Featured Content from Ebay

Showing posts with label puzzles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label puzzles. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Candy Crush Saga Review

Hello Facebookers, Android users, and other online gamers.  I am sure that by now, most of you are probably familiar with King's Candy Crush Saga (or at least heard about it) which is a highly addictive puzzle saga on Facebook and King Network..
Screenshot of the game map in Candy Crush
Candy Crush at a glance (short version of the review)

Game type: puzzle, with some story telling elements (you play as a girl, named Tifi helping people as she travels across the candy crush universe in a bejeweled style puzzle game)
Number of levels so far: 755 (with more being added).  Eventually, there will likely be at least 800 levels (more are being planned).  By the way, that doesn't include the Dreamworld mode (which pretty much doubles the number of levels you can play through in the game).

Pros about Candy crush:
- addicting
- Can be fun if you are into puzzle games (especially ones like tetris and bejeweled)
- Each level, world and episode are unique in many differents shapes, forms, sizes, and twists.
- Power ups and boosters can be nice to have and make  the game more interesting
- Team style adventure.  Assuming some of your friends on Facebook have Candy Crush, they automatically become your "neighbors" (unlike games like Farmville where you have to "add" people as neighbors) you can help each other out in several ways, including giving "lives", extra moves (which can be useful on some of the more difficult levels) as well as unlocking new episodes (saves you from having to buy them).
- Daily booster wheel can definitely help.  Everyday, you can earn at least one free booster item daily (which is random).  

Cons about candy crush:
- Very long game.  Almost 800 levels long. Most people will probably give up and quit before then. Only the most dedicated players will likely make it to the end.  Of course, you can stretch the game out over time (definitely not meant to be conquered in one sitting). 
- Also, levels can get difficult and frustrating sometimes.  In fact they do seem to get progressively harder as puzzles get more complex and you have more ways to lose. 
- Does cost money if you want to buy episodes or powerups.  Note: friends playing the game can help you unlock episodes if you ask (you can return the favor too and they will be more inclined to help you).  Also, most levels are possible to beat without power ups, though the can be more challenging that way and will take time, patience, luck and strategy. 
- It is possible to waste power ups too, so use them wisely (especially ones you buy).  Only buy powerups if you feel like you have to (btw you can get free powerups every day by doing the power up booster wheel that you can use each day)..
- Levels can get redundant after a while too, especially the trickier ones.

Note: I am still playing through the game myself.  As of this post, I am currently on level 382

Overview of Candy Crush - 
Facebook is not only well known for being a popular social networking site, it is also becoming well known for it's games (such as Cityville, Farmville, Bubble Witch Saga, and now Candy Crush).  The game is many levels long (almost 700 levels now with more being added) and there are now 2 mode of gameplay: reality mode and dreamworld mode.  In the series, you play as a girl named Tifi in her journey across the many different levels and worlds helping other characters in need.  The game functions much like Bejeweled (and similar games), you get a huge collection of candies and you have to try and get combos of 3 or more to score points and each level goes until either you meet the goals for the levels, time runs out (some levels are timed) or you run out of moves.  If you fail to meet each level's requirements, you lose a life and you get up to 5 at a time.  Later in the game, time bombs start appearing and they count down each time you make a move.  If you fail to diffuse a bomb in time, they explode and you automatically fail the level and lose a life.   If you run out of lives, you have to wait till the lives refill again (which happens automatically during the course of the day, though friends can give you extra lives or moves if they choose). There are several different types of levels and these are the types of levels I have seen:

1) Regular moves levels.  
No special requirements.  These levels are probably the easiest ones to complete (though they grow rare as the game progresses).  You get a set number of moves and all you have to do is to use up all the moves and usually meet a score requirement.

2) Jelly levels
Believe it or not, this is a screen shot of Level 382, which is a "Jelly Level"  To complete the level, you have to clear all fo the jelly blocks.  As you can see, this particular kind of level can be tricky because not only do you have to clear both the meraigne blocks (the white squares), but you also have to take care of the liquorice swirls as well to get them.  By the way, there are chocolate spawners you have to deal with as well.

