Brace Yourself For Tons Of Candy

After OWC Becky, OWC Kevin, and others in the office have practically begged me to review Candy Crush Saga, I have finally done so. However, brace for impact, this isn’t going to be pretty.

I’m going to start this review by saying I don’t like gambling, I don’t enjoy games of chance. If I’m going to pour hours of time into a game (the game currently has 305 levels) I expect some reasonable level of confidence in knowing that I have a chance to beat the level I’m on when I start. This is where my problem lies in C.C.S., if the random algorithms, decide to not give me what I need, I lose.  You can be the best puzzle game player on earth, or Other Worlds, and will fail.

After being stuck on level 15 for about 2 days, I slid my iPhone to OWC Kevin, who beat the level in 2 moves. Is OWC Kevin a mastermind genius? Maybe, but this had nothing to do with his ability to beat the level, it was 100% pure luck on the part of the random generation.

This, is frustrating.

I presented this argument to several people and was met with “But it’s a puzzle game, it’s meant to be random, and you deal with what you’re given”.  And in most situations I would agree with this completely. If this was just a ‘play this game and get a high-score’, style game, I can 100% agree with this random generation. However, very few levels on C.C.S. are just about getting a high-score, it’s about clearing challenges.

Challenges can range from getting ingredients off the screen, by dropping them off the bottom, or by clearing all the jelly, wrappers, chocolate, etc. off of certain squares. Which, admittedly, is awesome. I’m ecstatic that this puzzle game does more then just say ‘here’s some mechanics, play me’. But not providing me with the ability to beat the challenge, if it doesn’t generate me the right pieces, is just plain annoying.

However, even with this all taken into account, I’m strangely addicted, and still playing this. The puzzles and challenges are engaging, and the sheer amount of content is incredible for a puzzle game.  If you have ever played Bejeweled, you’ll know how to play C.C.S. right off the bat, but will enjoy it’s fresh take on the genre, with its vast number of challenges, level designs, and mechanics. I’ve played so many puzzle games where I’ve been left saying to myself ‘Boy, I sure I wish it did something awesome if I did X’. CCS offers so many ways to combo pieces, and create new pieces by positioning things correctly.

  • Matching four candies in a row or column creates a Striped Candy. Matching Striped Candy clears the entire row or column
  • Matching five candies in the shape of a T or an L creates a Wrapped Candy. Matching a Wrapped Candy clears a 3 by 3 box of candies
  • Matching five candies in a row creates a Color Bomb. Combining a Color Bomb with any candy of any color will clear all the candies of that color
  • Matching a wrapped candy with a striped candy will create a giant super candy which clears multiple rows both up and across the board

Even though the game is running on random drops, the game is still quite fun to play. Will it devour my life, and my free time? No. But it is defiantly worth giving a try!

Candy Crush Saga, works on iPod/iPhone as well as the iPad, is available for Android, and through Facebook.

Graphics:

The spiffy colors and high contrast graphic style fits this game perfectly, and is very easy to see what’s going on. The effects when you clear candies are fair.  Luckily they are not over the top, and well done to not cause significant eye distraction, while still being graphically pleasing.

Gameplay:

The random factor is absolutely crippling for me, a gamer who uses hard-earned skill to play video games. I feel like certain starts are a lost-cause and purposefully speed through without attempt just to get a fresh start.

Audio:

TASTY! And other effects are great, comedic, and a good little bonus to the audio, while there may not be an iconic music track that screams ‘make me into a techno remix’ like say Tetris, The games audio is great and gets the job done.

Innovation:

The gameplay has enough little twists to give it a great score, and with the vast number of levels, I have plenty of challenges ahead of me. It’s a breath of fresh air to the puzzle-game world, but its near-identical gameplay mechanics to other puzzle games keep C.C.S. from getting a perfect score in this category.

Overall:

I’m going to need a NuGaurd KX Case to keep me from shattering my phone after the near-maddening frustration caused by the internal random piece generator that picks what pieces spawn.  While the game is most definitely a fun game to enjoy, as a hard-core gamer, this title frustrates me. More casual gamers will see no fault in this title.

 


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