GameSkinny

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
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  • kate.farrow
    Community Manager
    TIL that Candy Crush ruins lives.
  • Jay Ricciardi
    Senior Editor
    Only today?
  • Grandpa Dave
    This is a scam for sealing pennies from babes... Don't give your kids credit cards or you'll pay big time when the monthly statement arrives.
  • Richar_2771
    I hate candy crush you get friends to send tickets to help you get through levels and candy crush holds you back and will not let them through and you end up waiting the whole time limit they set for you to get through now that sucks big time
  • Chai Chien Liang
    Contributor
    I thought you could unlock levels with facebook (though you have to pester your friends for the keys or something like that), my mum did play through quite a lot of levels, at least a few hundred (I was one of the people giving her keys!)

    Good news here is that fallout shelter is out and it's really fun to play!
  • stacey_9389
    This game has become sooo bullshit. I'm on level 445 and have spent tons of money on this crap. This is bullshit and I'm done!!!! King suxks!!! Can't get thru, let's charge you because you're now addicted. NO MORE $$$ for you guys who are rich from this and us poor people only wanted an outlet from real life. Thanks so much for giving us addicts to get addicted to something so stupid. Thought alcohol was bad. This game suxks!
  • Karissa_9312
    I'm on level 960 in the regular area and 410 in the dreamworld. I have never spent a dime to play this game.
  • Linda_3514
    Rarely when I ask friends for help moving on to the next level does it allow me to do so. I have never hit the jackpot on the wheel even though I'm on level 409. I can see why they make hundreds of thousands of $'s every day
  • Barbara_1307
    The other day. It had if I get 6000 green squares in 48 hrs I get 10 of everything on the boosters. I did it less then 24 hrs and got nothing which is Bullshit . Not fair at all!
  • LaykenBM
    I think it should be illegal for games to operate in this way. It is blatantly obvious that the game is rigged when you start getting to the levels that require you to collect orders. You might need to clear 89 blue candies, but now miraculously you will watch time and time again as next to no blue candies even land on the board. Sometimes starting the game with literally 0 of them. Such an obvious scam!
  • karen_5625
    Yes, it has been very frustrating to me to get to a certain level and then have the "buy" this or that to continue..I never did, but it made me feel like I faile as I see my friends go on and its just not candy crush..it is all of the popular ones
  • John M_1021
    This game is nothing but a SCAM!
  • ron santoro
    I just want to buy the F----ng GAME and not be hooked by a Ponzi scheme GOOD BUY
  • Josh_5232
    I didn't upgrade the app for over a year. I absent mindedly upgraded and noticed a new "gold bar" feature that forces you to pay for new levels. That wasn't there before. I had to retrieve the old version from my iPad and delete all the updated versions to get the game that can be advanced through without paying.

