Video Game Review: Cookie Run Kingdom


Credit: Elizabeth Zhong

Join WSPN’s Kris Poole-Evans as he reviews the best video games to play today.

CookieRun: Kingdom, a game made by South Korean development group Devsisters, was released worldwide on Jan 21, 2020. As of Mar 2021, the game had reached nearly 6 million downloads. Seeing as the game is growing more and more popular with the news of the upcoming English dub, I’m certain that number will continue to grow.

CookieRun: Kingdom is a gacha game, meaning it’s everyone’s favorite system, pay-to-win. The game itself is free to download, but the cute cookie characters often tempt players to spend money and ‘draw’ for them. You draw by using the in-game currency, which can be earned by playing through levels or bought using real money, to activate a sort of gambling system that will reward you with random characters. It always surprises me how much I tend to enjoy gachas because I hate it when games have little to no plot. However, bad plot in gachas never bothered me since that wasn’t my focus. It’s always about the new characters. I’ve only had this game for a few weeks — meaning I haven’t finished it — but I just had to write something about it. I’ve been talking about CookieRun: Kingdom to anyone that will listen to me, and now it’s time for you all to hear about it too.

CookieRun: Kingdom starts with a very dramatic, and surprisingly well animated, scene about a witch that baked magical cookies and how a war broke out among them. After this you are sent into a tutorial fight with The Five Cookies, the “leaders” if you will. The Five Cookies are going up against the one named Dark Enchantress Cookie, who has just recently declared war on The Vanilla Kingdom. Once the epic battle ends, and my frame rate drops to about 7, the Five Cookies are lost, and we fast forward to meet our heart of gold protagonist, GingerBrave. He’s an energetic and heroic cookie who is also extremely stupid. GingerBrave reconnects with his old friends, Strawberry Cookie and Wizard Cookie, and sets out on an adventure.

My favourite aspect of CookieRun: Kingdom is the art style. It’s cute and simple, and each cookie is based on something; examples being: Herb Cookie, Almond Cookie, Poison Mushroom Cookie, you get the gist. They all have such unique designs for being literal cookies, and I often find myself doodling my cookie team in class. Since I draw a lot myself, it’s always nice when games like these have simple characters. Their designs stick with you, so if I’m ever at a loss for what to draw, I can easily fill up a page with these small cookie guys.

My only real gripe about the game is the entire leveling system. Your max level only rises with your Kingdom level. So if your Kingdom level is 7, you can only raise your characters to level 7, which is especially annoying if you’re someone that flies through games, since you’ll eventually be stopped by the level cap and difficulty of bosses. Of course, this game is very easy and things take little to no time because they want you to play more. Leveling up your kingdom is pretty much just busy work. It’s just a rise and repeat sort of thing where you complete levels, buy buildings to make materials and fulfill requests. I get that this is how most gacha games work, but it’s especially annoying when your only real reward progresses one level at a time.

A small side note, CookieRun’s collaboration with Sonic the Hedgehog might have bumped the game up my tier list. CookieRun’s most recent update added Sonic and Tails cookies as well as a special Green Hill event. I grew up around so much Sonic media and every time that little blue hedgehog and his friends are anywhere, I’m instantly interested. Honestly, I couldn’t be more excited to sit down and play the game this weekend. From what I heard, this new Sonic event requires some purchases. But if it’s truly as good as the fandom makes it out to be, I’m sure it’ll be worth it.

I’m giving CookieRun: Kingdom a solid 8/10. It runs surprisingly well and doesn’t take up too much space unlike other mobile gachas like Fire Emblem Heroes or Genshin Impact. The pop-ups can get a little annoying but it doesn’t take much away from the game. Whether you’re familiar with the cute, simplistic style of the CookieRun series or not, this game is endearing, and I definitely recommend trying it out.