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Video Game / Candy Crush Saga

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Candy Crush Saga is a free-to-play Match-Three Game by Maltese developer It is available for Facebook (link), Android and iOS, and Windows 10, 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 Tiffi, 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).
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  • Wrapped candies, which you get by matching two three-candy matches in a cross-shape (T-shape or L-shape) pattern. When used, they explode in a 3×3 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.

Other special items include Lollipop Hammers (used to crush candies or obstacles on single spaces), Jelly Fish (which multiply and eat jelly on Jelly levels; however, they will not reach jellies hidden under popcorn), Lucky Candies (used to create combos needed to complete Orders levels), and Coconut Wheels (which, on Ingredients levels, turn three candies in a row into striped candies that go off automatically). Note that many boosters can only be used on certain types of levels - for example, the Coconut Wheel is available only for Ingredients levels (although it will sometimes appear from a mystery egg in other types of levels).


There are currently six 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). They were also Color-Coded for Your Convenience prior to 2022.

  • Score Levels / Moves Levels: The player to earn a certain score before their moves run out. They frequently serve as tutorial levels, and are more or less fazed out as the game progresses.
  • Jelly Levels: The player must clear "Jelly Squares" by matching or destroying candies on them, or by hitting them with a special candy if they are no jellies on it. They are the most common level type, with most episodes generally containing at least six.
  • Ingredients Levels: The player must bring down cherries and hazelnuts to the bottom of the screen (or in other specific locations later on).
  • Timed Levels: The player has infinite moves, but a finite time limit. They were removed entirely in 2018.
  • Order Levels: The player must collect certain items, including candies, blockers, special candies, and combinations of special candies.
  • Mixed Levels: Two or more of the previous level types combined. It's almost always jelly + ingredients, although different variants exist. First appears in level 1688, which is ironically quite hard for a tutorial level.
  • Rainbow Rapids levels (released in 2020). They require you to make rainbow candies. This involves directing a rainbow stream to jelly molds by removing all of the blockers in the way. This level type makes its debut in Episode 476, a whopping four years after the previous level type was introduced.

Besides Jelly and Ingredients, there are other things cluttering up your board:

  • Icing (later renamed to Frosting in 2020): Solid blocks that cannot be moved but can be destroyed by creating a match adjacent to them. The icing can be multi-layered with up to 5 total layers.
  • Licorice Locks: Some candies are locked in cages made of licorice stripes. You must make a match that includes the candy in the cage to free them. In later levels, blockers, including chocolate spawners, are also locked in licorice.
  • 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).
    • Dark Chocolate appears much later in the game (it was released in the second half of 2018, whereas regular chocolate was released in Spring 2012). It's very similar to regular chocolate, except it has up to three layers and can regenerate those layers when given the chance.
  • Teleporters: Items falling into blue teleporters reappear from pink ones.
  • Licorice Swirls: Like icing and chocolate, they can be destroyed if you make the proper candy matches. Unlike chocolate and icing, 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 icing (i.e. making a match next to them).
  • Chocolate Spawner: Makes chocolate blocks, but cannot be destroyed like normal chocolate blocks. If locked in licorice locks (see above), they will not spawn chocolate while locked. Dark chocolate spawners are almost the same, except they spawn the harder to clear dark chocolate. Regular chocolate spawners were released in the second half of 2012, dark chocolate spawners weren't released until April 2021.
  • Candy Bombs: Will end the game if you don't defuse them by including them in a match. Each bomb indicates the number of moves you have left until the bomb explodes; once a bomb explodes, it's an instant fail, sometimes even if you've already completed the objective of the level. Bombs will still count down and explode even if locked in licorice or a Sugar Chest. On the plus side, candy bombs yield more points when defused, which comes in handy in timed levels (particularly if the player uses a color bomb on the same color candy as a bomb).
  • Mystery Candy: Can turn into almost anything, including special candies (helpful) and unwanted blockers like icing and chocolate (not so helpful). Formerly, they could even get rid of the tile (this was later changed). As of 2020, they stop appearing, and in 2021, many levels have been redesigned to not have mystery candies. By the end of April 2021, they were removed altogether.
  • Chameleon candy: Alternates between two candy colors with every move. Similar to mystery candies, they stop appearing in later levels and have been removed from most earlier levels in 2021, before being removed entirely at the end of April 2021.
  • Cake Bomb: 2×2 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.
  • Toffee 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. They have been removed from the game since October 2015.
  • Conveyor Belts: Moves candies (and eventually blockers) along a predetermined path with every move.
  • Sugar Chests (released Halloween 2014, and also known as Multi-Locks as of 2020): Locks up candies, ingredients and eventually other blockers, but unlike licorice locks and marmalade, can only be opened with keys.
  • Liquorice Shellnote : They hide Color Bombs underneath, but they must be hit three times (with the color bomb becoming more visible with each hit) first. This is accomplished usually by hitting them with special candies. Jelly Fish used to not work against them, but now they can damage. In jelly levels, they also often have jelly underneath, meaning that the liquorice shells must be destroyed in order to clear all the jelly.
  • UFO: They spawn three wrapped candies when hit. Released in early 2015.
  • Magic Mixers: They turn surrounding candies into blockers such as licorice, bombs, chocolate etc. at regular intervals (usually every three or four moves). They can be destroyed by making matches with adjacent candies (though it takes five or so hits to destroy them). Just as with chocolate, making a move adjacent to a mixer will keep it at bay for an extra move, and when destroyed they create a small explosion similar to that created by matching a wrapped candy which will set off nearby special candies and help pop popcorn. However, on orders levels in which the objective is to destroy a certain number of blockers and the mixer creates the blockers, destroying the mixer too soon is an instant fail. Released late 2015, redesigned in 2020.
  • Bobbers: They are indestructible and spawn jelly fish when hit by special candies. Released Spring 2017.
  • Candy Canes: They are indestructible and appear between tiles to prevent matches from being made and candies from falling. Later levels have destructible candy canes that take up to three hits to destroy. There are also versions of both types of candy canes that can block special candy effects (not unlike licorice swirls) in much later levels. Regular candy canes were released in Spring 2018, destructible candy canes were released in late 2018, and both liquorice variants were released in the second half of 2020.
  • Waffles: They are similar to icing, except they are movable and not immune to gravity. They can have up to 5 layers. Released Summer 2018, changed to a new blocker called Toffee Swirls in March 2021.
  • Crystals: Candies and other movable elements can fall through them due to gravity. A candy outside a crystal can be moved inside it but not the other way around. If a crystal encased an immovable blocker, it acts like a multilayered licorice lock. Crystals take up to three hits to destroy. Released Spring 2019.
  • Rainbow Twists: They are usually linked together in a chain. Destroying any one of them destroys the whole chain. Individually, they take up to five hits to destroy. Released Fall 2019.
  • Sugar Coats: They take up to three hits to destroy and act like very much like multi-layered licorice locks, except they are mobile. Released at the end of 2019.
  • Bubblegum Pop: They take up to five hits to destroy and make a 3×3 explosion (similar to a wrapped candy) when destroyed. Released early 2020.
  • Order Lock: Requires a certain quantity of a certain element to unlock, but can appear in any level type. Released Fall 2020.
  • Skull Pedestal/Sour Skull: A blocker that can only be removed by destroying the skull on it. The skull takes five hits to destroy and moves to another skull pedestal every time it is hit. Destroying the skull removes all of the skull pedestals. Released Halloween 2020.
  • Bonbon Blitz: Generates the effect of the special candy within it when activated (i.e. a wrapped candy bonbon blitz would create a 3×3 explosion when activated). There are five types: horizontal striped, vertical striped, wrapped, colour bomb, and jelly fish. Released early 2021.
  • Jelly Jar: Explodes when destroyed and covers all affected tiles with jelly in a 1-3-5-3-1 pattern around its radius. Maximum of two hits, can only appear in jelly levels (and mixed levels that require jelly). Released Summer 2021.
  • Candy Cobra: An element that resembles a gummy worm/snake, and its name was chosen by a fan poll in May 2021. It has five segments in an alternating pink and green pattern, with one segment being lit up every time it's hit. When all five segments are lit up, the next hit will make it charge across the board in the direction it's facing, until it reaches its basket, hops in, and disappears. Everything in its path that isn't Made of Indestructium will be taken out in the process, and the Cobra will create tiles on any empty spaces between it and the basket. According to a reply from King on said poll, it was going to be released "later this summer (2021)", but was delayed to October 2021.

