areas to level up your damage through the course of the game.

The various categories can be accessed at the bottom, and respectively equate to your hero upgrades, ally upgrades, artifacts (items that boost your stats, which the currency to get them is attainable through some bosses), and a perk/store tab (spend premium currency of diamonds on powerful short bursts, or buy diamonds with real $$$).

It's a pleasing, cartoonish art style, and you can continue to get some gold when out of game (click the round button mid-left when you return, to get gold). Don't forget to tap the fairly when she occasionally flies by to score some bonus currency or or a short boost!

Tap Titans is a free download for Android, iOS, or on Amazon.


Cow Evolution is a different beast from some of the other idlers, literally. If Charles Darwin were both a farmer and an app developer, he might have come up with this creation. You take on the role of a cow...mad scientist (?), and are tasked with combining similar cow breeds to trigger their evolution.

Every 10 seconds or so (an upgrade can be purchased with coins to halve this) a delivery box will arrive with a basic cow (that's how cows are born, right?). An series of upgrades can later be purchased to possibly improve this cow breed. There is a max of 16 cows in the pen at any given time, so if you idle a lot, there will simply be a hold on further cows from appearing until you get back in and combine to make more space.

As you further their evolution, new pastures will unlock to suit their needed space. You may even come across some cows that are out of this world...

Coinage is gained through a most natural means of waste removal, and basically the more evolved cows will reward a higher amount of coins. They can then be used to purchase specific cow breeds you have unlocked, various helpful upgrades to assist with evolutions, or through a cosmetic shop to add a costume to each cow.

This is udderly ridiculous. 
While some idlers are number-heavy in their systems, Cow Evolution is a much more visual experience - one the developers did well to distinguish the various evolutions. The cows in the first pen may start off visually similar (the cosmetic outfits really help with this part), but soon make large gaps in their evolution - it's mutant natural selection at its gaming finest.

Cow Evolution is a free download for AndroidiOS, or on Amazon. The developer Tapps Games has also come out with other mutant evolution titles, including Giraffe Evolution, Goat Evolution, and Platypus Evolution.

Have you tried out any idle/incremental games? Which are your favorites, and are you more of the active or idle player?

Cow Evolution Gameplay by - user Tapps Games
Cowtipede by


  1. I just started playing Tap Titans about a week ago or so - it is pretty fun. I'll have to give Cow Evo a try, that looks pretty silly.

    What got me started on the idle games was actually Steam - with Clicker Heroes and AdVenture Capitalist. Clicker Heroes is more or less the same as Tap Titans, while AdVenture Capitalist has you starting from a lemonade stand, and tapping your way to a financial empire. Both of these games have Android versions.

    Since I play a bunch of other phone games, I'm more of a "check in", rather than actively just sitting and tapping.

    1. I've heard of AdVenture Capitalist, but have not given it a shot - will have to do so! I think I might have tried out a couple of the financial-type clickers, which, like the medieval society-type idlers, are very number heavy and have a lot of UI components to keep track of all over the place.

      I try my best to be a "check in" type, but sometimes I find myself stuck in a game