Cookie Run is a series of semi-freemium endless running sidescroller games for mobile platforms, created by the South Korean company Devsisters. In these games, players assume the role of various cute, sentient gingerbread-man-style Cookies who traverse various environments while collecting candies, coins, and power-ups- all of which are broadly referred to as Jellies- in order to achieve the highest possible scores. These Cookies are often accompanied by unique Pet companions, who assist their Cookie friends in various ways. Cookies may also equip items called Treasures, which provide their own unique bonus effects to aid in running and scoring.
The original game, OvenBreak, released on iOS in 2009. This game had two Cookies, no Pets, and no Treasures, but seven game modes. It was followed by OvenBreak 2 in 2012, which had only one game mode but added more Cookies and introduced Pets note . It also introduced a leaderboard where players could compare their scores with friends; this PvP play would become a staple of future games. The next games, released in 2014, were and are powered by various mobile chat services: Kakao in the game's native South Korea in 2013, and the international note LINE in 2014. These games were all referred to as Cookie Run, but outside of Korea, both are often called LINE Cookie Run for simplicity's sake (sometimes abbreviated as LCR). This installment introduced a great many new characters, expansive lore, and the implementation of Treasures. In October 2016, they were succeeded by the game's current version, Cookie Run: OvenBreak (often abbreviated as CROB), which continues to introduce more new Cookies and invests even more into PvP race gameplay.note
There are also two non-runner spinoff games: Cookie Wars (a Tower Defense game) and Cookie Run: Puzzle Worldnote (a Match-Three Game). Another game, Cookie Run Kingdom, was announced around the same time as Puzzle World, to be released on January 21, 2021. Additional footage revealed that said game was part village simulator and part tactical RPG.
While it has earned itself a rapidly growing, hugely diverse fanbase worldwide, Cookie Run is still most popular in its homeland South Korea, judging from their follower count on Twitter, having its own different comic continuities, gorgeous fanart and cosplays, as well as its own merchandise store website (domain not available as of January 1, 2017). Not bad for a mobile game about super-speedy running confections!
Its cast is continually growing, so remember to put individual characterization tropes on this game's characters page instead of this page!
Story and Setting
- Anachronism Stew: The setting of the series features dragons, magic, medieval kingdoms, ninjas, and Golden Age pirates alongside Industrial-era cities, modern towns and mansions, and quite a lot of future tech.
- Anthropomorphic Food: Almost all of the playable characters are living, humanoid cookies. The few exceptions include a half-squid Cookie and an alien doughnut from outer space.
- Crapsaccharine World: While the world is full of sweet candy lands and silly gummy fauna, it's also full of terrible monsters, dark magics, and Ancient Evil. It's tough being a cookie.
- A Dog Named "Dog": Many Cookies are named after their primary ingredient, so the game is full of characters such as a lemon cookie named Lemon Cookie and a dark chocolate cookie named Dark Choco Cookie. This is somewhat averted by fans, who often refer to Cookies by simply the beginning of the name, ie. Lemon and Dark Choco.
- Crossover: LINE Cookie Run featured Pets based on LINE mascots Brown and Cony. Years later, CROB would have a crossover with Hello Kitty. Kitty and her sister Mimmy were limited-time "Special" Cookies with special Pets and Treasures that had an event starting on December 29, 2018.
- Edible Theme Naming: Justified, given that they're made of food.
- Ghost Town: The massive and abandoned City of Wizards and City of the Millennial Tree both qualify.
- Lethal Lava Land: The Dragon's Valley is a maelstrom of raging flames, molten rock, and... well, a dragon.
- Level Ate: Many of the environments are this. Landscapes, flora, and fauna made of candy and foodstuffs are found abundantly throughout the game.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: There are 100 playable cookies currently available in OvenBreak, and more are released every month. Some of these characters are new to that game, while others are brought over from the previous Kakao/LINE versions. There are also a handful of NPCs who appear throughout the games.
- Background Music Override: There are multiple Cookies who have music unique to them when they run or activate their abilities, and this music overrides the stage music that would normally play.
- Character Level: Cookies are sorted into Grades that refer to their rarity and general scoring capability, and each individual unit has a level which increases their max energy and ability effectiveness.
- Collision Damage: A Cookie's energy bar drops sharply whenever they get hit by or run into an obstacle.
- Direct Continuous Levels: Courses are characterized by transitions into a variety of different environments as a Cookie progresses through the map.
- Double Jump: All Cookies are able to double jump. However, there are some Cookies with abilities granting them further additional jumps, and in later installments a Treasure which allows even more jumps when equipped.
- Edible Collectible: Jellies, the catch-all term for the various items collected during a run.
- End Game Results Screen: After a Cookie's run ends, a screen is shown displaying points earned, total points for that episode, and coins collected.
- Endless Running Game
- Experience Points: Used to raise a player's level, not the Cookies'.
- Floating Platforms: As is typical of a platformer.
- Follow the Money: Jellies are used to indicate when to slide or jump to avoid getting hit, particularly when it comes to moving obstacles.
