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My New Addiction: Candy Crush Saga

CCS Front

Love/Hate relationships are interesting things. Sometimes it’s ice cream when you are lactose intolerant. For others it’s a new album from an artist you love not living up to your expectations. For gamers, the most common form is a great new title that you haven’t finished yet, that makes you negotiate if you’re going to work on full sleep or an hour or two’s worth. Thanks to some colleagues at work (you will remain nameless, but you know who you are…) I have a new game to finish that’s interfering with my sleep; Candy Crush Saga.

Candy Crush Saga is free Puzzle game made by developer King, and originally released on Nov. 14th, 2012 for iOS and Android, though it is also available for Facebook, and all options are free to download. You’ve probably seen invites or requests from people from you Facebook friends list for more lives. The gameplay is simple; it follows the Bejewelled formula of matching three or more like symbols, in this case small candies, to clear a level. Making combinations of four or five in a row, among other combinations, drops you an upgraded candy that, when matched, could blow up 3×3 sections twice, eliminate a board of an entire color or completely clear a horizontal or vertical line. Seems familiar, right?


Damn those Jellies. Damn all the Jellies.

What makes this better than Bejewelled, and possibly even more addictive, is the set up of the levels. There are a number of Levels in each Episode. The episodes feature an creepy/adorable (haven’t decided yet) cardboard cutout girl attempting to help out a character in the new land she has entered. Each level has a different objective, like scoring as many points in a certain time, getting a number of unmatchable pieces to the bottom of the board, or clearing all the Jellies, clear and increasingly layered background squares, from the level. The music is simplistic and mellow, and thankfully doesn’t interfere with the game. Instead of annoyance, you tend to make calmer, better decisions when you don’t have the pressure of a quick theme. Or, if you aren’t a fan, turn off the music, load up your own and go with it.


The dreaded licorice levels… *shiver*

Passing levels posts to the high score wall, advances the story and costs you nothing. If you fail a level, you lose a life. You start at five, and once you run out, you get to wait a full half hour of real time to get another life. Of course, this is the point where you understand all those annoying invites because you’re sending them to everyone you know, making excuses for why it’s ok for you to do it (I saw it as a cruel, ironic form of vengeance. Complete with costumes). Then I found another option that made me cringe…


Yep, you guessed it. Microtransactions. One of the downsides of free-to-play anything are these little gimmicks to get extra money out of you. We covered our dislike for Microtransactions previously, and this game isn’t changing our opinion. It’s understandable for small games to have a way to generate some profit from their hard work, but in a game that tracks high scores and progress, knowing that someone who shoves money at a developer could be the one that has so much higher a score than me cheapens the experience. And it’s not limited to just the above screen. There are also expendable microtransactions as well, giving you less bang for your buck than the above options. I don’t know about you, but I can’t spare $17 to refill my lives once and let three more lives accumulate when I’m not playing another hour and a half.

No More Lives

Get used to seeing this screen…a lot.

Also, this is certainly not the easiest game, either. Randomized pieces keep the game interesting for sure, but sometimes you get stuck on a level, consistently one objective short of your goal. The controls are tight, but if you have fingers bigger than a stylus, you will make a wrong move, as the candies are kind of small. The game is great in this aspect, as non-matching moves do not count against your moves count in a level, but one misaligned move can ruin your level. This is kind of a push, though, as most levels give you an unlimited time limit to make the best possible move you can, so it is well balanced.


Many levels to go

With so many levels to go, it’s hard to give this game a full, fair review. Apparently there are more than 200 ahead for me, and only two days into it, I fully intend on going through to the end. As it stands, I fully recommend this game on the basis that it’s free-to-play, will provide hours of fun, and really is a great effort by King. But enjoy at your own risk; this game will hook you in and not willingly let go.

How is your Candy Crush Saga addiction going? Leave a comment below and tell us about your experience!


About RedGuinness

Andrew Shortall (RedGuinness) is the Writer, Editor, Administrator and founder of Stay-At-Home Gaming. He also suffers from sleepless nights, summer new release withdrawals and trying to behave himself in front of his new nephew.

