Candy Crush Saga is a free-to-play Match Three Game by King. It is available for Facebook (link), Android and iOS, with a storyline and level progression. There's also a best-score-in-three-minutes version available at their website. As suggested by its name, the items you try to match three of are candies. Your main character is Toffette, who goes around trying to help characters out, such as trying to get a candy machine working and waking up a yeti. There's also another character named Mr. Toffee who gives you tips along the way.As in most Match Three Games, you get special candies for matching more than three candies at once:
Striped candies, which you get by matching four candies in a row. When used in a match, they clear an entire horizontal or vertical line of candies (the direction of the stripe tells you whether it will clear a horizontal or vertical line).
Wrapped candies, which you get by matching two three-candy matches in a cross-shape pattern. When used, they explode in a 3x3 square area twice.
Color bombs, which you get by matching five candies in a row. When used, they destroy all candies of the color of your choice.
If you can get them next to each other, you can get even fancier Combination Attacks.There are five types of levels that are in Candy Crush. All of the levels have a distinct kind of background music, although the Score and Order levels share the same background music (which is also used in the free version).
Orange circles are the most basic ones. You just have to gain a certain score before your moves run out. The first five levels are these and there are a few levels along the way. Usually considered the easier ones, especially between Jelly levels. All levels make you keep a score. Be careful though, some Orange circles contain Timebombs.
Blue circles are Jelly levels. They contain Jelly squares which only dissolve when you make a match adjacent to them. Usually considered the harder and trickier levels in the game (especially ones where it's easy to clear the jellies, but hard to get the minimum score). Most jelly is double-layered, but there are some that are just single-layered.
Green circles are Ingredient levels. Interspersed with the candies are a number of ingredients (cherries, hazelnuts, etc) which must be down to the bottom of the board by clearing everything in their way. These are introduced in the second world of the game, Candy Factory.
Purple circles are Timed levels, where you have to get a certain score before time runs out (usually 90 seconds, but the time limit can be as short as 15 seconds). You can get candies that give you extra time if you make combos that trigger five or more matches at once.
Red/pink circles are Order levels. These levels don't appear until much later in the game when the area Wafer Wharf introduces them. The objective is to either get rid of certain candies or get certain combos before running out of moves.
Besides Jelly and Ingredients, there are other things cluttering up your board:
Meringue: Solid blocks that cannot be moved but can be destroyed by creating a match adjacent to them. In later levels, the meringue can be multi-layered with up to 5 total layers.
Caged/locked candies: You must make a match that includes the candy in the cage to free them.
Chocolate: They clutter up the board and eat candies, turning them into more chocolate. You can destroy them by destroying the candy adjacent to them (the destroyed candy need not be part of a match; a candy destroyed by striped candy, for example, also destroys chocolate blocks adjacent to them).
Portals: Items falling into blue portals reappear from pink portals.
Licorice: Like meringue and chocolate, they can be destroyed if you make the proper candy matches. Unlike chocolate and meringue, they can be moved around, but more of them may fall from the top of the board on some levels. Also, they block striped candy explosions.
Marmalade: Encases candies, usually Special Candies that the player will need to break out of the marmalade to be able to complete the level with. They can be broken in the same way as with meringues (i.e. making a match next to them).
Chocolate fudge generator: Makes chocolate blocks, but cannot be destroyed like normal chocolate blocks.
Bombs: Will end the game if you don't defuse them by including them in a match.
Mystery egg: Can turn into ANYTHING, including special candies (helpful) and unwanted blockers like meringue and chocolate (not so helpful). Oddly enough, they can even get rid of the tile.
Rainbow candy: Alternates between two candy colors with every move.
Cakes: 4x4 impassable blocks divided into 4 quarters and 8 segments. Making matches adjacent to the cake or blasting special candies into it destroys a segment or two of it, and destroying it completely clears the board of all candies and strips a layer from all blockers.
Tornadoes: Randomly switch to new squares every turn. They cannot be matched and leave cracks in previously occupied squares which prevent candy from falling into them for one more turn. They can actually be helpful if they land on a blocker as they will destroy a layer of it, but they do not remove jelly. Can be removed for 5 turns by blasting special candies into them.
