GameSkinny

We Love Games!

Candy Crush Represents Everything That's Wrong with Mobile Gaming

1
Candy Crush is designed for one thing and one thing only: separating you from your money.

by

Candy Crush is a hugely popular game, both on Facebook and mobile. As a game, it's well made, challenging, and rewarding to play. On the surface, it does its job perfectly. But when you start to dig a little deeper, it becomes clear that the game is not so much a game as it is a carefully masked system designed to siphon as much money as it can from your bank account.

Yes, Candy Crush is technically a free game (meaning you don't have to pay to install it). But at the time of this writing, it is among the top 5 grossing games on the iOS app store. That's because...

Candy Crush is a Shakedown

There is no way to get around it: Candy Crush is a shakedown. It sucks you in with its cute appearance, soothing soundtrack, and addictive gameplay, before grabbing you by your ankles, flipping you upside down, and shaking the lunch money out of your pockets. And the farther you progress in the game, the more they want to take.

I'm tempted to compare the game to a crack dealer, because both Candy Crush and crack dealers get you started for free, and only start charging once you're hooked. But ultimately, I realized that the comparison is unfair to crack dealers. Crack dealers don't continue to bump up the prices as you get more addicted. That would be bad for business. But Candy Crush doesn't care. As I played the game, I was constantly reminded of the famous line from Goodfellas: 'F*** you. Pay me.' That seems to be the attitude that the developers took here. I imagine that it's written all over the walls at King.com headquarters.

The worst part is, when you first fire up the game, you won't notice that you're walking into a shakedown. Not right away. You'll breeze through the first dozen levels, getting the first taste, and having a good time. The gameplay is nice. The colors are stimulating. The soundtrack is so damn cute it's sickening. But at some point, you will hit a wall. You will fail. And when you run out of lives, the first shakedown happens. If you want to continue playing, you have three options: wait awhile for the lives to regenerate, pay real money for more lives (umm...no), or ask your Facebook friends to gift them to you.

This brings me to...

Bullshit Social Integration

I don't have anything against social integration in general. If a game has a meaningful social component (like Words with Friends does), bring it on. But in too many mobile games, the 'social' element is pointless to the gamer, and benefits only the developer. I imagine a boardroom of people who want to 'go viral' and 'get positive ROI from the social channel.' Yes, it works. But as a consumer, I hate feeling like the product. Prompt me to share if you want, but don't force my hand.

This is a single player game with a social mechanic that effectively equates to panhandling on a street corner. I have nothing against panhandling (just don't knock on my car window man, it's awkward), but don't make me grovel with my real world friends for in-game handouts. It's aggressive, and makes me feel uncomfortable.

The only reason that this 'gameplay' element exists is so the company can use you to market their game to your friends. It's a bullshit 'feature' that you will have to suffer through, and just one of many ways that this game (and many other mobile games) puts itself before the player.

But that's not all. It gets worse.

Bullshit power-ups you have to pay to use

This seems to be the big trend in mobile gaming these days. Congratulations, you unlocked an upgrade! Now pay us a shit ton of real money to use it. In what world does this make sense? Why make me unlock it in the first place if unlocking it doesn't unlock it? The whole experience is horrible, and as it proliferates, it's ruining mobile gaming for me. I don't mind DLC. I don't mind paying for games. But this pay to use the power-up nonsense is getting out of hand.

To be clear, I'm not talking about 99 cent power-ups here. The power-ups in Candy Crush are $16.99, $24.99 and $39.99. That's right. To get the most out of this game, will need to drop at least $82.On a simple single player game that you play on your phone. 

And even then, you need to...

Pay to unlock more levels

The 'free' version of Candy Crush only comes with 35 levels. They don't tell you this up front, of course -- and you will have no idea until you complete level 35. You will be asked to pony up 99 cents to move on. How many levels do you get for 99 cents? They don't tell you. Maybe 50, maybe 10. It's a crap shoot. But for a game where the levels are so simple to design, you must get a ton of them for a dollar, right?

NOPE! You get a couple dozen. And once you finish those, you'll have to pay for more.

I'm tired of this crap

I've installed a lot of games that are designed to take players' money. But none of them have asked for so much so often. Candy Crush represents everything that is wrong with mobile gaming. If things keep moving in this direction, I'm not sure that this is a platform that I'll be interested in playing on anymore. 

Just let me buy the damn game and leave me alone.

