Cookie Run: Kingdom’s sudden popularity, explained

My first gingerbread cookie, a tiny one, ran for its lives, and I was captivated by the sight. I couldn’t stop thinking about Cookie: Run Kingdom. Created by Devsisters, the mobile game has become a runaway hit — at the moment it is the number one game in the Apple App store’s RPG section, and it also has a thriving community of fan artists. The latest version of Cookie Run is a spin-off. It combines traditional town building gameplay with real-time combat elements.

If it sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. You can do a lot in this free, mobile gacha game. Players design and build a town and play through levels, gathering rewards that can be spent to roll and try a player’s luck at unlocking new characters. It was launched in January 2021. The game features Sega classics like Sonic and Tails.

Cookie: Run Kingdom is best known for its lovable (and sometimes sexy) cast — all of which are, you guessed it, cookies! You can find red velvet-inspired cookies and even one that is avocado-inspired. To create something truly unique, the game blends absurdity with cuteness.

Cookie Run: Kingdom – What does it mean?

Cookie Run: KingdomYou have two primary tasks: Run and Build a Kingdom. Although the game pulls characters from the earlier entries in the franchise, you don’t need to play the other games to know what’s going on. When you enter the game, you’ll see a charming gingerbread town filled with buildings and unlocked cookie characters. You can also build tourist attractions for cookies, such as cafes and gardens. From there, you can enter a hub where you select levels for the “run” portion of the game that consists of platforming and battling.

A Cookie Run: Kingdom kingdom from above, showing many different buildings and decorations.

Photo: The Devsisters via Polygon

Porions of the levels Cookie Run: KingdomWork a lot like the mobile game. Temple RunIt is possible to do this by pressing buttons. To jump or slide and avoid obstacles, press the buttons. Your cookies will then automatically move forward. Although there is limited platforming, you will spend most of the time fighting enemies with cookies-themed desserts in combat. Throughout the game, you’ll unlock cookies with different roles like attacks, defenders, and healers. It’s up to you to build a well-balanced team that can take on the most terrifying of cake monsters.

Each level you surpass earns you different rewards. You can use these to buy or upgrade buildings, increase your cookies or purchase gacha. All of it fits together. To upgrade your kingdom, you must level up cookies. You will need to improve certain buildings and add decorations to your kingdom. Also, your cookies must be strong enough to beat the levels. This helps to move the main story forward as you and your gingerbread cookie team fight for their place in the Cookie Kingdom.

How do you unlock new cookie characters?

Since it’s a gacha game, you gamble a fictional “gem” currency to get your cookies. In the gacha, you spend this in-game currency — which can either be earned through beating levels and accomplishing in-game tasks, or purchased with real money — to get a random chance at unlocking cookies or Soul Stones (which can upgrade your fighters). Generally speaking, the more powerful the cookie, the lower the chance you’ll get it in gacha. It’s also comparable to a loot box where players spend in-game currency, which can either be earned or purchased for real money, for your shot at your favorite characters.

When you “roll” or gamble for the characters, you view a cutscene where a magical witch rolls out dough. You use the magical cookie cutter to bake the dough. Stove doors open, and reveal what you’ve won. It’s a satisfying mechanic that I find myself wanting to return to for the dopamine rush every few days or so — it’s a little scary! It is rare that you will roll specific characters. A normal banner has 0.090% chance of rolling and getting Moon Rabbit Cookie. This is a common character that’s used for defense.

Hollyberry Cookie stands in the center, ready for promotion.

Photo: The Devsisters via Polygon

You can spend your in-game currency on a variety of things, including rolling for a cookie. The translation into real money may vary. It can be difficult to know the true cost, and it may make it more convenient for players to continue spending. There are also numerous ways to spend real money in exchange for various building and leveling resources, Soul Stones, and gacha related perks — like increasing the probability of a successful roll. These bundles can also be time-sensitive and difficult to distinguish from other items.