It's fairly complicated, but addicting in the way Match Three Games can be. Accusations have flown around about its Allegedly-Free nature, particularly concerning Difficulty Spikes that encourage Bribing Your Way to Victory. Whether this is true or King have simply managed to adjust the difficulty curve correctly, the net result is that Candy Crush Saga is the highest-grossing game on both Apple's App Store and Google Play. (For contrast, the most lucrative pay-to-purchase app, Minecraft Pocket Edition, is in ninth place on that same list.)
Added Alliterative Appeal: Many of the game's areas have alliterative names, including every single area between levels 111 and 230: Peppermint Palace, Wafer Wharf, Gingerbread Glade, Pastille Pyramid, Cupcake Circus, Caramel Cove, Sweet Surprise, and Crunchy Castle.
Advancing Wall of Doom: Each time you don't destroy the chocolate blocks, they'll grow in the board and cover candies. This can really hinder your process if you had a combo ready. The "doom" part comes in if you let the chocolate blocks block incoming candy from coming in, as you'll actually lose a life.
Anti-Poop Socking : Played straight at first with the 5 lives, as you lose one each time you fail a level, and have to wait 30 minutes for a single life to come back.
Subverted now that you can sometimes watch ads, which will give you an extra life; if you know how to get those ads, you can basically play for hours.
Ascended Extra: The Easter Bunny from Easter Bunny Hills becomes the symbol for the "Order" levels on Facebook.
Awesome, but Impractical: Colorbomb + Colorbomb. It tends to be really useful in earlier Jelly and Ingredient levels which it clears every single piece on the board, but as more and more hazards get introduced, they become extremely worthless, as they cannot clear through Meringue or Fudge Blocks. They can clear Licorice blocks though.
Big Bad: The closest the game has to one is the Bubblegum Troll, as he wreaks havoc in six episodes. He threatens to take Tiffi's candy in Bubblegum Bridge, wrecks Pepperment Palace, joins Tiffi's party (He's probably a Punch Clock Villain in this case), terrorizes Pudding Pagoda as a Godzilla-like monster, blocks a railroad track in Butterscotch Boulders, and encases Biscuit Bungalow within a giant gum bubble.
Blatant Lies: The Bubblegum Troll. The game tells you that they "can put a stop to the Fudge Generators", which is considered a very annoying hazard. However, that's not true at all, as it only stops the Fudge Generators for three turns, which isn't really worth anything seeing how most levels are usually around 30-50 moves long. Averted that the revised text now says that the Bubblegum Troll will work for 5 moves.
Bribing Your Way to Victory: You can't use any powerups at will without paying for them. Oh, what happens when you run out of lives? You have to either wait 30 minutes to get a new one or actually buy lives with your real money.
You also need to pay real money to unlock new levels if you don't want to spend at least two days completing three random Mystery Quests.
The game was kind enough to give a free item, usually a Lollipop Hammer or "+3 Moves", to a player each day each day for a week on the last week of March 2013.
A recent addition to the game somewhat subverts this trope. There is now a "Booster Wheel", which, once per day, allows you to spin a wheel and get a free booster. If you're lucky and land on the jackpot, you get three of just about every type of booster.
Combination Attack: Switching any two of striped candy, wrapped candy, and colorbomb will produce an effect much greater than either one individually. Early on, getting them can amount to an Instant-Win Condition; they become required in later levels.
Crapsaccharine World: The average player will start to play thinking "oh look, a cute little Facebook game about candy" only to realize very quickly that it is a cute little Facebook game about candy that just happens to be a product of Satan.
The very first difficulty spike occurs in Lemonade Lake, where level 23 (or level 29, or level 33) is typically the point where players beginrealizing just what kind of game they've gotten into.
The introduction of bombs creates aggravating timers on any level that features them. The timers range from 12-15 moves at the high end to just three moves at the low end. Worse, on several levels, it's physically impossible to hit the score target without destroying lots of bombs, forcing you to seek them out.
