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game reviews

Game Review: Candy Crush Saga

I was never one to play Facebook games. I was one of the many people that were beyond sick of the number of Farmville requests I was getting every single day. I could not understand how someone could be so addicted to a game on Facebook. I used my Facebook to share pictures, stay in touch with old friends and connect with new ones- all of the social aspects of Facebook. However, one day a few months back, after weeks of me saying no, a friend of mine finally got me to play a game called Candy Crush Saga…and from that day on, I have not stopped playing.

Candy Crush Saga has a striking resemblance to a game many people may remember called Bejeweled. Just like bejeweled, you have to switch candies around to make a line of three or more of the same candy to make them disappear. Candy Crush Saga takes this concept to a whole new level. If you match up 4 of more candies in a line you can create a special candy. For example, 4 candies in a row creates a striped candy which will take out the entire row (vertically or horizontally) that it is in. My favorite is when you create a row of five and a black ball of candy appears and when switched with any candy creates and explosion that gets rid of most or all of the candies of the color you switched it with. As an added bonus, when you switch two of these special candies that are next to each other, they create a combined reaction of the two!

There are hundreds of levels on Candy Crush (I think last time I checked they were up to 365) and they have been creating more and more because of the massive popularity this game has achieved. One of the things that I like a lot about Candy Crush is that not every level has the same objective. In some levels, you just have to achieve a certain score and sometimes you only have a certain amount of time to achieve this score. There are also levels where you have to clear jelly blocks off of the board by matching candy within them. Another type of level is one where you have to drop ingredients down from the top of the screen to the bottom. The catch is that you only get a certain number of moves to do all of this in. The beginning levels are very simple but as you move through the levels they get harder and harder. Part of the reason the levels get harder is as you get farther into the game new obstacles are presented. One example of these obstacles is bombs (I won’t go into what exactly they are because I don’t want to give it away but just know…they are quite the problem!).

Part of the reason I have become so hooked on Candy Crush Saga is that not only can you play it on Facebook; you can play it on your android, tablet and pretty much any other handheld device. Candy Crush Saga can be downloaded onto your device and will also sync with your Facebook so that you do not lose your progress. I love to sit at home and play Candy Crush Saga on my laptop but the fact that I can play it on my phone makes it so that I can play it anywhere (it comes in handy for long car rides or other things such as sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office).

Visually, Candy Crush Saga is a delightful game to play. As you level up, you move through a colorful world that has quite the resemblance to the old board game, Candy Land. You are on a train moving through worlds with names like “Bubblegum Bridge”, “Candy Factory”, or “Lemonade Lake”. Also on this map, you can see the where each of your friends stand. Their picture appears next to whichever level they are currently on.

This brings us to the social aspect of Candy Crush Saga. The fact that you can see what level your friends are on gives it a competitive aspect and you are constantly trying to keep up with or get ahead of your friends. You can also see your friends’ high scores for each of the levels that they have completed. Even if you do not pay attention to the part, you have to rely on your friends later in the game. When you complete a world, in order to get to the next world you have to ask and receive three tickets from any of your Facebook friends. Also, you only have five lives. Once you run out, you have to wait a certain amount of time before you get anymore or your friends can send you lives. Your friends can also send you certain power-ups such as one that gives you three extra moves. The game alerts your friends when you have been stuck on a level for a long time to prompt them to send you this power-up.

There is one downside to Candy Crush Saga. It may be free to play, but there are certain things that if you want, you have to pay for. There are a lot of really helpful power-ups that your friends cannot send you. For example, the lollipop hammer allows you to crush any candy of your choice. As you play, the game gives you these power-ups as you complete worlds but you only get a few of them and then after that if you want them again you have to pay for them. I have been on the same level for weeks and know how helpful it would be to buy a power-up and it seems that at some point in the game, it will be impossible to beat the levels without buying power-ups. Also, if you cannot find enough friends to send you tickets to get to the next world, you have to pay to get to the next world. Same thing goes for lives, if you do not want to wait the time to get more lives and no one sends you any, you have to pay to get more.

Overall I think Candy Crush Saga is a great game besides the fact that it still tries to make you spend your money. It is just the right amount of addicting. It is easy to get frustrated and walk away from the game for a day or two but not impossible to the point where you want to give up on the game completely. No matter how many times you fail on a level, the fun atmosphere of the game and the motivation you get from the social aspects of the game keep you coming back for more! Anyone can play this game from anywhere and it is available to you even if you do not have a Facebook.

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