Originally Published Apr. 4th 2013

Correspondent

Kevin Spence is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

Related


View All Top Videos
Comments
  • 1
    txfeinbergs 6 days ago
    Stay away from Best Fiends as well. That game is even worse than Candy Crush if you can believe it. It shakes you down almost every level for a dollar because the levels are designed to make you fail with the number of moves they give you. Oh, and while you have your wallet out, you might as well keep it open because without buying a shit-ton of crystals, you won't be able to upgrade your fiends.
  • 1
    Lady D_7084 1 week ago
    What a captivating but irritating game. What baffles me is how King would rather rip people off for temporary money and lose thousands of Candy Crush players to other games. Luring us in is easy. Giving us a game to enjoy could be permanent and beneficial to your company. At this point you are just as crocked as some insurance companies who are never interested in the well being of those who got the where they are today. Shame on you King. It's a Game.
    Last edited 1 week ago
  • 1
    armygruntjoe_3766 2 weeks ago
    The algorithm that creates the candy falling directly calculates what you need to succeed....and then does not give it to you. I have spent over 3 weeks playing at level 125....never got past it, never will. This game layout is stupid, retarded...and totally shit.

    Obama has a better chance of becoming a good President than you have at winning this game.
    Just delete it, and move on. This is a game made by criminals to screw you out of money...and for what? You pay for exactly what you get.....NOTHING.
  • 1
    nan_1003 3 weeks ago
    not only CC but every game on facebook cost you money. Sometime it says I have 12 moves left,only to fine after only 2 moves it wants you to BUY the next move. this is ILLEGAL.
    nanfitzs@comcast.net
  • 1
    Andre_2118 4 weeks ago
    I COMPLETELY agree. I am waving goodbye to CC. The more you examine the way you are led into this process as a 'regular, unsuspecting, "trusting-in-the-goodness-of-human-nature", sort of person' the more aware you become of the cynical and psychopathic motivations of the developers. How apt!! Pure candy-coated Class A!! The more you try to understand the mindset of the developers, the more transparent it is. Innocuous and seemingly innocent at first-then the nastiness begins. Unfortunately, a lot of people will be hooked before they can walk away. I don't like being deceived or taken for a mug and I too, prefer the truth up front and then be left to get on with it. No sugar coating can take the nasty taste out of my mouth.
  • 1
    Shaun_4240 1 month ago
    Candy crush is a pointless and extremly frustrating to the player and levels are so hard that people actually get frustrated about normal every day things around them!
  • 1
    JP_6647 1 month ago
    I've got to agree with everything that's been said. I have to say though that if you join a CC group you won't have to beg for lives or moving to the next levels. You also meet a lot of nice people & ban the jerks. However, what gets me about the game is that they're thieves. Once they get your credit card, it's all over & they're in business. They charge you for boosters you never bought; for lives you never asked for & gold bars you don't get. iTunes is on to them & you can get your money back but after being on the phone for hours & getting frustrated and spending your time getting angry all over again. And speaking of frustration, when a game isn't fun anymore, why play? CC gets to levels that you spend weeks on. That's fun? Not in my brain. I'd rather read a good book or watch a good movie. Bye, bye CC.
  • 1
    cb_9871 1 month ago
    I hit level 200, not paying or begging from friends to move on. Dropping this deceptive game. It may be fun, but if you can't be honest about eventually being forced to pay, I don't need it. There are endless games that provide the same relaxing and mindless play. Goodbye Candy Crush.
  • 1
    Karen Smith 2 months ago
    Candy Crush isn't working on Faceboook you can't play with friends retry doesn't work. This has been going on for more than a week.
  • 1
    carolyn ely 2 months ago
    I have won level65numerous times and candy crush will not sure allow me to move ahead
    It's maddening
  • 18
    Chai Chien Liang 2 months ago
    Contributor
    My mum played Candy Crush until level 200 or something like that unlocking levels from asking her facebook friends (yes that includes me) and didn't spend a cent