Cookie Run: KingdomThis makes it easy to gain gems online. An easy level can be completed in less than a minute and earns you around 100 gems. Rewards can be earned for certain achievements and missions. As I cleared levels regularly, I managed to earn 3000 crystals each day. In addition, magical cookie cutters were available that could be used to make rolls. I managed to get 31 cookies — many of which are powerful, high-tier cookies — within a few weeks without spending real money. That said, there is a low likelihood of getting any single specific cookie — you can get some good ones, but it will take some work and you won’t get all of them right off the bat. It’s even more work to level them up.

How did Cookie Run: Kingdom get so popular?

Cookie Run: KingdomThis success follows another one.Genshin Impact You might also like Genshin ImpactThe free-to-play Gacha Model with well-known characters is featured in the game. There’s an overlap between the two fandoms — a quick look at my server shows plenty of people who named their kingdoms after Genshin ImpactCharacters and cities are likely to be Genshin Impact enthusiasts.

TikTok users have pointed out, too that large portions of their traffic is not coming from the United States. GenshinFans have also abandoned the game. Cookie Run: KingdomSince some players weren’t happy with the anniversary reward in, Genshin. The joke is now on the fans: Cookie Run: Kingdom Basically, players get what they want. One TikToker said that players can even start the game right after having played Genshin for so long felt like “being in a proper healthy relationship.”

The Cookie Run: KingdomFandom thrives. Many people make their favorite cookies into people. This art is often shared widely. One TikTok video featuring Almond Cookie art has received more than 3.4M views. Fan artists love these cookies characters because of their detailed, anime-esque designs. Almond Cookie is a classic example of this. She has a gritty demeanor, and wears a trench coat. Sea Fairy Cookie looks really cute in her little mermaid-esque ensemble.

Other people prefer to rank TikToks cookies based upon silly metrics, such as the look of cookies when mined. Some will link the game with other meme trends. People have, for example, made Squid GameAs well Deltarune memesYou can find it here. Catchy music by Cookie Run: KingdomIt is frequently played as background music in these videos. However, it has started to spread across TikToks that are not related to Cookie Run.

This game has a lot of fandom, which shows just how much the people who love them. You’ll find the concept of this game quite light-hearted. These cookies are your characters and you must defeat monsters. But the real draw is just how satisfying it is to collect cookies, and watch them live in your little town — they can sit by the campfire, or play on a little Sega arcade cabinet.

But there’s also controversy in the Cookie Run fandom community. There’s a prevalent concern, within the fandom, about whitewashing — a phrase that refers to when artists lighten the skin tone of characters — the cookies in their fanart. Cookie Run does not acknowledge race, but there are many colors available that fan artists can use to draw them as human beings. There is now a trend where people “un-white wash” Cookie Run art by darkening the skin tone of the humanized persona. Whitewashfixer’s video shows Herb Cookie art being darkened by the user. The video has been seen approximately 1.3 Million times.

Cookie Run: Kingdom: What are the Cookies?

Cookie Run: Kingdom’sAs the game is updated, the cinematic world continues to expand. While playing, you can juggle multiple campaigns — each with its own cast, storyline, and set of levels. GingerBrave is the main character. He’s a gingerbread-man cookie and uses his candy cane sword to protect all of his cookies. But the presence of these vast worlds only seems to prompt even more questions about their lives — with one sticking out in particular: Do cookies eat other cookies?

Dark Enchantress, a cookie similar to Maleficent believes that cookies are meant to be eaten. However, it appears that cookies eating other cookies is frowned upon, as GingerBrave’s whole crusade is to ensure the happiness and prosperity of all cookies. Cookies DoYou can eat or drink anything. Champagne Cookie seems to like a glass of champagne or wine when he heals his teammates. It is possible to make your cookies an entire bar.

But, it becomes blurry between cookie and noncookie. While in town, you’ll make jelly beans, bread, donuts, cake, and other sweets for your cookies to eat. While they don’t bake cookies, these are certainly the components to baking a cookie, so it gets a little dubious. They do not make other cookies. Cookies are created by an invisible magical witch using special cookie cutters and magical oven. It appears, therefore, that cookie cannibalism is not a formal practice.

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