    What a scam!!!
  • Ced_4198
    Waay ahead of you on this one bud. Never played candy crush or farmtown or that crappy flappy game. I've got plenty to keep me busy on my pc and consoles, I don't need marketing bullshit on my phones too, so I don't have ANY games on it.
  • Yo_8000
    This article and the majority of the comments are honestly hilarious. Listen up, you're all grown-ups, take some responsibility here. The game does not "trick" you into doing anything. It does not shake you down for your money. It is, in fact, 100% free to play and if you choose to spend money because you're too impatient, weak-willed, and/or unskilled to progress through the game without doing so, the developers are not to blame, YOU are. It is entirely possible to play through the entire game without ever spending a dime as myself and plenty of others have demonstrated. Honestly, quite a few of my friends play the game and I haven't known any of them to throw their money at it, and we're all getting through it just fine. Is it an addicting game? Absolutely! Do they work very hard to tempt you into purchasing power-ups and extra lives? Of course, why wouldn't they? You aren't entitled to free entertainment and they're allowed to make a living. But the choice is always yours and any attempt to put the blame on the developers is immature at best. Then again, I'd like to thank all of the people below me who spent tons of their hard earned money on the game. It's thanks to you folks that I can continue to play this polished, premium mobile game ad-free and without spending a dime!
  • topher339
    Never saw the appeal in Candy Crush. I'll just stick with N.O.V.A. 3.
  • Millie Raid
    Im close to level 800, and have yet to spend a dime...so I don't understand how this game is a "shakedown" for all those who download and play...
  • fdgfdsg
    lolalll fb game ssuck ass.
  • Dave_6185
    The sad thing is that it works. Its one of the most popular games and I bet makes them and google a shit load of money. I too hate this pay to upgrade crap and would happily buy a premium game if they hadnt tricked me into the free version with hidden power ups.
    I love playing the simpsons and family guy. Never bought anything, never will. But I read comments from people who spent upwards of $800 on the game and it just blows my mind.
  • Boomer_3084
    Totally agree. Mind numbing BS. I'm done with and will delete the app. Not sure how it got good reviews from any user. Just sucks you in to spend more. Stupid app
  • Krobertson
    I COMPLETELY AGREE! I know we are all complaining because we got sucked into this scheme but Lordy don't ya wish you had invented it??? It's our own fault I guess but ultimately you game inventors better know this game is making a lot of us quit ALL games. So no one wins but the Crush inventors.
  • txfeinbergs
    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.
  • Lady D_7084
    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 11 months ago
  • armygruntjoe_3766
    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.
  • Andre_2118
    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.
  • Shaun_4240
    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!
  • JP_6647
    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.
  • cb_9871
    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.
  • Karen Smith
    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.
  • carolyn ely
    I have won level65numerous times and candy crush will not sure allow me to move ahead
    It's maddening
  • Chai Chien Liang
    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 :)
  • Georgia fisher
    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.
  • badmamaWiWi
    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.....
  • Bryan_8078
    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.
  • Xxmoomoo22xX
    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.
  • Mark_2095
    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.
  • evelyn delacruz
    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 .
  • Cathy_4895
    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!
  • Pat_9368
    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 $. Good bye Candy Crush. You SUCK!!
  • Luke Todd
    What pisses me off enough about this game is that you they have the audacity to think they can charge 16.99$, $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!
  • chris_8245
    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.
  • Gww
    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
  • Ron Zhang
    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.
  • Ron Zhang
    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 1 year ago
  • Ron Zhang
    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 1 year ago
  • Ron Zhang
    Say no use of "bull****". Say "Those rip-your-wallet power-ups you have to use". And other sensors
    Last edited 1 year ago
  • Ron Zhang
    Yours is out of date. Now, you can play all levels without pay. Other than that, true.
  • cb_4793
    Candy crush and farm hero are bolth very fun but I do think they get way to hard .I haven't had to oay a penny and having to wate for more lives is a good thing or I would be at it all day it's a good time to tak a brake
    Last edited 1 year ago
  • cb_4793
    This game is bull shit it's targeted to get you hooked then to pay to get through levels or you are stuck for months. I hate this game farm hero is the same it starts out fun and you get through the levels pritty fast but once they hook you it's time to pay or stay
  • Russ_1666
    Like slot machines in casinos there is no luck or skill involved here. You level up when King decides it wants to let you. To pay money to have them bless you with a win is nothing short oh the electronic slot machines that are preset to allow a certain amount of winning. If your in the seat when the machine is told to pay; you end up a winner. I think the same applies here. This money sucking game should be regulated like casino gaming. No age limits, no capacity guidelines, nothing there to keep them from sucking you in as much as they can.
  • No more candy crush
    Great job candy makers another frustrated player no longer plays cause you make things too hard I guess you guys aren't very good at keeping people interested just like you stock great job NOT.
  • Mary_1756
    I think game is annoying and I would never paya penny. I'm thinking of deleting this game again . I did this before on 23 now on 35 I can' t move to 36. I' m a impatient. By this weekend I will delete if I don't move to 36
  • Kristie_1019
    I have gotten to the point where I hate this game. It used to be fun but you always end up with one jelly left (over & over). With Odus there is one game that requires 160,000 points in 30 moves and 3 times I got 159,999 points. What a bunch of crap. "You can win with another couple moves for only .99 cents". I hate this money grubbing game.
  • mickey_8112
    After playing 530 levels, I could say this is like an slot machine where you can try more than a hundred times spending only your time, not money.
    But, as an experienced player (levels 350 and 500 were the worst) I have realized that King's guys have become nastier, creating the f**king owl levels. In the owl madness (an unlucky move and the owl falls) the first level more difficult than any of the normal levels is 125.
    It's like a difficult level of the others, but with the owl falling it is really impossible, for me.
    Even using powerups is useless.

