The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Spaceplan

Idle games, and specifically "clickers", aren't for everybody. The genre originated as a commentary on how brainless modern video games had become, but what nobody really expected was that clickers scratched a particular itch in certain people even though the actual act of playing one was about as mindless as it gets. I am proud to say that I am among those who get a kick out of watching progress bars fill up! But I also can completely understand those who don't enjoy a good clicker or who simply don't understand what all the fuss is about in the first place.

Spaceplan [$2.99] is a clicker, sure, but it also turns the genre on its head in multiple ways. The game starts you off on a satellite that's orbiting a planet of some type. Apparently there was some sort of malfunction on your ship as you'll need to harvest electricity to get various systems up and running again once the game begins. What is the best way to do such a thing on a remote spacecraft? Why, use potatoes of course! Yeah, this game is silly. And weird. And unlike other clickers and idle games, it actually has some very well-written and humorous dialogue. It also has a 40-minute reveal trailer, for some reason.

Once you get rolling in Spaceplan the familiar clicker formula starts to take shape. You'll start out having to actually click a button to generate your resource, but like most every other clicker, once you start unlocking and upgrading things, the resources start to pour in. You probably know the drill: Unlock one thing, earn more resources, but then the next unlock costs even MORE resources, so you upgrade that other thingy, earn some resources faster, buy the new thing, rinse and repeat. If you don't already like clickers I'm not sure if Spaceplan will change your mind, however…

As I said Spaceplan does some things a bit differently than other clicker games. One of those things is pretty major and I won't spoil it here, but the other thing I don't mind spoiling: This game ends! Most clickers are designed to just scale with your progress forever. Or at least I imagine it's forever, I typically get bored at some point and eventually move on from the game. Spaceplan has an end, though, and honestly it's a pretty short experience overall, especially in light of other clickers that last forever. The thing is, the game length doesn't matter all that much because Spaceplan is just that brilliant. Trust me on this one, I was sad to see it end but the experience will stick with me for a long time.

If you already like clickers, you should definitely pick up Spaceplan. If you don't, well, this may or may not sway you, but even if you pick it up and end up not enjoying it, at least you're supporting a developer who is trying to expand a genre in new and interesting ways. And definitely give it a little time to unfold even if it doesn't grab you right off the bat. Oh, one other thing that's different about this game compared to others? It's paid with no IAP. How weird is THAT?

  • adin

    An awesome game....just wish there was more of it! Spaceplan 2?

  • Rooie1154

    I am hoping that I won't miss the end...

  • kreylix

    I concur! Game of the Week!!!

  • Slate

    Excellent choice!

  • Daniel Schroeder

    I saw this on AppShopper and picked it up, despite still playing another clicker (Bit City), and not feeling so sure about buying a clicker. Not sure how to gauge progress, but potatoes are doing things.

    • Maude St. Nubbins

      The game has a specific narrative and gets more interesting as it continues. It will be hard to miss the fact that you're making progress. Stick with it.

  • coolit

    Honestly feels like it's been a sad few weeks on the mobile scene... I enjoyed Penarium but otherwise it's all been clickers, crossy roads and simple puzzlers... where's all the actual games!

    • coolit

      Oh and various mobas that seem alright in concept, but I'm not into competitive gaming 🙁

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      They've been released on the App Store.

      • onebigdoor

        pwned! this made me laugh out loud.

    • Kamakazie

      I recommend Race for the Galaxy.

  • DemoEvolved

    A clicker for 4 dollars? No. Just no.

    • Sterling Archer

      Sigh.

      You couldn't be more wrong. You're not playing it because it "is" a clicker, it has an endearing story and while it doesn't change the mechanics of a clicker, the story and heart make it well well well well worth the price of admission, at least for a large majority of us who purchased it.

      I was enthralled from start to finish and, hands down, it was one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling gaming experiences I've had this year. It's a game I want to go back and do over, spending a bit more time focused on the actual story rather than the "ooh what's next shiny!"

      I haven't felt this way about a game since, hell, Sword and Sworcery (which I think I really want to replay now).

      Yes, it is effectively nothing more than a clicker. No, it is not "just a clicker"

  • Patricia Anaka

    Another game whose trailer is just a fancy intro, no gameplay footage. I hate this trend!

    • Maude St. Nubbins

      Then you're missing the point. A 40 minute trailer for a minimalist, narrative clicker is absurd, and intentional.

      • Patricia Anaka

        I don't know what you're talking about, but I am talking about the 1-minute trailer shown above that doesn't show what the game looks like on screen or how you play it.

  • Dema9o9ue

    Amazing game. Loving every minute of you. If you don't get this because it's a clicker or because it's paid then I'm sorry for you. My $3 is getting me hours of entertainment.

  • boydstr

    Fantastic audio.

  • OrangutanKungfu

    This was not on my radar at all, but you have all intrigued me. Ah, go on then. Spaceplan here I come.

  • onebigdoor

    this game is as much minimalist art as it is a clicker. loving this. i rarely play games with the sound on, but it's a must for this one.

  • spatenau@gmail.com

    I was mildly interested in the story at first. It lost my interest about halfway through. The clicker aspect was basic. The few challenges were already tired after the second one. The graphics were interesting. I thought there was a lot more they could do with it. The UI got in the way of the storytelling. Basically, it was a simple humorous story with minimal game mechanics. I think the blurb should be "a fun story with fun graphics wrapped in a basic clicker."