Bomb dispensers make things even worse. Starting with Holiday Hut (Crunchy Castle is where they're first introduced, but Holiday Hut is when they start becoming plentiful), you will be regularly encountering these demonic dispensers that spawn a constant stream of never-ending bombs to make your candy-crushing life even more difficult.
Chocolate is bad enough, since it consumes any candy it touches, but generators are when it really gets tough - any move in which you don't destroy chocolate, it is created, so you can never be truly free of it. What's worse is that a Mystery Candy CAN TURN INTO ONE OF THESE.
Cakes, introduced in Pudding Pagoda, actually have an extremely beneficial effect when you clear them — they clear the board of all candies and remove one layer from every blocker and Marmalade too — but this is also the cue for the game to ramp up the number of obstacles and blockers on the board that you will need to clear these cakes to have a reasonable hope to get past, and clearing these cakes are easier said than done since even striped candies can only remove two out of eight segments of it at the most and the cakes often take up so much space on the board that maneuvering candies around them is not easy.
Downloadable Content: The boosters. There's no way you can get them in the game unless if you wait until Chocolate Barn where the game introduces mystery eggs (which are similar to the Lucky Candy items but they can turn into obstacles instead). These include Coconut Wheels and Jelly Fish. If you wait until Delicious Drifts (the area immediately following Chocolate Barn), you'll actually see Jelly Fish AND Coconut Wheels as marmalade covered items. Free for use.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: The Tooth Fairy is the one being helped in the world Pearly White Plains, which has been ravaged by colour bombs. In game, they destroy every candy of the same colour on the board. Outside gameplay, they hit like nuclear bombs, turning a happy paradise filled with pristine shining pearly white teeth into an irradiated wasteland, with the teeth cracked, broken and rotting.
A Colorbomb is also used to hold a volcano.
Gimmick Level: The first level of each world is always some way to introduce something new to the game. The level will focus mainly on that new obstacle. For example, the first Portal level is just a simple "Bring Down the Ingredients" type of level, and in the first bomb level, the timer is the same as the number of moves.
Guide Dang It: The Frog. The game gives you no explanation on what to do with him, but you're supposed to wait until you get enough matches for the announcer to say "FROGTASTIC!" and then slap the frog on a space which can get rid of the Jelly. The first level in "Cereal Sea" can be very confusing because of this.
Incredibly Lame Pun: The Jelly Fish. When you can eventually get it during levels (as opposed to just during a sugar crush) it turns out to specifically target jelly, and can even destroy it through any number of layers of merangue. This is specifically required in some levels, since you don't have enough moves to destroy the jelly manually.
Infinity–1 Sword: Wrapped Candy + Striped Candy. Fairly easy to get and can be extremely useful on Jelly levels that aren't licorice filled.
Wrapped Candy + Colorbomb can really be a powerful item in levels involving large layers of Jellies. It can even stop some Bombs from going off.
The "mystery quests" you can complete to unlock later levels if you don't want to shell out real-life money or bug people on Facebook are randomly selected from earlier levels, which means that you can get an extremely easy level-11 reprise for a quest... or a nightmarish level-65 one.
In general, the fewer moves you're given to complete a level, the more dependent your success in that level will be on luck. In level 192, for example, you have only EIGHT moves to collect six striped candies encased in marmalade and no new candies drop from the top of the board even when you begin clearing candies. Depending on the initial board configuration you get, you can complete that level in just one try or burn through all your lives going through board configurations that are Unwinnable by Design.
Even though they can be destroyed by candies touching them (you can move them too), licorice squares are pretty tough to handle. Striped candies (even from the Striped/Wrapped Candy Combo) are pretty useless against them.
No generator can be destroyed - the glass bubbles that release ingredients/bombs/licorice, and the chocolate generators, are all invulnerable. A purchasable power-up will stop the latter for a few turns though.
Mirror World: The Dreamyworld is a Dream version of Candy Crush, with the world map flipped horizontally and a new mechanic which can benefit you or screw you over far worse than the Bombs do.
Nerf: The Wrapped Candy + Striped Candy combo will absorb any licorice around it ... but in the iOS/Android versions, it doesn't absorb them and just breaks them, thus making levels like Level 382 much harder.
