The expectation I had on this game was either a cooking game or dress up game but it was beyond my imagination what Cookie Run: Kingdom was all about. After trying this game out, who knew I would stay up all night playing the game to the point it has become a daily routine. The mobile game, which was created by Devsisters, has become an instant smash – it is currently the number one game in the Apple App Store’s RPG section, and it has a growing community of fan painters. The latest incarnation of the Cookie Run franchise, a spinoff from the bigger Cookie Run franchise, blends conventional town-building gameplay with a platformer with real-time combat aspects. Cookie Run: Kingdom follows on the heels of another smash hit, Genshin Impact. The game, like Genshin Impact, has a free-to-play gacha model with popular characters. There is some crossover between the two fandoms — a quick look at my server reveals that many people named their kingdoms after Genshin Impact characters and towns, implying that players likely came to the app as Genshin Impact fans. When you “roll” or gamble for the characters, a cutscene appears in which a magical witch rolls out dough. The dough is then placed in the oven using a magical cookie cutter. The stove doors open, revealing what you’ve won. It’s a satisfying mechanic that I find myself wanting to return to every few days or so for the dopamine rush — it’s a little scary! In addition, the chances of rolling specific characters are generally low. Cookie Run: Kingdom requires you to do two things: run and build a kingdom. Although the game features characters from previous games in the series, you don’t need to have played them to understand what’s going on. When you first start the game, you’ll see a cute gingerbread town full of buildings and unlocked cookie characters. While you’re in town, you can construct attractions and amenities for your cookies, such as houses, cafes, and gardens. You can then enter a hub where you can choose levels for the “run” portion of the game, which consists of platforming and battling.