    Then King's guys have realized this and have created a new powerup of 3 moonstrucks (fisrt 3 are free).
    I spent 2 passing 125 after looking for a good start. But now, in 147 the remaining powerup (and others) is not enough. Only at level 147!!!

    This company, to be polite and not call them nastier things, probably is getting less cash, and this is their new strategy: completely impossible levels to be forced to buy many powerups (one alone is useless). They give you 15 moves minus than the strictly necessary being very lucky to pass the level. And the owl falls again and again.

    I've already quit with the owl. Don't even try it. The normal levels can be passed quitting the game until you get a good board.
  • Chris Bloubum
    I only tried this game cause FB friends kept inviting me. I agree with all. At level 15 it already got a little difficult and kept trying to pown me moves or tools. Then I realized how if I solicit their game to my FB friends I get some shit for free. Anybody who tries to solicit to me I will defriend. Drop dead game makers and u whore players.
    GAME DELETED.
  • Chris _3737
    I am on level 273 in Reality and 104 in Dream World and have not spent a single cent on anything. I play on the computer and on my phone (Android). You do not need to spend money.

    You never run out of lives on mobile because bumping your time on your phone up 3 hours gives you 5 more lives. Reset your time to normal ... play and repeat.
  • andee_6245
    Whats up w powers up they have all the options but u only evert three. This is a.joke. if u pay for power ups u get more options. Joke. Better things to do with my time. All hype or for beginners
  • Weldon_5177
    I've enjoyed Candy Crush and I enjoyed reading your post but I think you've got your information wrong. I'm on level 420 and my money is in my pocket where it will stay. You don't need to pay to get to higher levels! You can ask friends or be patient and play the Mystery Quests that open the levels up without asking friends or paying one red cent. Candy Crush tests your level of intellect and your ability to recognize patterns. It also tests your problem solving skills. If you are in the lower levels of the game, maybe it's not the game, maybe it's you. Check yourself before you wreck yourself! And remember, patience grasshopper, you'll get there eventually! Peace!
  • Hemanray
    I guess if you can't solve the problems after 100 or so tries - just give it up - they don't want you playing and continuing. Make a game fun to play - let us have the opportunity to solve the level.
    I've had it with their crap
  • Robin_2163
    So, you guys, like, play this stuff on your REAL facebook account? You need a second facebook account for games only and you add game friends who share the desire for free lives. DUH. I got over 1200 fake facebook game friends who send me all the lives I could want, more than a CAT even.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Wow lmao this game made my fiancé put a purchase block on my cell (with my permission of course). I was a crack addict because of this game!
  • Alberto Muñoz
    While I agree that Candy Crush doesn't it well in terms of money, we don't have to forget this practice is pretty old actually (the old Apogee's games will remind you it very well). While I don't think the social participation is that bad while playing in facebook, I indeed think it's pretty terrible for mobile usage; mobile devices can't be connected the whole time, so even if you have the people or the money, you'll still get stuck somewhere without any way to "escape". And that is what should change.
  • Milo Price
    Contributor
    Personally, half the fun in a lot of freemium games for me is seeing how much I can accomplish without spending anything, even if it takes two or three times as long. It's the principle of the thing, really. I do like supporting developers of well-made games if I have an option to (for example) double my in-game money for a reasonable price, though.
  • allan32
    if you want cheat this game, check it :D i love this tool ^^ http://hack-methods.com/candy-crush-saga-cheat/
  • Kelly_8562
    You are 100% correct. It's stealing, pure and simple. Let me pay $5.99 for the app and play without timeouts.
  • yumm_9489
    Well said. Everyone I know is hooked. King.com is so crap I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted to take down this article. Any game integrated with Facebook is like that.
  • Ryan_7679
    One thing has become very obvious to me while playing this game. It's no big deal to pay or help with networking for more lives, but it's obviously programmed in a way that makes beating levels impossible if you're progressing too quickly without contributing. It's literally programmed to force you to lose, and incite frustration. Stop playing for a few days and you'll notice when you pick it back up that it's much easier to pass a level that you couldn't come close to beating before. That's because they don't want you breaking the addiction out of frustration. They manipulate you into frustration to get you to pay, then if you show signs of moving on they finally make it possible to progress. That's pretty much my only complaint. The levels that make it obvious are ones where the pieces fall before you make your first move. If the game is in frustration mode you can have ONE useless possible move then it shuffles. Then one more move and it shuffles again. I've had the game shuffle on me before I even made my first move. Put the game down for a few days and when you come back the pieces will fall and break half the screen before you make a first move.
  • Squid_5904
    Total wash out. I'll go back to Bejeweled. At least they give pretty badges included in the $1.99 price tag.
  • Caden Moniz
    Featured Correspondent
    I wanted to say thank you for making this article. This article is actually the article that made me start writing for GameSkinny. Since Candy Crush ads are scattered all over the web and almost every single app, I was getting sick of them and searched "Candy Crush sucks" on Google to see if anyone else was angry with me. I saw the article, read it, and saw that I could write for GameSkinny too. Right after I signed up, my interest sparked and lifted off for writing video game articles. I came back here today to tell you thanks for an article that I can really relate to, and thanks for starting my love for GameSkinny.