These kinds of levels can get annoying after a while (in my opinion), though you do get satisfaction once you manage to ace them.  Across the board you get squares that are covered in jelly (usually 2 layers of jelly) and to clear the jelly, you have to match candy combos or use special candy moves (such as wrapped candy bombs) to clear them.  You usually only get so many moves to clear all of the jelly.  If you run out of moves before clearing all of the jellies or (usually unlikely) miss the score goal, you fail the level and lose a life.  Some of these levels can be relatively easy, while others can be downright hard and will likely take several tries.  You might be tempted to use boosters (such as stripped candies, fish candies or hammers) but most (if not all) of these stages can be completed without boosters, though they do require strategy, patience, and even luck.  As the game progresses, the jellies get more complex and can get tougher to clear, especially ones where you have blockers (such as chocolates that "eat" spaces until you clear them), meraigne spaces to clear (those blocks you have to "hit" several times to clear and are best cleared with wrapped candies) or later in the game, time bombs to diffuse before they explode.   

3) Timed levels
Example of a timed level.  Source: http://images.bbgsite.com/www/2013/05/15/candy_crush_saga_pause_timed_levels_1.jpg

These levels can be easy or difficult to complete depending on how much time you have and score you have to hit.  Unique to these kinds of levels is that while you get an unlimited number of moves you can make, you have a certain amount of time to play through the level (usually only 1-2 minutes on average) and have to hit or beat a certain score.  If you have special candies (i.e., stripped candies, wrapped candies, etc), they will automatically activate if time runs out before you use them), though they can definitely be your best friend for racking up points.  If you meet or beat the score requirement, you pass the level, otherwise you fail the level and lose a life.  You can also gain time by combining candies that add time (like the ones that have +:05 next to them).  Some of these levels can have complications too, including: blockers, time bombs, and other things to distract you from meeting your goal.

4) Ingredient levels
Picture of a random ingredient level.  Image source: candy-crush-saga.wikia.com
In these levels, you get x number of ingredients that spawn (such as cherries and nuts) and you have to get the to the bottom of the board (usually where arrows are).  If you get them all to the bottom of the board within the moves you have, you win the level, if any of them are still on the board by the time you run out of the moves, you lose a life.  Some of these levels can be simple, while others can get tricky (especially ones where ingredients can get stuck in corners.  Striped candies (especially the ones that go vertically) as well as coconut wheels (those ones that go across the board when activated and spawn at least 3 stripped candies) can be extra useful with these.  

5) Candy Order levels - 
Example of a Candy Order level.  Source: candy-crush-saga.wikia.com
These levels start appearing after level 176.  There are 3 different types of candy order levels levels:

a.  Get x number of combos of a certain colors (for example clear 50 green candies before running out of moves).  Sometimes you have to clear mutiple colors to win too as the levels get more complex.

b. Use a certain number of stripped candies, wrapped candies, or sprinkled candies.  As you play throught earlier levels in the game, you can actually create special candies (such as stripped candies, wrapped candies, and sprinkled candies). For example, if you match 4 candies in a line (up or down), you get stripped candies and when they are added, they clear out a line of candies going up or down on a particular row or column you are on.  If you create an "L" or "T" using candies, you get these wrapped candies that explode and take out candies, jellies and blockers around it.  If you match 5 candies in a row going up or down, you can get sprinkled candies that clear out entire candie colors of your choice (for example, getting rid all of the red candies on board).  These types of levels are not too difficult provided you know how to create combos and there are opportunities to create them.

C. Combine 2 special candies at a time (for example a wrapped candy + stripped candies).  These are generally the trickiest as you have to create 2 different kinds of special candies and activate them both at the same time.  Of course, sometimes that can be easier said than done (especially if you have to combine 2 sprinkled candies at a time, which is an actual scscenarion the game).

General Reviews of Candy Crush:

Candy Crush is definitely a fun an addictive game.  Reminds me of bejeweled in many ways where you have to combine 3 or more pieces of the same color and score points.  Of course, unlike Bejeweled you are combining candies (red, yellow, blue, green, and orange).  Also, each puzzle represents a level where you have to meet certain requirements (such as a minimum score, clear jelly blocks, etc) to move onto the next level.  Each time you beat a level, you move onto the next state and the game goes one.  Whenever you fail a level (which most people probably will sooner or later), you lose a life, and if you run out of lives, you have to wait for the lives to refill themselves before you can play again.  Now, this game is extremely long (more than 700 levels to play through with more being planned as we speak) and currently there is no definitive conclusion to the game yet, so most people probably will not make it to the end.  Only the truly dedicated to the saga will make it to the end in my opinion.  Also there are some gimicks in place to try and get you to spend extra money, including "unlocking" episodes (though if you have friends playing the game, you can get around that buy "asking" them to help unlock the next episodes.  There are powerups you can get too, though some require you to buy gold and can get expensive if you are not careful.  Most levels can be done without power ups, but they to take time, patience, luck and strategy.  Also, boosters and powerups do not necessarily guarantee a win either and there are ways you can still fail a level.  Perhaps the most annoying way to fail with powerups are levels where you have time bombs to diffuse.  You can have all of the boosts you want and if a bomb goes off, you still fail and those boosts are all for nothing.  In levels where you have to clear jellies, it can be easy to run out of moves before you manage to clear them all and it can be easy to wind up short, even with boosters and powerups.  So, be careful to use powerups wisely if you get them (btw bear in mind you do get one free powerup per day, chosen at random so I recommend stocking up on them early on in the game so that you have them when you encounter the harder levels).

