I’ve made it pretty clear that I think Candy Crush is a shakedown. The game, while well-crafted and fun, isn’t shy about the fact that it is primarily designed to take as much money from you as possible. But despite my harsh words and the frustration I feel towards the game, I do like it and I am still playing it.
Even though I hate the way this game tries to suck money out of me, I want to reiterate that I don’t mind paying for games (or even DLC). However, in all cases, I like to know what I’m going to get for my money before I spend it. In this area, Candy Crush falls short (and I suspect it’s intentional).
After you beat level 35 in Candy Crush, you will hit a wall. To continue, you will be given an option: ask friends to give you enough tickets to go on to the next stage, or pay $.99. Personally, I’m not comfortable asking my Facebook friends to give me in-game credits. I keep the number of my Facebook friends very small, so they’re all people I’m close to. It just doesn’t feel right to me to grovel with them for new levels in a game that they don’t play. So for me, paying to continue is the only option.
Unfortunately, Candy Crush doesn’t tell you how many levels you will get for a dollar. They only tell you that you will get access to the next stage. But how long is a stage? Will it be another 35 levels? That was my assumption, since you get the first 35 levels in the game for free. Paying a dollar to double your levels would make sense, wouldn’t it? That’s what I thought. It sounded like a fair deal to me. But I guessed wrong.
Paying $.99 gives you access to only 15 new Candy Crush levels. And every 15 levels after you will hit another wall, forcing you to make another decision: will you ask your friends for tickets, or pay up?
In fairness, 15 levels can last you quite a long time as you progress to more difficult levels. I’m in the 80s now, and I can get a few hours of playtime for my 99 cents. To me, that money spent is worth the entertainment that it provides. I suspect that other people who play the game feel the same way.
What I do have a problem with is that you have no idea exactly what you are purchasing in this game before you buy. So here’s your answer: you get 15 levels.