ENG 380 New Media
Professor Alex Reid
June 5, 2013
The Low Down on Candy Crush Saga
I may be behind the times a little but I have just recently delved into the world of The Candy Crush Saga. This is a game that is made for the everyday person that may have a few minutes here or there to distract themselves with a fun smartphone game. It is not very complex and does not have too many rules and regulations. It is something of a new and aesthetically different version of the hit game Bejeweled. The concept of the game is to get rid of the candy pieces on the screen. The screen is reminiscent of an old Tetris board. The difference is that the pieces are not continually falling until the board fills up and ends your round of play. In most boards there is no time limit on your moves and will allow you to play until you have used up the allotted amount of moves you have for that board.
The main purpose is that you must move similar candy pieces together in groups of three or more to make them disappear. If you move more than three pieces together than they don’t just disappear but they give you a new piece of candy that has a super power type of function. For example if you move a red jelly bean over and complete a pattern of four of them then your new piece that is created is still a red jellybean but it is now covered in white stripes. This means that when you combine it into another series of the same color that it will take out an entire column or row. There are other super power combinations that you get when you combine the candies in certain ways. The objectives do change though the parameters surrounding the movements of the pieces remain the same. One board’s objectives may not be the same as the previous.
You are awarded points for the moves that you make based on the candies you have destroyed and the special candies you have unlocked and used. There is always a target score you get for each round and you must reach that score every time. You must also meet the requirements that are stated to you just prior to beginning each board. One of the requirements is that you need to explode all of the ‘jellies’ that are surrounding the candy. Another scenario includes bringing fruit all the way down and out of the screen. There is one setting that gives you a time limit to meet the point goal. The reward for finishing a board is, like I have already stated, the opportunity to do play a new board. This new world you unlock is presented on a board game background that is reminiscent of the ‘Old Candy Land’ board-game. You slowly move around a board-game on a candy cane railway system and there does not seem to be an end anytime soon. There is an almost limitless amount of stops on the candy railway.
Right after I first downloaded candy Crush I investigated what I was playing. The first thing I noticed when I began was the “How to Play” portion of the home page. It is not very specific on what you are supposed to do. It tells you how to combine candies and nothing else. So you go into the game blind as to what everything means on the screen. All you know is that you must bring these candies together and you will learn the rest as you progress. For someone like me it took some time before I could understand what I was doing. It took about four levels for me to figure out how I was progressing from board to board and what was sometimes preventing me from completion. After I figured this out I thought that I was all set, but then I ran out of lives. If you look up at the top left corner of the homepage you will see a number inside of a pink heart with a clock next to it. You are allotted five lives and as you use them up you are given thirty minutes before the one life is rejuvenated. When the number in the heart reads zero you cannot play again until the clock also hits zero. At that point one life has been added back into your account. You max out at five lives unless you purchase more. This is where the game turns for the worst.
This app was free and one must understand that. You’re playing with the company’s objective that you spend real life money on purchasing more lives and other advantages to help you along the path of winning. Nothing in life is free. What I found when I went to the in-game store was outrageous. The lowest amount of money you can spend on new lives was sixteen dollars and ninety nine cents. This was for three additional life spots. The other two purchases you can make are for cheat type functions to boost your ability to triumph. One went for thirty nine dollars and ninety nine cents and the other was twenty four dollars and ninety nine cents. This type of monetary compensation for a smart phone app seems crazy to me. I guess that there are people out there who might think this money is well spent; I am not one of them.
I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys distractions from there phone even though I do not agree with the money making avenues the makers have taken. It is an overall fun game that is truly as addictive as anything out there. When I run out of lives I find myself waiting for the time to be up so that I can play again. I think this is the sign of a game that is worth playing. While I was writing this review I played Candy Crush three times.