Of course, Candy Crush does have its nicer elements too:
- Multiplayer style environment: assuming you have friends playing Candy Crush you can help each other out such as by giving "lives" (if they have less than 5 lives), free moves, or even help them unlock episodes.  You can also compete with people by trying to beat their scores as well.  By the way, if you beat everyone's overall scores in a particular episode, you get special "trophies" for coming out on top (at least till someone beats your scores, which will likely happen eventually in my opinion).
- Variety in levels.  No 2 levels are completely the same.  The themes change, the complexity changes, difficulty level changes, etc.  Even episodes change too as you play through the game.  New scenarios, new characters to help, new powerups and even challenges to get past too.  Some additiosn can be blessings (such as new power ups, such as cake bombs tht help clear out large groups of jellies and pieces when activated), while others can be curses too, such as blockers, bombs, liquorice swirls, and other annoyances.  Each level has their own unique themes and requirements too, whether it is clearing out jellies, getting x number of points (usually within a time frame or moves), clearing out certain types of candies or bringing "ingredients" down to the bottom or a board.  Levels start out simple too and get more complex too.
- Free booster wheel: Everyday, you get one free spin on the booster wheel that enables you to unlock one free booster each day which can help.  Can be useful for stocking boosters for later and saves you from having to spend hard earn money to buy them every time you want them.

Well that is all I have, this game is bound to be entertaining for people who like puzzles, though the game is pretty long and gets progressively more difficult so some people might get bored after a while.  Personally I enjoy the game, especially if you want take a "study break" or feel like playing a game while online.  If you are interested in checking out Candy Crush, you can find it on Facebook (though you can also access it at King.com at https://king.com/#!/play/candycrush).

Can be a very useful resource for getting more information about the game, levels and strategies.

Similar games:
Bubble Witch Saga 2

Candy Crush Soda Saga - Seems to be the official sequel to Candy Crush

Pet Rescue Saga (puzzle game) - Great if you like animals

Pepper Panic Saga - pretty similar to Candy Crush, except that you are combining chili peppers

Bejeweled 2 - Here is the version on World Winner.  In this version, you compete against other players for high scores either for fun or cash (if you want to play for cash).  I usually play this game just for fun though.

General Tips and Tricks on Candy Crush:
- Pace yourself.  This game is not meant to be beaten in one or 2 sittings.  Luckily your progress is saved as you advance.  Don't feel like you have to complete every level in one setting
- Learn how make special candies by combining 4 or more candies in a row.  This will be especially useful as levels get trickier and more complex.  Some levels are pretty much unbeatable unless if you know how to make combos (especially candy order levels that require special candies as well as jelly levels with hard to reach candies and jellies).
- Don't give up.  Some levels will take multiple attempts to beat.
- Use power ups and booster wisely.  By the way, early in the game, I recommend stocking up on free boosters you get by spinning the wheel each day.  This way you will have plenty of them by the time the game ges tougher.  Also, lolly pop hammers and free switches can be very useful when used wisely can are great for using as finishers for a level (such as having one jelly block left to destroy on jelly levels along with both certain candy order levels and ingredient levels).
- Be mindful of hazzards that appear in the game.  A classic example of this are time bombs that appear as you play through the game.  Each time you make a move, they count down and if they count down to 0, they explode and you automatically fail the level. Try to diffuse them before it is too late if you can.  Also, ones where you have chocolates and chocolate spawners (those "blobs" that "eat" blocks and sometimes game pieces), it helps to destroy the chocolates before they spread too much.
- Sometimes it helps to strategize too.
(more will be added over time)

That is all for now.  What do you think of Candy Crush?  Feel free to leave comments below.