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.)

It is now followed by its sequels, Candy Crush Soda Saga (starring Kimmy, Tiffi's sister), Candy Crush Jelly Saga and Candy Crush Friends Saga. Part of the charm of the first three games is that, as well as the candy theme, they also have a cardboard-cut-out doll aesthetic, with characters' limbs and other moving parts held on by very visible treasury tags, while the fourth uses 3D designs for its backgrounds and characters.

Other similar games by King include Farm Heroes Saga (with "cropsies") and Pepper Panic Saga (with exploding peppers).

The game made headlines again in 2015, when its creator,, was bought out by Activision for 6 billion dollars. Among other things, the event also gave added relevance to '''Candy Number Crunch Saga, an IPO stock-trading simulation for titular company, available for free and made entirely in Microsoft Excel.

In the summer of 2017, CBS debuted a Game Show version of Candy Crush utilizing two giant arrays of touchscreen monitors to make for an enormous playing environment, hosted by Mario Lopez. It was an elimination-style competition between four teams of two decided through four rounds of various gimmick-filled, game-themed challenges, with the last round being a face-off between the last two teams to see who could be the first to fifty matches to win $100,000.

Unfortunately, the ambitiousness of the game show production went a little too far when it soon became clear that the giant displays were so big nobody could even view enough of the environment at any given time to competently play the game, even self-proclaimed experts, causing most episodes to descend into bumbling and uninteresting matches. This, along with criticisms about how the show's hour-long run time and the lack of effort to fix these major flaws only exacerbated the problem, and quickly led to the swift cancellation of the game show after only one season, being written off as a mostly overblown Ratings Stunt and another cash-in for the franchise name.

This game provides examples of:

