August 18th 2013 - 1:03pm
“You know, evil comes in many forms, be it a man-eating cow or Joseph Stalin. But you can’t let the package hide the pudding. Evil is just plain bad! You don’t cotton to it! You gotta smack it on the nose with the rolled up newspaper of goodness! Bad dog! Bad dog!”
The Tick, from the TV show
Candy Crush is the Hitler of video games.
Sure, some people still like it – and it had a popular following for a while back there but future generations will come to regard it as VIDEO GAMES HISTORY’S GREATEST MONSTER.
You will notice that there are no screenshots from the game in this review. If you really need to see it, there are plenty of images on the web – suffice to say it is colourful, almost attractive looking. Scratch beneath the veneer however and a pus-filled, maggoty corpse of a game is revealed – and it’s reaching for you.
Basically a re-skinned Bejeweled, you need to match together sweeties of the same colour in order to remove them from the board. Matching more than 3 sweets at a time results in a special sweet with bonus effects being created. As you match, new sweets drop in at random from the top of the screen allowing you to continue to make matches in order to fulfil various objectives in order to complete the level.
Candy Crush Saga is a cleverly constructed money stealing system. Framed as a free-to-play game (it isn’t, the first 35 levels are free, then you need to either pony up some money or prostitute your facebook account), it’s job is to sucker you in and then separate you from your cash. Of course, most F2P games work like this on some level but rarely are they so effective as the systems at work here.
Need extra lives?
Want to use power-ups?
£££ (and we’re not talking 99p here either – £7.99 for the first power-up tier)
Find yourself only a couple of moves from victory? Well, hey – it’s just 69p for some more moves – you won’t even notice it’s gone. Naturally, the game is designed in such a way as you look like you’re about to win just as you fail. In many respects it resembles are ‘skill’ game at the fair, but the stakes are much higher and these digital carnival folk will take the shirt from your back.
Now of course, you don’t HAVE to spend any money on the game at all. The internets are full of the stories of people who have reached level 70-whatever without spending a penny. But most will agree, the temptation is there and it is strong. King.com will tell you that 70% of people finish the game without paying. I’m sure that’s true, guys. So the 30% who do pay are the ones who are financing the prime-time TV adverts and the reported $1 million it cost to advertise alongside Psy’s Gangnam Style follow-up. Someone’s got to be paying for all this somewhere along the line.
Business model aside, I found the game frustratingly ponderous at times. This is probably due to the fact that I play the functionally similar Bejeweled Blitz too much and that game runs at a lightning pace. CCS does offer you more of a strategic than a twitch based experience, but the games randomness of drops tends to foil most plans.
I hated this game – my advice is don’t waste your precious time. Play Doodle Bowling instead – I got 7 consecutive strikes the other day. I was well chuffed.
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