No Fair Cheating: You can use a certain cheat to replenish your lives right away (hint: see the very bottom of this article)... but glitches have been known to happen to people's time counters who tried this.
No Sell: Some obstacles are immune to certain candies and combinations.
Wrapped Candies on top of Ingredients do pretty much absolutely nothing at all.
If you use a Colorbomb, normally candies hit will break Meringue Blocks. However, it won't do the same for Cakes.
Random Effect Spell: The mystery egg introduced in level 231 (Chocolate Barn) is this. It can turn into beneficial items such as a color bomb, striped candy, wrapped candy, jelly fish, or coconut wheel. However, it can also turn into a 1-5 layered meringue block, chocolate block, licorice, or even a bomb (the counter on the bomb varies, it could even be a 5-turn bomb). There are even reports that in very rare cases, it can turn into the dreaded chocolate generator.
Teleporters and Transporters: You'll start seeing portals in later levels which warp candies from one tile to the other. In the first level they're introduced in, you have to drop ingredients from the first half of the board to the next using these portals.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The game seemingly has an unfair grab bag- seemingly taking a page out of Bastet- which makes candies fall into the board at the worst possible places from where you need them to be, and give unrealistic goals (for example, it would ask you to clear all jellies, but then keeps making it impossible to create combos at the positions where you need it to). Every board with a goal is a Luck-Based Mission.
The Hero's Birthday: During Sweet Surprise, Toffette comes across ... a large cake. After finishing the last level of the world, all of the cast of the characters she's helped come out and surprise her!
All of the other games by "King Games", the company responsible for Candy Crush Saga, have a name in the format "Game Name Saga". And they're all puzzle games.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Sugar Crush. If you have remaining moves, you'll get a bunch of automatic combos, such as Candy Fish and Striped Candies. Unused powerups (Striped/Wrapped/Colorbomb) will go off as well. This can help you get a lot of points, especially in the Timed Mission levels.
The Walls Are Closing In: Chocolate blocks will do this unless if you can destroy them fast. If your move destroyed one, then it won't grow the following move. Later, generators will create more automatically, meaning you can never be fully rid of it.
The Worf Effect: Remember earlier levels where Color Bombs were considered instant-win items? Well later on, a Color Bomb itself (unless if it's an Order level, where Color Bombs are required sometimes) are considered not as effective.
The powerful Striped/Wrapped candy combo is practically worthless against thick layers of licorice.
Even the Color Bomb/Striped candy combo, arguably the most powerful combo in the game, isn't safe. It's pretty much a weak move against triple-layer meringue blocks.
During the levels where you can get Jelly Fish for free, they're pretty much considered this.
Time Bomb: Introduced in Salty Canyon. If you fail to get rid of certain Bombs in a set amount of moves, the game will automatically end, requiring you to juggle getting rid of the bombs and clearing jellies/getting ingredients down in time.
Timed Mission: Some levels are these. As the only levels without a move-counter, they can be easier, with literal infinite scores possible on some. There are exceptions though, particularly where bombs are concerned, since you can't consider the timer in the context of how many moves are remaining in the level.
Useless Useful Spell: Moonstruck, one of the main gimmicks of the Dreamworld. It's supposed to clear a lot of the board out for you so you can do powerful combinations ... but here's the thing ... even after moves of balancing the Moon Scale, which can be very tough and annoying ... the Moonstruck will clear only one candy if the board doesn't have all six Candies present, and sometimes the Moonstruck expires after ONE MOVE.
Even worse, Moonstruck can WORK AGAINST YOU in Candy Order levels, as some of the Candies that are on the Moon scale are also the same candies that are required.
Video Game Tutorial: The first world "Candy Town" is this. Heck, the first five levels basically teach you how to play the game, use striped items, and the fifth level lets you use a Striped/Wrapped Candy combo freely showing you how it works (And one shows you how to use the Colorbomb). The next levels are just simple Jelly levels.
If you're playing this game on your Android or iPhone, there's actually a way to cheat. Just set your clock 2.5-4 hours ahead and the game will give your lives without waiting or paying for them. As for Facebook, if you have a second account, you could just log in that account and get lives back and forth