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Video Game / Candies 'n Curses

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Mollie Pop, our brave hero, sped toward the forest that borders her cozy suburban neighborhood. But why would she go to such a dark and dreary place, you might ask? A dare gone too far, proposed by her rambunctious friends, has pushed young Molli over the edge.

Candies 'n Curses is an arcade rogue-lite game developed by Tako Boy Studios. It was published for mobile devices on October 31st, 2018.

The story starts with Molli playing Truth or Dare with her friends. Molli is dared to visit a house that is rumored to be haunted. They intended it as a joke, but the brave Molli is eager to accept the challenge. Once she enters, the door shuts behind her, leaving her trapped and surrounded by ghosts, with only her flashlight to protect her.

To progress through the game, the player travels through different rooms, running and jumping between floors to vanquish ghosts with her flashlight. They can also collect charms which can be attached to the flashlight for various perks, and find treasure rooms with randomized candies or curses to give the player a fighting chance in future rooms.

Candies 'n Curses provides examples of:

  • 1-Up: The Halo Bar item and the Rally Charm have the same effect of reviving Molli with full health if she ever runs out.

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The second half of the mansion's room names invoke this. Dinette of Doom, Botanical Ballroom, and Shudder Shade Study.

  • Breakable Power-Up: The wraiths, bones, and bon bons summoned by the King's Beacon, Necro Scythe and Worm Light respectively disappear upon taking too much damage.

  • Canine Companion: Equipping the Pup Charm will summon a ghost puppy named Goober to fight alongside Molli.

  • Cartoon Bomb: Bombs in the game, such as the ones Bunber uses if you pick up Servant's Curse, are round with a lit fuse.

  • Cast from Money: The Devour Charm gives you spirit hearts at the end of every room in exchange for the main currency, souls.

  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Enemies use different elements, indicated by the color of their border. Blue border means physical, yellow means fire, and green means poison. In addition, most of Molli's projectiles and summons are pink.

  • Cosplay: The purchasable outfits allow Molli to dress up like Necro Witch, Phantom King, or Reaper.

  • Cursed with Awesome: The curse items come with benefits that tend to outweigh the consequences of picking them up.

  • Damage Reduction: Several items and charms, like Punching Bag and Anti-Blaze Charm, have the effect of reducing damage taken from a specific element.

  • Deal with the Devil: The item Devil's Bargain takes away half of Molli's heart points. In exchange, it doubles her current spirit heart points, and doubles all spirit heart pickups for the rest of the run.

  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: The blade type flashlights, the only ones which can be directed, can only be directed up, down, left and right.

  • Developer's Foresight: Toxic Curse has the effect of damaging any ghost that makes contact with Molli. This includes Fire Spirit, one of the few bosses with contact damage, even when his health is locked.

  • Evil Laugh: Every boss (excluding Fire Spirit and Phantom Worm) has a unique laugh sound effect.

  • Final Boss Preview: After the tutorial, Bunber leaves with a warning that his master is coming. Said master is the final boss of the game. When he appears, only his eyes are visible before he kills Molli with a red beam.

  • Friendly Ghost: While most ghosts are out for Molli, a few are willing to help her, such as Bunber and Churra.

  • Friendly Zombie: Zeke, a zombie who will occasionally show up to give you items if you pick up the Living Dead Curse.

  • Haunted House: The game's setting.

  • Infinite Flashlight: Molli's flashlights are capable of staying bright through endless runs without any need to be recharged.

  • Jacob Marley Apparel: Ghost King wears the same crown that Benny does. Averted with Necro Witch, Jack, and Phantom King, whose outfits are very different from their human counterparts.

  • Lethal Lava Land: Ember Cellar.

  • Living Macguffin: The Peppermint of Souls. It's a peppermint with eyes and a jagged mouth, and it's used to break the curses on the mansion's residents.

  • Long Song, Short Scene: The song that plays just before a boss fight has a sizable loop in the soundtrack, but ingame it only plays for a few seconds before the boss music kicks in.

  • Mass Monster-Slaughter Sidequest: All of Hector's sidequests involve killing a specific type of ghost, often hundreds of times.

  • Maximum HP Reduction: Purified Curse, Devil's Bargain, and Void Curse all have the drawbacks of halving Molli's current health. Undead Curse gives Molli a lot of soul hearts, but removes all her max heart points.

  • Mercy Invincibility: Molli retains invincibility briefly after taking damage. The duration can be increased with the Cloak Gumdrop and the Charisma Charm.

  • Monster Compendium: The journal, which lists every enemy and bosses, how many times they've been slain, and a brief description of each. It also contains info on items, charms, characters, and flashlights.

  • New Game Plus: The Curse Crusher mode, a harder version of the game unlocked after defeating the final boss, upon which the player is given the choice of replaying with all their obtained items. If not, they still have the choice of starting a run in Curse Crusher mode.

  • Palette Swap: Most of the Curse Crusher bosses are differently colored versions of the original bosses. In addition, four of the purchasable outfits simply change the color of Molli's hair and dress.

  • Powerup Magnet: The Magnet Charm draws in nearby souls, ectoplasm, and other collectibles.

  • Smart Bomb: Items like Halo Bar that revive Molli have the additional effect of killing every enemy in the room upon revival.

  • Technicolor Fire: Some charms and weapons allow Molli to summon pink flames. Flambes can summon blue flames.

  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Bunber implies there was a tome like this that turned the librarian into the Necro Witch.

  • Virtual Paper Doll: The 3.0.2 update added seven new outfits for Molli to wear.

  • Underground Monkey: Ghost types can have up to five variants, usually taking advantage of the fire and poison elements. Even the Curse Crusher bosses are mostly palette swaps of the original bosses.