Candy Crush Saga, today’s Android Amusements overview, comes to us simply because I couldn’t take it anymore. My mom plays Candy Crush Saga on Facebook. I’m seeing Candy Crush Saga commercials on TV. It’s the first time I’ve seen an Android app that wasn’t Angry Birds or Cut the Rope everywhere and I just can’t avoid it anymore. So, I gave up. I played it, I added it to my Facebook profile and now I’m going to talk about it.
You all better appreciate this, because doing this meant unblocking Candy Crush Saga on Facebook and now I’m drowning in a sea of requests.
Candy Crush Saga is a match-3 game, which means your goal is to match three or more of similarly colored objects to earn a score and proceed. I’d say the only real difference is that it involves moving and matching pieces of candy, but that’s been done before. The game has 100 levels and in each, you’ll be swiping gems in the hopes of making a certain score within a certain number of moves while also wiping out all jelly on screen, getting ingredients to the bottom screen or so forth. Succeeding means moving onto the next challenge. Failure means you have to try again. If you can’t pass the level, you lose a heart and if you run out of hearts, you have to wait until they refill (or pay) to keep playing.
Aside from the level goals, which set it apart from some other match-3 games, Candy Crush Saga is a fairly typical, untimed affair. Like Bejeweled and other games, making matches of four or more candies will result in a special candy appearing. It will have special properties, like blasting away multiple candies from the board, which results in more points for you. It’s all very basic and expected. It also offers unprompted hints if someone goes too long without making a match, making three candies that could be matched flash so you don’t have to think.
Where Candy Crush Saga gets you is in its limitations. See, match-3 games are, by nature, addictive. Look at what happens with Bejeweled, Puzzle Quest and 10000000. They’re fun, little games you don’t have to think about and can play for short or extended periods of time. Candy Crush Saga is definitely that. However, it is also diabolical. As I’ve mentioned, each level must have a certain score reached within a certain number of moves. If you fail to do so, you lose a heart and losing all hearts means you can’t play for a while. People can tend to get stuck on these levels, which I think actually heightens the enjoyment. It leaves you thinking, “Next time, I can do it!” Which means you’ll keep coming back until you show that level who’s boss.
Which brings us to the downside. Eventually, you’re going to find a level you just can’t beat. It has you stumped. This means either getting on Facebook and hoping someone sends you a move booster that adds three extra moves to the number of total moves you can take in a level or making an in-app purchase. King.com is going to cash in on people’s desperation to get past a certain level or try one more time by offering them the chance to try again for just a little bit of money. Just a dollar or two. This next time could be the one. But even if it is, you’ll just end up hitting a Candy Crush Saga wall again.
Not that I think Candy Crush Saga is bad. In fact, I think it’s a fun little Android game to pass some time and I don’t mind playing it on Facebook at all. I just find the life limitation and eagerness to sell people the chance to try again or earn extra moves a bit exploitative considering how addicted I’m sure some people will get. In fact, I’d recommend it to people looking for a match-3 game. Just, I’d also recommend having the Facebook version, for the integration aspects, and keeping a certain amount of distance so you don’t spend actual money on the game.