Sakura Clicker

Sakura Clicker is a clicker game by Winged Cloud available on Steam. The art is heavily based, if not directly lifted in parts, from their Sakura series of visual novels. There’s no real plot or anything here. You simply start playing. You can customize your main character which happens to be a hot anime girl, of course. There’s a small variety of outfits and facial features to select from with more available for purchase via downloadable content. You can also change your character’s looks at any time during the game. The main gameplay aesthetically consists of attacking various creatures characterized by hot anime girls in corresponding cosplay. There are creatures like bears, cats, witches, dragons, and more! Each one has a specific pose and general outfit based upon their class of creature but have randomly generated clothing pieces, colors, and physical features such as skin tone, eye color, and facial expression. As far as I can tell, they may have a few different vocal samples per class as well, somewhat sticking to what their creature would sound like. I’m not entirely certain on this, though. You attack them by clicking on them, which is the point of any clicker game. Clicking them reduces their HP based on your click strength. Once an enemy’s HP falls below zero, they are defeated and the next randomly generated one takes its place. After you defeat ten of them in a row you’ll be greeted by the boss of the current stage. The boss will be one of the randomly generated creatures with the word “big” prefacing their name to indicate that they are the boss. You will only have 30 seconds to defeat it. If you fail you’ll be brought back to fighting normal enemies until you hit the “enter boss” button to try again. If you beat the boss you’ll go on to the next stage. There are 5 stages in each zone. Defeating the boss of the fifth stage in a zone will bump you up to the next zone, which is indicated not only by the display in the upper right of the screen but also by a change in the background image.

Defeated enemies drop gold. The further along you get in the stages and zones, the greater your rewards will be, but the enemies grow stronger as well. You’ll even start to see new enemy types dropping into the mix as you venture further and further. You can use the gold dropped by your fallen foes to level up, purchase upgrades, and hire allies. Your main here can learn some skills that much be activated to use and then go on a cooldown timer. In order to get them you must level up to the appropriate level and then have the required sum of gold to then purchase the skill. Increasing your hero’s level will increase your click damage as well. Hiring allies will add to your damage per second, or DPS. These allies also have abilities, but they are passive boosts that activate upon reaching the required level. Each successive level will cost more and more gold. The same goes for each successive hire. The special abilities of the allies are unlocked at levels 100, 200, 400, and 600. Their boosts can be any number of things, depending on which ally it is. They can boost their own damage by a significant percent, boost gold gain, even boost your click damage among many other things. Each ally must be purchased in order so you cannot skip one and try to save up enough gold to buy the one after it as it will not be available until the previous one has been hired.

The DPS you have will actually be calculated even after you exit the game. So by saving and quitting you can still earn gold based on your current DPS and stage to collect when you log onto the game again. However, during actual play you’ll be able to interact with a few unique appearances. There are two types of spirits that sometimes show up. One you need only click once before it disappears in order to get a lump sum of gold based on your current progress. The other can be clicked as many times as you are capable of clicking before it disappears and drops pieces of gold with each click. Treasure chests sometimes will fall out of defeated enemies as well, which when clicked enough will break open to reveal a large burst of gold. These, of course, cannot be interacted with or calculated into the amount granted while the game is off. Likewise, your auto-attack ability on your main hero does not count as DPS and will also not be factored into this equation. There is no real ending to increasing number of stages, enemy health bars, gold count, and available allies.

Once your main hero reaches level 450, however, you can spend 1 gold on an ability called rebirth. Doing this will reset your current progress back to the very start but reward you with a certain number of spirits based on how much gold you spent and how far along you were. You can use these spirits on the artifacts page to upgrade pets. These pets can permanently upgrade your stats to make the following runs of the game easier. You can increase the boss timer, increase gold gain, increase click damage, increase critical damage, increase ally damage, increase attack speed, and increase all damage. As with other upgrades in the game, the higher the level of the pets get, the more spirits they need to level up again. You can only hold a total of 350 spirits at any given time.

That’s a lot to explain, but it’s all pretty simple and intuitive. And really, Sakura Clicker is a decent clicker game. It gives you some incentive to keep playing and replaying. You want to stay on the game to use your skills when they come off their cooldowns and hit those spirits and chests when they show up. Not to mention the eye candy you’ll be missing if you look away or grind with the game off. Giving you the permanent boosrs also helps keep you coming back to try again and see how they improve your run the next time around. Plus, the music is kinda catchy and the sounds… oh boy, the sounds are very… let’s just say engaging. Look, this game deserves some extra praise. It’s the first entry in the Sakura series that I played that can actually be called a game. Beyond that, it’s the kind of game that uses the fapbait fanservice of the series to its advantage. There’s no story being thrown up to pretend like there’s a lot of depth here. It randomly generates tons of different hot anime girls so you get a great variety and you feel encouraged to keep going to see what other new girls await you in the next zone. You can even play it with one hand! And hey, it has a hell of a nice aesthetic to be staring at for the long hours you’re bound to put into a clicker game in general. So I really do think the whole thing worked out well for being a good Sakura entry, a good clicker game, and an okay game in general.

There are some problems, though. Most of the problems come from the genre. The game has no real ending, instead just infinitely raising the numbers over and over. The resetting to gain permanent stats helps but soon devolves into the same thing. And without any win-state or fail-state you pretty much are just playing for the sake of playing. Or… more likely, playing for the sake of playing with yourself. In that sense, I GUESS there’s a natural conclusion each time you play. It also can feel a bit conflicting, though. See, you want that DPS for when you’re going to close the game, plus it’s easier on your clicking hand, but then every girl that shows up is at the mercy of the DPS. If you really like a girl you might want her to stick around for a while. So it almost punishes you for doing well if you get anything but click strength. The game really needs a pause button for this very reason. Or some kind of gallery to look through all the variants of girls you’ve encountered. There’s not much substance to the different girls gameplay-wise so I don’t see why not. Also, sometimes the spirits show up on the very edges of the screen, obscured by other tabs or buttons. It’s not the most frequent issue, but it happened enough to get annoying. Ultimately for me, it boiled down to doing the same routine over and over again to get about 15-16 spirits before using rebirth because doing much more would take more and more time making it less and less worth continuing as opposed to just starting over again. It gets old.

Then again… I’ve put in way more hours than I really care to admit. Nearing 400 as I write this, if you must know. Sakura Clicker is free. It’s hard to say not to check out a free game. The DLC may not be worth it for you, but the game itself is an easy one to recommend. Like hot anime girls? Want to get a sample of what you’re missing from the Sakura series? Want to dip your toes into the waters of the clicker genre? These are all good reasons to try out Sakura Clicker. Sure, it’d be a bit better for a mobile device, but it’s not bad as a computer game. It’s definitely worth a look if nothing else. I’d really only say pass on it if you don’t like any of the things mentioned above. And if that’s the case… well then you and I just have very different taste in what we consider enjoyment, don’t we? I can only hope that Sakura Dungeon does for RPGs what this does for clicker games.

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