- Hearts Are Health: While running, Cookies can collect Potions- bottles adorned with hearts which grant a boost to their energy.
- Informed Equipment: Up to three Treasures can be equipped at once to increase a Cookie's attributes or provide helpful effects, but they don't show up on the Cookie while running.
- Life Meter: The Cookies have energy meters which indicate how much longer they can run for. These meters decay as a Cookie runs, and drop suddenly on collision with an obstacle. Collecting Potions can help replenish the meter, and some Cookies, Pets and Treasures are able to slightly replenish a meter that has run dry.
- Micro Transactions: Crystals are the premium currency in the series, and are used to purchase various things in both games. Fortunately, the items purchased with Crystals in LINE are easily obtained without their use, and CROB is very liberal with how it distributes Crystals to players. On top of that, CROB introduces another premium currency in the form of Rainbow Cubes, which are used only for Cookie costumes and can be crafted once every three days using materials found through gameplay.
- Money Sink: Both games feature the ability to upgrade Treasures, and CROB introduces the ability to enhance Cookie-empowering items called Magic Candies. Upgrading either of these is entirely chance-reliant, and the arduous process is something of a joke among players.
- Nitro Boost: The Blast Mode power-up makes a Cookie go blazingly fast for a short time. Some Cookies can also enter Blast Mode passively at intervals, or it can be done with the help of Pets and Treasures.
- Play Every Day: Daily log-in bonuses are commonly granted, while regular weekly bonuses are granted based on aspects of gameplay such as a player's scoring over that week.
- Power-Up Magnet: Angel Cookie, Fairy Cookie, and Lemon Cookie all have Auto Innate magnetic abilities which draw in Jellies, and many other Cookies have an Auto Gained magnetic effect when using their abilities. There are also multiple Treasures in both games that grant temporary or weak magnetic effects, and one of the main powerups of the series is a Magnet that allows Pets to move ahead and magnetically attract Jellies for a short time.
- Random Drop: Ingredients for treasure evolution (LINE) or Laboratory item creation (OvenBreak).
- Scoring Points: The main goal of the game. Different Jellies have different point values, and different Cookies have abilities that increase their scoring potential in certain situations (producing more pick-ups, reviving to run longer, getting points for destroying obstacles or jumping, etc.) or generally just grant a large number of points when activated.
- Sprint Shoes: Multiple Treasure items grant a boost to overall movement speed, or boost the speed of Blast Mode.
- Temporary Platform: Some floors give way as a Cookie runs over them. Usually a Cookie stays ahead of the falling platforms, but sometimes they can catch up and cause a fall for an unwary player.
- Unlockable Content: Many Cookies are unlocked under certain conditions, after which they may be purchased or found in Chests.
Story and Setting
- Deadly Game: "The Dangerous Exchange" event involves Chess Choco Cookie luring Gingerbrave and friends into one of these.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: Obtaining 150 Stars for a Cookie's Island of Memories- a fairly tall order- grants an exclusive costume.
- But Thou Must!:
- In the game's intro, pressing the "Bake and Eat" button will result in Gingerbrave voicing his displeasure, though nothing else happens. The game doesn't actually start until the player concedes and presses the "Escape" button.
- A similar thing happens when a player first enters Land 8. If a player chooses to disagree with the rules set out by Doughnut Ball Fairy, they will warn the player that they are making the wrong decision, disallowing progression until their terms are accepted.
- Color-Coded Item Tiers: Cookies and Treasures share Grades for rarity, and as such colours: tan for Common, blue for Rare, purple for Epic, orange for Special, and an aquamarine-to-blue gradient for Legendary.
- Cooldown: Each Cookie can run a certain number of times before they become tired. The number of runs has dramatically changed since the first release; the current number of runs for each Cookie is 10, with the exception of GingerBrave, GingerBright, Cheesecake, and Mint Choco; the former two get 15 runs, Cheesecake gets 2 runs (with a 16-hour cooldown time), and Mint Choco gets 4 (with the same cooldown time as Cheesecake). This is due to the fact that GingerBrave and GingerBright are starting cookies that the player gets automatically, and Cheesecake and Mint Choco are coin-collecting Cookies.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Unlike most platformers, the game does not take away your extra jump in midair.
- Five-Second Foreshadowing: The animation that plays when you use the Costume Gacha is affected by what you're going to get. If Gingerbrave ends up panicking and stumbling on the obstacles, you're going to only get Commons. On the other hand, if both cheerleading squads literally roll out the red carpet for him in the final stretch, you can be sure that an Ultra Rare is in your very-near future.
- Nerf: A lot of Cookies returning from LCR had their abilities changed or downgraded. Some newly-introduced Cookies have also needed nerfs to help deal with rampant power creep.
- Since experience points aren't earned from races in CROB, GingerBright's XP-increasing ability was changed to the occasional production of Candy Jellies. Since experience points are one of the hardest resources to acquire in CROB, this may be the hardest nerf to a Cookie by far.