17 comments on “My New Addiction: Candy Crush Saga

  1. cappuccinogaming
    May 10, 2013

    I always find it funny when a big budget highly anticipated big name release comes out – and you play it for say 6-10 hours on average before you finish the story and are on to the next thing.

    And yet THESE kinds of games – I can literally lose MONTHS on. Worth every penny that I didn’t have to spend 🙂

    • RedGuinness
      May 10, 2013

      Bioshock Infinite and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance are two games that come to mind totally supporting that thought. Those hours are packed with fantastic visuals, incredible stories and great gameplay, but when you’re done, that’s it. There are a few features to extend the time (1999 Mode and VR Missions, respectively) but you always want more.

      This kind of game usually lacks the first two, but even if they charged the same amount of money, you still get your money’s worth. This game is why casual gaming is the future for new developers, and it’s a bright future.

  2. a2shato
    May 13, 2013

    I had this game and loved it, but quickly discovered that I just didn’t want to support the microtransactions on it. And it became super frustrating the further in I got.

    I disliked that any special moves costed real life money, too. Why could I not just earn these in game? I know they have to make money somehow, but I would much rather pay for the game and let the rest be free.

    • RedGuinness
      May 13, 2013

      That has always been a huge issue with free games. I would take advertisements AND a charge at the App Store to avoid paying $40 to make one candy striped per level.

      Unfortunately my stubbornness overwhelms my frustration, and I have two levels with only two stars on it. I may be here a while…

      • a2shato
        May 13, 2013

        I kept trying to make perfect scores, which made it even more painful.

        And ads wouldn’t bother me either, I’m still grinding my teeth at $1 for a life or whatever lol.

      • RedGuinness
        May 14, 2013

        Not gonna lie, was sadly tempted at the $1 life refill. Stubbornness helps my bank account thankfully. Really starting to hate Level 31 though. 3-Star is 100K, my best result is 96K…

      • a2shato
        May 14, 2013

        I came insanely close on some level to getting the life, but stuck to my guns (somehow) and didn’t. I want to say it was the level you’re stuck on…

      • RedGuinness
        May 14, 2013

        After some hard work, I finally conquered it this morning. Now I’ll be crying attempting to just BEAT Level 33… Ugh. Maybe I’ll get it on life-sending karma…

      • a2shato
        May 15, 2013

        Omg, I am having this issue with an Xbox game, Lollipop Chainsaw now. I am horribly stuck in it. Last boss. 😐

      • RedGuinness
        May 16, 2013

        For hard bosses, I recommend tactical analysis and getting patterns down. And if that doesn’t work there’s always YouTube, but it hurts to resort to.

      • a2shato
        May 16, 2013

        I resorted to YouTube after night three.. 😦

      • RedGuinness
        May 16, 2013

        Three nights is more than fair in my book. When I first got the original Black Ops I went two weeks on the Vietnam level before I hit YouTube an realized I had to push a barrel to advance… Not my proudest moment.

      • a2shato
        May 18, 2013

        I didn’t do the campaign all the way through in Blops 1 or 2.. Sadly. BUT, I had a similar incident happen to me in the 2nd one.

      • RedGuinness
        May 19, 2013

        Some games just need to put in some kind of hint in when normally it just takes a bunch of trial and error. Especially when it takes so many tries to get it right. Being stuck on Portal always makes you feel like YOU missed something. Most tough points in games just feel like punishment for not thinking of what the creator thought.

  3. Native girl
    May 20, 2013

    I love playing candy crush. But PLEASE fix it. It says your out of moves when your not.


    • RedGuinness
      May 20, 2013

      Not sure I know what you mean. Are you talking about a glitch? If so what platform and which level(s) is it occurring on?

  4. Pingback: One Year Celebration of Stay-At-Home Gaming! | Stay-At-Home Gaming

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This entry was posted on May 10, 2013 by in Game Reviews, Video Game Reviews and tagged , , , , , , .

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