  • 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 block incoming candy from coming in, as you'll actually lose a life: if no more matches can be made on the board, the board will shuffle until a match is available, and if no matches are available after shuffling, it costs you a life.
  • Allegedly Free Game: You probably won't be able to win later levels without much suffering unless you pay real money for powerups. You won't even get past the first twenty levels unless you're willing to either pay money or pester your friends into playing. Occasionally, you will be rewarded with an hour (or more) of unlimited lives for reaching a certain milestone.
  • Alliterative Name: 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
    • Crunchy Castle
  • Alliterative Title:
    • Candy Crush Saga
    • Candy Crush Soda Saga
  • Artifact Title:
    • In Summer 2018, waffles (which are like icing squares, except they are movable) were introduced. To celebrate their release, the 33rd episode was renamed to Waffle Workshop, and waffles were given an Early-Bird Cameo in a few levels in said episode, prior to their official release in the 235th episode (Waffle Ward). However, not only did waffles end up appearing in even earlier episodes (due to levels being redesigned), waffles were later replaced by toffee swirls, making Waffle Workshop's name and unofficial introduction to wafflesnote  redundant.
    • To a lesser extent, dark chocolate was also given an Early-Bird Cameo in the 75th episode, which was renamed to Chocolate Chamber because of this. Dark chocolate appeared in earlier levels as well (again, because of level redesigns), though unlike waffles, dark chocolate hasn't been redesigned.
  • Ascended Extra: The Easter Bunny from Easter Bunny Hills is, in the Flash version of the game, the symbol for the "Order" levels. In the HTML5 version, the Order levels are introduced by Mr. Toffee, just like the others.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Colorbomb + Colorbomb. Perhaps the ultimate of all combos but also very hard to create.
  • Balloon Belly: Denize is guilty of this...when she sleeps.
  • Benevolent Monsters: Where else would you find feisty, friendly beasts like a yeti, a Chinese dragon and a human giant?
  • 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.
  • Blue Means Cold: In Winter 2021/2022, blue candies will be temporarily given a snowflake design to reflect the season, according to a post on King's website.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • It used to be that you couldn't use any powerups at will without paying for them. However, recent additions to the game somewhat subvert this trope with regard to boosters, although even these have their limits. The most noteworthy example is the 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. Also, in certain levels, Sugar Drops (candies marked with the letter C) can be collected and redeemed for free boosters, but once you complete the "sugar track" by collecting a certain number of drops, you have to wait several hours before you can collect more.
    • The game was kind enough to give a free item, usually a Lollipop Hammer or "+3 Moves", to a player each day for a week on the last week of March 2013. This perk was revived recently, as the web version has also introduced a feature in which you get boosters simply by logging in each day, and the boosters get progressively better with each day; but if you miss a day, you, again, are sent back to the beginning of the cycle. It should be noted, however, that the player still never gets to choose which boosters he or she wants - you get what the game gives you.
    • The trope still applies with regard to lives, however; if you run out of lives, you still have to either wait 30 minutes to get a new one for free, or actually buy lives with your real money.
    • You also needed to pay real money to unlock new levels if you don't want to spend at least two days completing three random Mystery Quests. This has since been changed.
  • Christmas Episode: Holiday Hut (19th episode), Eggnog Emporium (53rd episode), Festive Forest (94th episode), Chilly Chimneys (146th episode), Cranberry Cottage (199th episode) and Merry Market (277th episode).
  • Combination Attack: Switching any two of striped candy, wrapped candy, and colorbomb, or combining one type of candy with another, 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.
  • Critical Annoyance: Odus will start dancing when he's about to fall off the moon scale.
  • Defictionalisation: The candies you crush are now real.
  • Delightful Dragon: The tall Chinese dragon Denize. Despite having claws, jaws and spikes, she's more interested in eating something rather than someone. At the end of one episode, she even steps in to use her flame breath to light up giant cake candles to help baker Berry find her lost spoon.
  • Demoted to Extra: Various elements become less and less common in later levels, sometimes being absent for hundreds (or even thousands) of levels, before making the occasional appearance. Examples include six-coloured levels and combination orders.