- Cheese Drop's priority is creating Pink Bear Jellies, and as a result it picks up missed Jellies much less efficiently. Also, it can no longer pick up all missed Jellies; it will ignore some, such as Devil Cookie's Spirit Jellies created by his passive ability.
- Alchemist Cookie now only has one pet with which she gets a Combi Bonus.
- Orange Cookie now has to collect the tennis balls she smashes with, as opposed to smashing automatically with each double jump.
- Pancake Cookie's ability now takes much longer to charge, resulting in fewer flights per run.
- Moon Rabbit's ability now takes twice as long to charge, and her ability to create Honey Rice Cake Jellies by jumping has been locked behind her Magic Candy.
- Kiwi Cookie has fewer Kiwi Fuel Jellies appear during his motorcycle ride.
- Macaron now has to collect her macaron animals in order to start the Macaron Parade. Additionally, her Castanets Pet now creates fewer Macaron Jellies with its activation.
- Cream Puff Cookie's big magic tricks now happen at random, rather than after a certain number of small magic tricks.
- Furball Pup can only revive the main Cookie and Relay Cookie one time, as opposed to multiple times.
- There is now a slight delay between Tiger Lily Cookie picking up the spear and her throwing it.
- Moonlight Cookie no longer recovers energy after her sleep.
- Rank Inflation: Cookie Trials award ranks Bronze 3 through 1, then Silver 3-1, Gold 3-1, Emerald 3-1, Ruby 3-1 and finally Diamond. However, in other modes there's more ranks: not initially present, the Rainbow rank in Guild Run, Breakout and Champion League that is above Diamond (which now has its own subranks). Breakout and Champion League have also put Crystal between Gold and Emerald, and expanded the other way, by adding Chocolate below Bronze.
- Revenue-Enhancing Devices: Includes package deals and costumes (in which their currency is obtained by buying 1+1+1 Exclusive Deals with cash).
- The reward for completing Chestnut Cookie, Pudding Cookie, Walnut Cookie and Roguefort Cookie's trials to Diamond Rank is a title called "Baker's St. Irregulars".
- The title you can buy from the Cheddar Mine event is called "Monster Hunter".
- The YouTube video announcing Werewolf Cookie's trial references "Be Prepared", a song from The Lion King (1994) in both the title and video description.
- The name and description for "Frozen Bearlsa Jelly" both references Elsa and the song "Let It Go" from Frozen (2013).
- Songs in the Key of Panic: During a Trophy Race, if there's less than 30 seconds on the clock.
- Power Creep: Due to how regularly new units and Treasures are introduced, the power creep of CROB is an issue which Devsisters has needed to address repeatedly. Despite nerfs to newer units and buffs to older units, it usually only takes a month or two for the meta to revolve around two or three newer Cookies and Treasures.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: Multiple BGMs use this, including:
- Land 5's theme.
- Angel Cookie's Trial theme.
- The last stage of Arena 5 in the Champion's League, prior to its revamp.
Story and Setting
- Backstory Horror: The very fact that their kingdom was destroyed and are now empty ruins is one thing, that Brave saw other sentient gingerbread men get eaten is another. Episode 4 is also a beautiful but empty city, abandoned for reasons unknown.
- Clock Tower: In the City of Wizards. When entered, the background music even becomes quieter as a nice touch.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Presumably. Story-wise, the Cookies seem to have endured the Wrath of the Dragon and made it to the Dessert Paradise, finally finding a new home.
- Edible Treasure
- Escape Sequence: Episode 1, in narrative anyway. Initially, Cookie Run's subtitle was even "Sweet Escape Adventure".
- Hidden Elf Village: The masked inhabitants of the Pineapple Village.
- Volcano Lair: Episode 3, which houses Fire Spirit Cookie and dragons.
- Achievement System: Unlike many examples, it is not completion-related because the next requirement only continually grows before eventually looping. Cookie Run practices something akin to the Every 10000 Points system, with other conditions for various small rewards.
- Equipment Upgrade: Certain Treasures are able to be evolved if a player has the right ingredients, and others can even enter another Grade category.
- Experience Booster: The Double EXP boost, GingerBright, and certain Treasures.
- For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: The Legendary Cookies and Ginger Claus.
- Inventory Management Puzzle: Though, one's inventory can be made bigger with 15 spaces per expansion using Crystals.
- Joke Item: The April Fools 2015 cookie cutter Treasure, which shrinks a Cookie down. As this decreases the number of Jellies that can be collected, this is a pure joke item.
- Meaningless Lives: With a sizable friends list, one never has to worry about waiting for lives to regenerate. Even normally, it only takes five minutes to restore one lost life, and that timer continues while one is running.
- Money Multiplier: The Gold Coins and Double Coins boosts.
- Vendor Trash: Buttercream Choco's White Day coins, explicitly mentioned to be investments which could be sold for a lot of money. Also, the Magic Stone Ornaments, which could not be used as components for any Treasure evolution.