I am drowning in Universal Paperclips


Universal Paperclips is a clicker game that I found through this RPS piece and it has had a firm grip on mind for 2 days straight. As the piece mentions, it’s designed by Frank Lantz of the NYU Game Center. Compared to other clickers, it’s probably closest to Spaceplan - not quite as mindless as Cookie Clicker, not quite as narrative-driven as Candy Box or A Dark Room.

It has a… significantly longer tail than any of those, though. Like I said, I’m 2 days in, and one particular progress bar still sits at “0.000000000000%” complete.

I’m not here to infect other people with this brain virus, nor to cure myself of it. I just need to know:

Once my space probes reach 20 trust and I’m out of new upgrades to buy, what should I work on and how long does it take?

Thank you and I’m sorry.

EDIT: This sucker’s now on iOS - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/universal-paperclips/id1300634274?mt=8


This game ate my life yesterday. Why couldn’t I have heard about it on Monday, or the weekend?

As for the question, put about 5 points in Hazard Remediation and the rest into Self Replication, which is where your exponential growth comes from. Don’t worry about actually doing stuff with your space probes until you have a whole bunch of them - with enough probes just turning on factory or other-drone production for a few seconds gets you more than enough stuff.


This game goes to hilariously dark places, I love it. Like SPACEPLAN it’s not actually as infinite as you’d think an idler game would be. Bonus for being based on a famous hypothetical in AI research.


I played this for like two hours the other night but kind of hit a wall where I had spent too much trust on processors and not enough on memory and just, nothing was happening without waiting AGES to earn more trust, so. I gave up.


Super helpful! I found the next layer! Just a couple days to go, I guess…


Oof, yeah, that’s not signposted very well. You get a hint that Memory is more important because it pops the 70,000 mem target waaaaaaaaaaaay before you can get it, but it’s a little rough.


I tried to subvert it by refusing to charge more than $0.01 per clip, but alas, it is designed to require money-making and the creativity-only nonsenses seem to come to an end if you reject the rest of it.


for some reason every link to the site brings me “Site can’t be reached” error. chrome can show me a cache-saved copy of it but i can’t actually play it. did anyone here have trouble getting it to work? i tried disabling all my extensions and still no luck


Maybe it’s gone down cuz of traffic? I’ve had the same window open forever, so maybe I just got in there before it crashed.


I am not able to get to the site either but at least now I am discovering Spaceplan, which is fantastic


Just finished this and I’m completely blown away. Really interesting how such a simple UI can convey so much.


Hm. So if you lose trust, your processor/memory capacity isn’t penalized, but if you then gain trust after losing trust, you receive the “extra capacity 4 u” message without actually gaining extra capacity.

And now I know.


Jesus, I finally beat it.


Pro-Tip: If you need to click a button a lot of times (and you’ll need to do that at times), you can press and hold the Enter key to rapidly activate whatever button you most recently clicked.

This definitely comes in handy for situations where you need to buy 200 of something.

edit: Or thousands of something


Oh jeez. I love this.


I believe I completed the game today (after 9 hours or so); and now the website points to localhost and I can’t seem to restart the game if I want to.


Yeah, it seems you’ll have to do some browser-level data clear to play again.

I have since moved on to “Kittens Game” which Lantz called out as inspiration. It bills itself as “a Dark Souls of incremental gaming” and I’ve already had to restart once.


i have no patience for these things, so i’m glad the creator(s) made it in javascript so i could just change the values through the developer console. it was a fun little ride


I started up the game again through firefox instead of chrome because I don’t know exactly what to clear out in my browser to be able to play it again. I started the game up again because…I wanted to see how efficient I could be. I…wanted to speedrun the game.

I also streamed my efforts, but mostly so I could have a record of the times.

Edit: 3hr52min to achieve universal paperclips. Can anybody give me any reference on if this is fast or slow?

OMG FRANK LANTZ WAS WATCHING ME STREAM THE GAME!!! https://twitter.com/flantz/status/918692598927179776


Double posting just to say; I’ve optimised my speedrun further and have achieved:

One Octillion Clips Created in 1 hour 45 minutes 45 seconds

This is about 43 minutes ahead of my previous run, so I’m making pretty good time.

Edit: Disaster has struck.

Look at time stamps on these tweets; they’re 2 hours apart, and tweeted roughly when the in-game timers said what they said; that is, an hour and 10 minutes apart.

Somehow a discrepancy of 50 minutes has been created, and I have no idea why. As such, I have “evidence” in-game that I reached universal paperclips much faster than last time, but in real-time it took approximately as long.