  • Downloadable Content: The boosters. Formerly, there was no way you could 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). Thanks to the Booster Wheel and other newer features, the player can now get boosters for free, although the player does not have a choice as to which boosters he or she gets. 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 that are free for use.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Back in 2012, the game was vastly different to how it is now. In the early episodes, Order levels only required candies and combos, Jelly levels dominated the game, Moves levels became practically nonexistant, a new element, character and setting was introduced in just about every episode, episodes had an erratic release schedule and the only way to get boosters was to pay for them. Hated elements existed in the game in spite of their notoriety, and only levels were insanely difficult would be nerfed under the most extreme circumstances. Compare this to 2015 and beyond, where levels are nerfed (and buffed) much more frequently, episodes were released on a weekly basis, Dreamworld has come and gone, older characters and locations are reused, there are events that reward boosters, Moves levels are semi-common and new candy cannons, orders and even level types have been introduced. None of the aforementioned features would have been fathomable to anyone who played the game in 2012 or 2013.
  • Easter Egg: Every time you get a Divine (the largest of the Idiosyncratic Combo Levels), there is about a 1 in 1,000 chance that the "Divine" will be said in a different voice. Due to the random, unpredictable nature of this happening, and the admittedly eerie sound of the voice, experiencing one in-game can be a little surprising.
  • Edible Theme Naming: For the most part, the episodes are named after sweets, like "Candy Town", "Lemonade Lake", and "Chocolate Mountains". Some episodes have names with adjectives that describe candy (such as Munchy Monolith, Delicious Drifts, Crunchy Courtyard and Tasty Treasury) and some later episodes have names with no relation to candy whatsoever.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: There's one in Jelly Jungle.
  • Excuse Plot: After clearing the first set of levels, Tiffi declares to go out and explore the world, helping people along the way.
  • Expy: The dragon in Lemonade Lake looks like Steven Magnet, but such dragons were later revealed to actually have legs that are rarely seen.
  • Flying Saucer: The UFO, introduced in Gummy Galaxy. It spawns three wrapped candies and activates them.
  • Freemium Timer: The game has a lives mechanic in which losing a level costs one life. The lives automatically replenish at 1 life every 30 minutes or you can buy lives with real money once you run out of lives.
  • 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.
  • The Great Flood: The story of the 136th episode (Soda Surf) features the whole of Candy Town being flooded by an overflow of purple soda. Tiffi and Benny stay afloat with a giant yellow rubber duck.
  • 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.
  • Halloween Episode: Crunchy Castle (16th episode), Boneyard Bonanza (49th episode), Hoax Hollow (88th episode), Tricky Tracks (138th episode), Tricky Tower (191st episode) and Licorice Lair (260th episode).
  • Hamster-Wheel Power: In the 119th episode (Wiggly Wheel), Tiffi runs on a giant wheel to power the robot from Candy Factory.
  • The Hero's Birthday: During Sweet Surprise, Toffette comes across... a large cake. After finishing the last level of the world, all of the characters she's helped come out and surprise her!
  • Holiday Mode: To celebrate various holidays, special offers and events based on them will sometimes be given, and candies may be temporarily redesigned to fit the holiday mood. For example, orange candies were changed to resemble pumpkins to celebrate Halloween 2020, purple candies were changed to hearts in February 2021 for Valentine's Day, and blue candies were changed to resemble eggs during Easter 2021.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Mr. Toffee, the helper, and Toffette/Tiffi, the main character. Justified, as Tiffi is implied to be a child and Mr. Toffee is an adult. (And no, they're not in a romantic relationship; Tiffi is, according to Word of God, his adopted daughter.)
    • Inverted in the 2022 Ice Cream Games' Pairs Skating event, in which the winning team is the little owl Odus and tall dragon Denize.
  • Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt: Played with. Sometimes, the conveyor belts are useful for moving candies along a path to where you want them to be. Other times, they can move certain candies away from each other and prevent you from making a combo.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The combos. Note that certain order levels require you to make a certain number of these combos to pass.
    • The Wrapped Candy + Striped Candy combo creates a giant 3×3 striped candy that clears all candies vertically and horizontally. Fairly easy to make and can be extremely useful on Jelly levels that aren't licorice-filled.
    • Wrapped Candy + Color Bomb, which turns every candy of the same color as the wrapped candy into a wrapped candy then activates them all, is an exceptionally powerful tool in almost any level.
    • And the ultimate of all combos: Color Bomb + Color Bomb clears the entire board (except certain blockers).
