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Candy Crush Saga
Member Name: Mephit
Candy Crush Saga
Date: 03/02/13, updated on 19/02/13 (612 review reads)
Advantages: Fun, addictive, simple but effective game
Disadvantages: Annoying wait for lives/dependency on FaceBook
Candy Crush is a simple but addictive puzzle game from King.com. You can play it for free on FaceBook on your pc or laptop or download it (also free) from Google Play to tablets.
The premise is fairly familiar, where the aim is to line up 3 or more objects of the same colour to make them disappear with a satisfying rattle of pops, scoring you points. The game is themed around sweets so we have yummy sweets as the objects in question. It's played on a Connect-4 type grid, which varies in dimension and shape from level to level. New sweets drop randomly into the grid from above as you destroy them. You can only move sweets beside each other, so it is basically swapping them vertically or horizontally to create lines. You can only move them if it will be aligning colours. Once you achieve a particular goal on a level, you are allowed to move onto the next.
You use your mouse or your finger if you're using a touch-screen to move the sweets. I have played it both on my lap-top and on a tablet, and prefer the immediacy of the touch-screen interface. I had to give up playing it on my lap-top, in fact, because the game was constantly having trouble loading. I don't know if that was a problem with my computer or with the app.
There is a storyline of sorts to Candy Crush, where you are helping various characters in this sweet-themed world by solving the puzzles. The characters are two-dimensional cartoon figures, while the sweets are gleaming and more three-dimensional in appearance. It's brightly coloured as sweets should be. The music makes me think 'France' for some reason and I quite like it, although it can get wearing after a while, but you have the option of turning it off.
The game has bonus sweets that you can create. If you line up 4 of the same colour, 3 disappear and the fourth turns into a striped sweet that can zap a whole row when aligned with 2 more of its colour. If you cross two lines of three of the same colour, one turns into a wrapped sweet that can destroy the ones around it, pause and then have a second explosion. If you align 5 sweets, you're awarded one with sprinkles, that when swapped with another one of any colour will destroy all the sweets of that colour on the board. If you're lucky enough to have a bonus sweet beside another bonus sweet, you can use them together even more powerfully. When you've made a particularly good move that has a resulting cascade of point-scoring, the game tells you it's 'delicious'. It's quite a satisfying game when you create such a cascade effect.
The levels do not all have the same aims. One might be achieving a certain amount of points within a set amount of moves, another achieving a number of points within a time limit, another getting rid of specific types of sweet or yet another, getting ingredients, such as hazel-nuts and cherries, out of the bottom of the grid.
As you progress in the game, you are given booster items, such as a lollipop to smash sweets. The uses of these (for free) are limited, however.
If you fail a level, you lose a life. You have 5 lives and these return to you after a time period, one every half-hour or so. This can be quite frustrating if you're stuck on a level. If you have understanding friends on FaceBook who also play, they can help you out with extra lives and boosters. If, like me, you don't have many gamers on your friends list, it can be a bit of a drag. I also found it really annoying that when I did have a few friends who were also playing, I'd come on to find I'd been sent a life, but I had to accept it before I started playing. If I already had a full set of lives, it was wasted.
You don't need much help, other than lives for the first 35 levels, at which point you need three friends to send you tickets or you buy tickets for the next part of the adventure. This really irritates me! The same happens again at various stages of the game. I went much further (up to level 80 or more) when I was playing on the lap-top and could ask my FB friends, but I haven't synced the tablet with my FaceBook (strictly speaking it is my little boy's), so I am now stuck at level 35. I am not willing to pay actual money to progress. I suppose the makers have to make money out of their games, so I'm being a bit unfair there.
Overall, it's a fun, strangely addictive game. I have played it almost obsessively at times.
Summary: Fun game and (sort of) free
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