    Best,
    Caden
  • ButterPecan_Gamer
    I play the game, haven't spent a dime and i'm on level 231 just in case you're wondering. You may have received some free gold bars from King also, and you may have noticed the "accidental" purchase of items with those gold bars, but against its no coincidence.

    They aren't the only ones guilty of this, there are console games that almost require you to pay additional money just to make the game enjoyable, Microsoft is good at this, and you will be paying a lot more for things that should be in your games in the first place. Total Rome 2 requires you to buy blood & gore dlc if you want it in the game even though you paid full price. So as long as people justify buying crap, someone is always going to be willing to sell you a lot more of it.
  • ButterPecan_Gamer
    Candy Crush takes what's appealing about Casino slot machines and turns into a game that's addictive enough to gain "Suckers" willing to pay for something they won't benefit from financially.
    You will end up in situations where you are progressing quicker than they'd desire and the game will freeze. This is not a coincidence because money can't be made if you are flying through a level geared to increase frustration to the point where you wish to simply "buy your way to victory", but what happens when you spend money on a level to gain additional moves only to have it freeze on you?

    It would only gain attention if the money stops flowing.
  • ArnaudM
    Man you must be a pretty pathetic player. I am currently at level 245 and I have not paid a single penny to play, never used the old time travel trick AND I only play on iOS where we don't get the Free extra moves from friends.
    Your article is so full of FUD that I recommend it to be taken out of GS.
  • Billl_5158
    Obviously the people say that they have finished the game are full of shit ! They keep adding levels so you have not beat the game. Level 396
  • Sammy_6373
    Great commentary
  • CandyKillah
    I really enjoy this game, currently on lvl 93 and haven't spent a cent.
  • Derrick_9948
    The trick?

    Don't play those half-wit games, and get torrents of games.
    Then you can play for free any good game out there without paying one cent.
    I've done it for years.

    And every time I find a work of art - and by that I mean an awesome game, then I go to the nearest store and buy the game (+ whatever DLC and such there is).
    Paying for second rate shit is for losers.

    Have fun paying your ignorant twit tax.
  • habeas9
    This game sucks - it cheats. Even you collect all the damn "orders" needed to win a level, it ignores them, forcing you to keep playing and PAYING. I quit.
  • Michelle_2780
    FYI -- I haven't spent any money and I am on level 226. I may not get 3 stars on every level but with determination and patience I have gotten pretty far without purchasing power boosters/extra moves or lives. It can be done.
  • Alex Fili
    Why the heck does it crash but still take your money and yet not record any of your level progress? I call BS on this one. Crap game
  • Ruth_7307
    I am at Level 325 and haven't paid a cent and won't. It is challenging, fun and rewarding to complete a level. All it takes is time and patience.
  • Pasi_7773
    There's nothing new on this. Every commercial game has one top priority: To make as much money as possible. Actually the same goes with every other business you can ever think of. There's no business where they think "we'd like to make one thousand dollars this year. Not a penny more."

    So what's really wrong here? It's free to play. I know personally people who have beaten this game without using a nickel on it. I wasn't able to beat it but didn't want to pay for it either. So I just uninstalled it.

    If you think social integration is bullshit, just ignore it. If you think power-ups are bullshit, ignore them. It's just easy as that. If you think the game overall is bullshit, just install it.

    Whining about it wins you nothing. This is the way the business works and it will, no matter how much we disagree with the model.
  • Anna_4114
    I am on level 150 (or something like that) and never spent a single cent. I was curious about playing with Facebook - I played till level 100 or something only on my phone - so I decided to connect to Facebook so I could play on the computer too and was surprised by the amount of times they ask me to buy stuff, to share every progress with friends, etc.

