Dialect Magazine

Sweet Obsession: Candy Crush Saga

photo credit: androidpit.com

photo credit: androidpit.com

Ahhh, those Facebook games. At times, getting numerous invites can be as annoying as being hooked on the game; however, hooked is just what many have become. There are so many to choose from but which game has the world “craving” for more? None other than the King developed Candy Crush Saga.

Released for Facebook on April 12, 2012 and released for smartphones on November 14, 2012, the popularity of Candy Crush has increased. Each level has a board filled with colorful candies and obstacles. You can move horizontally or vertically, swapping the positions of two adjacent candies to create sets of three (or more) candies of the same color.

As of March 2013, the Candy Crush Saga fever has spread rapidly. It surpassed FarmVille 2 as the most popular game on Facebook, with over 37 million likes on the application page and 45.6 million average monthly users. It’s the most popular app on Facebook and the highest-grossing app in the Apple and Google app stores. In December 2012, Candy Crush Saga had over 10 million downloads. Wow, is all that I can say.

In addition to all this, Candy Crush Saga has received particular attention in the Hong Kong media, with reports that 1 in 7 Hong Kong citizens play the game. The game makes an appearance in, Korean Pop/Hip-Hop sensation, Psy’s music video “Gentleman”.

How does one play this game? Well, before we get into the fundamentals of the game, let’s discuss the characters. Every good game needs those, right?

First there’s Toffette (known as Tiffi) Tiffi.  She’s a blonde girl with pigtails and is the main character. Tiffi travels around the game map and helps others with their problems.

Then there is Mr. Toffee. Toffee is a tall man with orange hair. He helps the player when they first start playing Candy Crush Saga.

Levels and Life System

This game is separated into levels.  Each has its own requirements to complete. The Facebook version of Candy Crush Saga currently has 440 levels, and a new set of levels is released about every 3 weeks. The smartphone versions of Candy Crush Saga currently have 395 levels.

Candy Crush Saga, sometimes, requires a player to unlock a level before it can be played. A level can be unlocked by asking Facebook friends for help or by paying Facebook credits. The player is given a default maximum number of five lives. The player needs at least one life to play a level. If the player fails to complete a level, a life is deducted. Lives will regenerate at a rate of one life every 30 minutes. The player can also restore lives by asking Facebook friends for help or by paying Facebook credits. Overwhelming, huh?

Special Candies and Candy Combinations

Special Candies are created when four or more candies of the same color are matched together. Special Candies have special effects; such as, clearing an entire row of candies. Examples of Special Candies include striped candies and wrapped candies. If a player tries to swap two adjacent Special Candies, it will generally create a special combination effect. These effects are often more powerful than the individual candy’s effects.


Candy Crush has obstacles. Unlike the ones in real life, these obstacles are slightly entertaining. The obstacles appear on some levels and have a variety of properties. They are designed to make it difficult to complete a level. Examples of obstacles include: Chocolate that tries to slowly fill the entire game board and Tornadoes that randomly destroy spaces on the game board

Boosters and Charms

A booster is a single-use item that can be used to help the player complete a level. Boosters are usually bought with Facebook credits. Every level in Candy Crush Saga can be completed without the use of boosters but the game difficulty ramp is designed to encourage the purchase of boosters. Examples of boosters include: a Lollipop Hammer that can destroy any game square and a Free Switch that can swap any two adjacent candies. In earlier versions of Candy Crush Saga, a player could purchase charm items to help them complete a level. Charms were much more expensive than boosters because charms could be used repeatedly. Since June 27, 2013, Charms were no longer purchasable.

I’ve never played Facebook games, as my schedule prohibits. However, I might one day.  When people refer to Candy Crush Saga as addictive or an obsession, it makes me a little apprehensive, yet curious to see what the hype is all about. If I decide to play, would I, too, develop the “sweet tooth”? That remains a mystery.

Ashly is a freelance writer and poet from Baltimore, MD.

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