  • Large Ham: The voice. You can't deny that.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Contrasting with the above, the game feels different to play since the end of the Flash version. From 2018 onward, various elements have either undergone design changes or been outright removed, the map looks completely different, multiple episodes are released every week, special events are everywhere, some features (such as non-spawning colours, immovable blockers being moved by conveyor belts, cannons that can spawn five or more items, including specific colours, and different colour schemes) seeming out of place when compared to earlier levels and the fact that there are now more episodes than the number of levels the game had at one point. Remember when Level 500 was released? Well, there's now an Episode 500.
  • Level Ate: Besides the fact it's a candy-themed game, the sections are all based on candy. Heck, even the loading screen on Facebook is based on candy as well.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The whole game. Bejeweled, the Match-Three game that provides the basis for Candy Crush, has a Time Limit, relying on your speed of hands and how quickly you can spot a move. Candy Crush has a move limit for all of its levels (the Timed Levels, which were the only exception, have been removed), meaning that even if you know the strategy for the board, winning relies entirely on the candies falling in your favour. It doesn't matter how fast you can spot a match if none of those matches allow an ingredient to fall.
  • Made of Explodium: The Wrapped Candies.
  • Made of Indestructium:
    • 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.
    • Except for Magic Mixers, 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.
  • Match-Three Game: It is based on Bejewelled, after all.
  • Mirror World: The Dreamworld 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.
  • Nintendo Hard: Especially the later levels, which the game even grades as "Nightmarishly Hard".
  • No Fair Cheating: You can use a certain cheat to replenish your lives right away, but glitches have been known to happen to people's time counters who tried this.
  • Non-Standard Game Over:
    • In most levels, running out of moves or letting a candy bomb reach 0 will fail the level but allows the chance for you to buy a booster to continue playing (either +5 moves or Bomb Cooler, which increases all candy bomb counters by 5 moves). If you are playing an Order level and render the required candy/blocker impossible to get (i.e. by destroying the Magic Mixer, when it's the only way of spawning the blocker required for the order) then the level ends, with the game over message telling you that the level has been made Unwinnable and you are unable to continue.
    • This also applies if you somehow end up in a position where you can't make any more moves, even after the board has been shuffled. This usually happens when the magic mixers spawn blockers that cover the entire screen.
  • No-Sell: Some obstacles are immune to certain candies and combinations:
    • Wrapped Candies on top of Ingredients do pretty much absolutely nothing at all.
    • Setting off a striped candy will destroy only one licorice swirl in its path; wrapped/striped combos do little better. In some later levels, licorice swirls spawn continuously along a conveyor belt, effectively making it impossible to reach any of the candies behind the conveyor belt with stripes or stripes/wraps.
    • If you use a Colorbomb, normally candies hit will break adjacent Meringue Blocks. However, it won't do the same for Cakes or licorice.
    • Popcorn are invincible to Cake Bomb explosions, and Jelly Fish won't go anywhere near them (even if there is jelly underneath the popcorn). Even more maddening, they absorb the impact of striped candies and striped/wrapped combos. Popcorn can only be destroyed with special candies or lollipop hammers or by exploding a nearby Magic Mixer.
  • Number of the Beast: Level 666 revolves around this. The layout and the blockers are set up to resemble the devil's face, and you have to clear 666 blue candies, as seen here.
  • Power Up Letdown: The three Charms all cost a hefty sum of real money and aren't really worth it. They were discontinued in June 2013, but you can still use them if you bought them.
    • The $17 Charm of Lives increases your maximum number of lives from 5 to 8, but regaining a single life still takes 30 minutes. There are some easier ways to get lives, and if you're using them, you don't need a Charm of Lives to save up 8 lives at a time.
    • The $40 Charm of Stripes lets you paint stripes on any candy once per game. This can be pretty useful at times, but many difficult levels have designs and/or requirements that render this too weak — it won't do much good if you for instance have to collect 30 striped candies or make a wrapped candy/colorbomb combo.
    • The $25 Charm of Frozen Time makes the timer stop while you're pondering in timed levels. Timed levels aren't that common in the first place, and the charm does nothing to protect you from bombs, which like to annoy you in timed levels. To make matters worse, timed levels were eventually removed completely from the HTML5 version of the game.
  • Puzzle Game: Of the "Match Three" variety.
  • 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. It has since been removed.