    I am not used to such things because this is the first game I played on Facebook but I quickly got disgusted by the amount of propaganda... so I deleted the app from Facebook and decided to play only on my phone without connection to Facebook. It's been nice. I like the game because it's one of those I play to distract myself when I'm on a boring waiting room or something.

    Nice article. On one side, the game developers have the right to do as they please with the game and also need money to prosper, but on the other, I think a person who spends hundreds (or thousands!) of dollars just to obtain advantages at a game has a problem or just too much money they don't now where to spend.
    Last edited 2 years ago
  • Caden Moniz
    Featured Correspondent
    Thank you for writing this article. I can so relate to your hatred of the game.
  • Hank_1063
    They advertise ALL over TV. It is obvious that there is a money making plan involved, if only to pay for the commercials. My problem with the commercials is that they seem to be directed towards small children, knowing that they could "buy" some lives or other and not know what they are doing. Most games start free and give you options to pay for extras, but at least they don't have commercials on the tube. I say try the free part and if you think it is that good, then start paying, otherwise just stick to the free part or dump it.
  • Brandon_5158
    Very suck game...... Will see when you get to level 420 and higher.....
  • m8ty.com_7934
    some users here justify that its is OK for the game developer to charge per power ups and some BS features on a "per-use-basis", they justify this business model because the developer has to pay for servers, etc. But, I think that the developer's implementation is incorrect, they should have just created a whole full downloadable game where they can sell it for a one time $19.95, 49.95 or even $99.99 if the developer wanted maximum profit per user, sure the developer could still release the game as a free 14 days or 30 day free trial, or even free for the first 35 levels and then the player would need to pay some "x" sum of money to purchase a license key and unlock Candy Crush Saga which then, after that point would require no internet access and can be played fully locally like the games and software I have on my computer and smartphone right now. I do not believe on the "freemium" model, it forces the developer to carry on with keeping servers, the "game" that the player download are not really games, but a mere client app that connects to a server to play the real game, exchange user data such as the score board, level up stats, etc which are kept on the remote server, as a consequence, the developer has to spend more money every month on new server integration when there are lots of player in order to keep the servers from crashing/overwhelming. On the fully standalone trial version model, the developer doesn't have to expand its servers with more servers and a huger monthly dedicated server bill, the developer doesnt have to keep a huge terabytes of data stores on its servers for millions of players. People like the idea of "owning" or "licensing" their own software/games as opposed as "renting" them in a perpetual fashion like in freemium models. Personally, I like the idea of paying once and for all and that's it.

    If the developer is still hesistant in keeping it as a freemium model, they can at least offer players a choice. Choice 1) Keep paying the small changes for the power ups and occasional level unlocks, or Choice 2) Pay $99.95 and obtain the ability to enjoy all powerups at no additional costs and not having to worry about paying ever again to unlock new sets of levels.
    Choice #2 is almost infinitely likely to make me a converting customer than choice #1.
  • Phil_4081
    I am at Level 151 and have not yet paid a dime. What this author says is not entirely fair, i must say; nothing is/should be free, and when it is, human nature dictates that people are not going to be very interested in it. Honestly I think if one has to pay for those power-ups, then that person should not play it. I think CC tests one's skills and patience and these cannot/should not be bought.
  • Good hack :D
    Hi, have you ever wonder how the Candy Crush Saga would work with a hack? If you are tired to lose all of your lives and have to pay for other or wait for other lives, give it a try. Also gives you unlimited boosters, so it will make the game a lot easier, less frustrating and you won't ever spend money for it. http://candycrushsagahacks.blogspot.com/
  • AlannaTerrell
    Wow. I can't believe the tone of this article, but I guess fools and their money are soon parted. Look, As if this writing I'm on level 122 and I haven't paid a single effing dime in the damn game. Not a single red cent. And what's more I haven't "integrated" into my Facebook account either! The corporate heads at King don't know my Facebook handle or who my friends are and they've never milked my account. Here's a tip : if you play it on your iphone and never link it to your Facebook then it gives you the option to complete bonus quests instead of ponying up cash or bugging your friends to get to the next world. Except you can only complete one quest every 24 hrs and there's three quests. Of course you could just trick their computer by messing with your iphone clock. I've never done that because when I get to the quests the 24 hr rule gives me a chance to take a break from the damn game. Similarly when I lose a level I accept it and try again as long as I have turns left. No crying about being "one move away from passing". Tough luck. Try again from the beginning.