    Of course the levels got way too hard to play normally after that so she's now playing some of the clones of candy crush :)
  • 1
    Georgia fisher 2 months ago
    Candy crush sucks! They make it so it is so hard and of course they only want you to rate the game early on while it is relatively fun. The further you the less fun it becomes. They really do try and sucker you into paying them to pass a level.
  • 1
    badmamaWiWi 3 months ago
    From a mathematical view,Sugar Crush is a play on logic.ANYONE who is academically inclined will realize this...it did take me to level 56 however,THINK OF LOGIC,YOU CAN'T LOSE!!!!
    I was only seeing a silly game.it's far more important than just a game.
    USE YOUR IMAGINATION,AND THINK...THINK.....
  • 1
    Bryan_8078 3 months ago
    The creators of Candy Crush and games like this are the best example of what is wrong with our society. It helps to create frustrated, maladjusted, anti-social individuals. I can only imagine what pathetic individuals they are. I pity anyone that has to deal with them. My children are not allowed to play games online because of people like the originators of Candy Crush who have abused their freedom.
  • 1
    Xxmoomoo22xX 3 months ago
    Shang stop being a smart Alec. 1) use a single post. 2)he was out of date cause the update was probably introduced later. 3) why can't he swear? If he wants to express something then let it be. Go fuck yourself you 7 year old. Troll harder.
  • 1
    Mark_2095 3 months ago
    Interesting reading the comments... pretty obvious that the developers are using shills to post about how the game can be played without spending a dime.

    They're liars. A friend of mine was a developer, and he laughed his butt off when I told him about level 54 in the owl section; "It's not technically impossible. If you played for 10,000 games, you might get a magic combination. But no one, ever, in all the testing, even came close to beating that level without powerups."

    Remember that next time someone talks about this "free" game.

    Delete.
  • 1
    evelyn delacruz 3 months ago
    ita very upsetting that I cannot ask for help for the next level even wait for 72 hours its stuck ,how I begin now to hate this game .
  • 1
    Cathy_4895 3 months ago
    I totally agree, I love candy crush but the further in levels you are, the more it costs. These people need to get higher in levels in order to understand. No matter how high your score is you always need one more combo, for a price. Free my ass!
  • 1
    Pat_9368 4 months ago
    For the most part until now, I have enjoyed Candy Crush. However, I have reached my limit at Level 100 and will delete it from my phone. Its not fun anymore. The bombs take away the fun. Who wants to play a game that is impossible to win without paying more money. Thanks for the fun for a little while but I will play games like Solitaire where you at least have a chance and without paying $ after $. Good bye Candy Crush. You SUCK!!
  • 1
    Luke Todd 5 months ago
    What pisses me off enough about this game is that you they have the audacity to think they can charge 16.99$, $24.99, and $39.99 for 1, 2, and 3 lives respectively. With that much money you could shove that out to buy several more fun indie titles or even a couple of old DS games that you can acquire hours of more gameplay value or enjoyment.

    Screw off Candy Crush! I'll stick to real gaming!
  • 1
    chris_8245 5 months ago
    There is a 4th option to gain lives just set your phone ahead 3 hours and you get full lives. You can ask your friends for tickets to pass to next level I have got to level 350 doing this. I have only spent 99 cents on candy crush to buy power ups. Also if you play dream world there is no railroad to cross and I made it to level 120 I'm dream world.
  • 1
    Gww 5 months ago
    The game lies. 1. Said today buy boppers and get unlimited lives for 24 hours. Got ZERO unlimited lives. 2. You spin the dial to win extra power things. ONLY THE FISH WOULD HELP YOU WIN LEVEL 500. I have SUPPOSEDLY WON 4 SETS ON THE WHEEL. But the game WONT MAKE THEM AVAILABLE TO USE ON LEVEL 500. IT ONLY LETS YOU USE POWER UPS THAT HAVE NO OR LITTLE EFFECT
  • 1
    Ron Zhang 6 months ago
    Yours is out of date. Now all the levels are free. Level 35+ is not costing anything.
    I sense that you are a disgusting teenage thug instead of a nice formal gentleman. Gentlemen never use "bull****" or "crap (as in the poo)". Treat yourself into less hostile but strong words.
  • 1
    Ron Zhang 6 months ago
    Candy Crush is not everything that represents everything that's wrong with mobile gaming. There is also the fact about suicide or homicide causes from games. You forgot that and no one ever did kill themselves or others from Candy Crush. Tut Tut.

    Examples included Flappy Bird, which caused the game to be taken off the app store.
    Last edited 6 months ago
  • 1
    Ron Zhang 6 months ago
    Never ever use swear words to try to convince readers. It is immature. You should be ashamed of yourself! Tut Tut.

    The use of swear words only makes your attention worse. People will start saying that you are a vulgar and disgusting guy sitting on the couch with cigarettes and gang clothes.
    Last edited 6 months ago
  • load more comments  

Advertisement