  • Rank Inflation: Sugar Stars, which are awarded if your score is more than double the score required for three stars in any level.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: You can often find easy levels followed by hard levels, and the other way around. If you visit the Candy Crush Saga wiki and read the page of almost any episode, you can see how much the difficulty jumps up and down.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Meringue Moor features a pear hanging over a pot, which is a reference to Papa Pear Saga.
    • The Fudge Islands episode ends with a female cook stating "Now I can continue baking my Strawberry Fudge Shortcakes!"
  • Smart Bomb: The two-colorbomb combination clears the entire screen.
  • Spiteful A.I.: Unlike a time-limit Match-Three game like Bejeweled, the Move-Limit of Candy Crush means that you rely on the board dropping candies in your favour. People have reported being stuck on levels for weeks before suddenly winning with thousands of points to spare. In fact, you might like to look up "Candy Crush Rigged" on Google. This is how the game wrangles money for boosters out of you:
    • In a Time-Based level, +5 seconds candies drop completely randomly. Additionally, when your time runs out (during "Sugar Crush"), +5 candies turn into wrapped candies which detonate immediately and all your other special candies will go off, and potentially make more special candies, which will also go off. This could mean making your quota — if the game feels benevolent enough to let the right candies drop.
    • In an Ingredient-Based level, it doesn't matter how many Special-Candy matches you can spot if none of them will allow your ingredients to drop to the bottom.
    • In an Order-Based level, Special Candies mean nothing if the right colours don't drop. Candies go from fairly equally dropped to suddenly lacking in one specific colour — always one of your orders. When Special Candy combos are required, the game is suspiciously good at setting off those candies just before you can make the combo yourself. You can also count on cascades setting off special candies before you have a chance to use the special candies to achieve the objective of the level.
    • In a Points-Based level, combo drops become much rarer.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Wrapped candies, magic mixers and bubblegum pops all explode upon being destroyed.
  • 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.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Most episodes are named after candy, food or drinks of some kind.
    • 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: The 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 Swarm: Jelly Fish. Unfortunately, you can't get it for free (unless if you're using the Mystery Candy, win it off a Booster Wheel, or get a Sugar Crush in jelly levels), and the game only gives it to you once early on. These fish will be represented by color tiles and when set off, they will come out and destroy tiles of their corresponding colors. That said, there are some later worlds which feature them prominently, including some levels in which they fall with ordinary candy. Their usefulness has limits, as they do not eat jellies located under popcorns until the popcorns are destroyed.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: Chocolate blocks will feel like this unless if you can destroy them fast. If your move destroyed one, then it won't grow the following move. Later, chocolate spawners will create more automatically, meaning you can never be fully rid of it. Some Magic Mixers spawn chocolate as well, which if left unchecked can quickly take over the board, as they spawn up to four chocolates at a time and many levels have multiple mixers.
  • 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 icing with enough layers.
    • 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 were 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. This trope no longer applies, since all timed levels have been changed to either Moves levels or Jelly levels (mostly the former).
  • Unicorn: There's one in Lollipop Forest.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: Some levels were impossible upon release (sometimes even with boosters) due to egregious errors in design.
    • For example, Level 380 once had a jelly under an indestructible chocolate spawner, meaning it was only possible to beat with the jelly fish powerup.
    • Level 3455, a level that, upon release, spawned only one color. While the objective wasn't hard to complete, the Sugar Crush after completing the objective would never end, and consequently, the level would also never end. It was subsequently fixed to include two colors.
    • Whenever a level is nerfed by decreasing the number of blockers on the board without changing the order requirement. For example, if a level that requires 100 icing layers and had 25 four-layered icing blocks on the board, and it was nerfed to have three-layered icing instead of four-layered icing while still requiring 100 icing layers, the level would be impossible. This could easily be fixed by reducing the icing requirement to 75 layers.
  • 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.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: Precious Pond (101st episode), Crumbly Crossing (153rd episode), Valentine Valley (208th episode) and Lovely Lagoon (292nd episode).
  • 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.
  • Wicked Heart Symbol: Multilayered dark chocolate has a heart symbol on it, but it's a more powerful version of chocolate, an already troublesome blocker.

Alternative Title(s): Candy Crush