    And what's with the guy calling everyone with patience, self-control and a little bit of actual playing skill a "troll"? Sorry buddy, but just because you suck at the game and can't get past a few levels without breaking out your credit card or sharing your private Facebook information with King games doesn't mean everyone smarter than you secretly works for the company as part of some elaborate conspiracy.
  • jimmyjam_1290
    This game frustrates the hell out of me but I must add my 2¢ worth. I'm playing on an android device and I have yet to spend any money either. I've completed level 95 and have one more quest to complete before I can move on to level 96.

    @Ronnie1959: are you aware there are three quests that you can complete after every 15 levels that allow you to move on? (At least on the android version.) I agree the game is tremendously difficult if you choose not to pony up but perhaps you should ask those of us who haven't paid how we have done it instead of immediately calling everyone a troll or a cheat. I'd be happy to send you a screen capture of the quest menu.
    Last edited 2 years ago
  • Piratesque
    Its on the brink of being a scam. Played it and as the levels got progressively harder I decided to buy one of the credit packs. All well and I selected to get the 3x3 Fish Packs. First time I got to see 2 fishes on my playing board, the 2nd time I got one(!) fish during the whole play and the 3rd time I also got 1 single fish ... despite it being advertised as a total of 3 fishes per play.

    To further put salt in the wound now when they changed the credits to gold my 10 credits that was left on my account was reset to zero. Believing I still had those credits I clicked the buy to advance to the next set of levels ... and the damned thing charged my bank account despite me having locked my CC for internet purchases.

    This game is just a pile of ...
  • eric_6218
    boom well iv been having problems for a wile im stuck in level 50 for a wile gona hav to delet this game
  • Ryan Overton
    King has designed Candy Crush so that the upper levels are not able to be completed unless extra moves are purchased. This is bullshit and scamming at it's worst. They should be removed from the apple store and banned.
  • Alli_3921
    I have been playing level 35 for weeks now and have not only passed it many times but have beaten a very high and unrealistic score only for candycrush to hike up the score further - up yours
    Rid- ic - u- lous
  • james wilko
    Thanks for posting this made me smile
  • MARY BELARDO
    I enjoyed CANDY CRUSH saga very much. Fun while it lasted. I am on level 86 for forever now. It's impossible to pass. I'm aware that it will be like this until I start paying to play, which I have NO INTENTION of doing! I DON'T LIKE TRICKERY. Shame on you! Goodby, Candy Crush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • anon_8247
    sounds like this guy got addicted to the game, ended up spending alot of money on it and now cant afford to pay his bills. So instead of owning up to his addiction he decided to come online and cry about his life.

    Get over it, tons of ppl play and dont pay and have not had a problem. My brother has not spent a dime on the game and has maxed out the levels numerous times and had to wait for new updates for more levels.
  • Jean_5797
    It isn't necessary to pay anything. You get past level 35 by playing quests. You have to unlock 3 quests to unlock the next level. I'm on 72 and haven't spent a cent. It is possible to pass all the levels without paying for boosts. Although I will admit some of them definitely took some time. But that's part of the fun, having the patience and perseverance to beat the system.
    You can only beat 1 quest every 24 hours. To kill time, play earlier levels, it hones your skills.
  • Parag Jain
    @Kevin: I cant agree with you more. You article was an inspiration in correcting this trend and after 5 months we have come out with Candies with Friends which corrects the anomalies you have rightly pointed out and builds on the matching game play which Candy Crush has implemented so well. So Candies with Friends has a Word with Friends based social integration and you play 3 rounds with friends. The onus is not on defeating the levels and get frustrated multiple times but challenge the opponents score and not get stuck with 5 lives or Pay Mechanic. Moving on to higher levels would also be based on clearing certain milestones. Higher levels would be introduced each week to engage the users as Candy Crush does.
  • Momdiggity
    Please feel free to take this with a grain of salt since I am currently trolling around for tips, but as a mental health worker, I gotta say, some of you may do well to seek the services of a professional. Holy paranoia and anger issues, Batman. King.com is not outside your window, the call is not coming from inside the house and your secret stash of sock coins is safe. It's okay. Now for the love of Xanax, please tell me. How the hell to get past 91?
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