Archive for November 2014

What I Learned From Playing Candy Crush

November 4, 2014

After beating 605 levels of Candy Crush Saga, I have decided it is time to retire.  It is time to delete the game from my Facebook, my tablet, and my smart phone.  I’ve had a lot of fun, but now it’s done.

Even though I am hanging up my Lollipop Hammers and letting go of my Color Bombs, I won’t forget how Candy Crush helped me through my depression and my divorce by keeping my mind busy while my body (with the exception of my mouse hand) stayed inert.  I won’t forget the satisfaction of defeating a particularly hard level or the disappointment of only needing one more move to win just as I ran out of moves completely.  But it is a crutch for me that needs to go.

During those 605 levels I learned a lot of lessons and was reminded of many others, too.  Some are applicable to real life, and some may only make sense in the Candy Crush world.

  1. Some situations require a lot of skill, some situations require a lot of luck, and some situations require a little bit of both.  There were some levels that I could breeze through on skill alone.  There were others where I was stuck for days (or even weeks) waiting for the game to churn out the perfect order of colored candies.  Then there were some levels where I had to be smart enough to take advantage of fortuitous circumstances when they arrived.
  2. Sometimes the best tools are the simplest tools.  When Candy Crush Saga first introduced the daily wheel in which I received a free booster every day, for the first week or so I would get disappointed if I won only a Lollipop Hammer or a just a Sticky Hand.  I wanted Swedish Fish or Color Bombs, the more explosive and fancy tools.  It took me a little while to realize that the flashy tools only worked in certain situations, but the little Lollipop Hammers and Sticky Hands were worth their weight in gold due to the small changes you could use them to make on any type of level.  There are times when I would have given half my arsenal for more of those things.
  3. Even if you think you have it figured out, the game can still be a little unpredictable.  Sometimes striped candies that should have been vertical became horizontal.  Sometimes color bombs would explode for no discernible reason.  I don’t know if it was glitches or just part of the game, but just as in real life, the unpredictable can happen.
  4. Some people are more stubborn obsessive persevering than others.   The progress trail is littered with the tack marks of those who petered out slightly before or slightly after the 100th level.  Only one of my friends is ahead of me at this point, and I’ll let her keep her 90-level lead.
  5. The sequels are never as good as the first one.  Did we learn nothing from the Scream movies?  Candy Crush Dreamworld was basically only fun when I was stuck on a regular Candy Crush level for two or three weeks and needed to feel some sense of success.
  6. Life is easier when you have friends to help you along the way.  This is a special shout out to all those people who sent me extra lives, 3 extra moves, and tickets to enter the next episode.