Now, I’ve been playing a lot of Candy Crush and I’ve been noticing a number of things that, honestly, I find quite fascinating about it.
The first, of course, is that you can spend anywhere between $.99 and $74.99 on gold bars for the game. That’s a dime for each gold bar (but if you’re willing to spend $21 or up, you can get discounts as deep as 25%) but, of course, doing stuff doesn’t cost a gold bar. Doing stuff costs multiple gold bars. Buy boosters for 53 gold bars. Buy a handful of extra turns for 9 gold bars.
Occasionally (well, once) the game will give you (well, me) the opportunity to win a small amount of gold bars. Blow up 1000 red candies and win 10 gold bars, they told me. I won the gold bars. Still haven’t spent them.
When it comes to gameplay itself, I’ve noticed four distinct end game states (maybe five):
There’s the huge catastrophic loss. The “Holy cow, you didn’t even come *CLOSE*!” loss. These losses are vaguely irritating insofar as you find yourself asking “how can anybody beat this level with so few turns available?”.
There’s the ooooh, *THIS* close loss. With one more turn, you could have gotten there. One more jelly. One more chocolate. One more turn before the bomb blew up. Man, *THIS* close. (I imagine that this finish is the one that results in the lion’s share of gold bars being purchased.)
There’s the “just barely squeaked by” victory. This one has two variants. There’s the “just barely squeaked by” victory that happens on the first attempt at the level… and then there’s the “just barely squeaked by” victory that happens on the 213th attempt at the level. The latter is oh-so-much-more satisfying.
Then there’s the Victory Overwhelming. After you beat a level, the game tells you where you stack up next to your friends who also play. Did you come in 4th? Did you come in 21st? Did you come in 2nd by 20 points? Did you come in 1st by 200,000? There is just something so very rewarding about seeing that your ex-significant other got bumped into 2nd place by your magnificent luck that allowed you to merge two of the sprinkly chocolate drops on your last turn.
So you keep coming back and you keep getting tempted to just use those (first hit is) “free” gold bars.
Honestly, I can’t understand the price points on these things. I *MIGHT* be tempted to pick up a Facebook gift card and get some gold if it were, say, 90% cheaper. $7.50 for 1000 gold bars? Heck, I could see buying a pile for me and a pile for Maribou. But $75??? That’s crazy talk.
(And then I saw this video from The Escapist and that got me thinking even more. Maybe I’ll quit. After this last attempt to get past level 100…)
So… what are you playing?