Hi my name is Phil and I'm addicted to Candy Crush Saga. I know I'm not the only one either. Everywhere I go I see people playing the brightly colored Bejeweled clone on their smartphones or iPads, hearing those candy matching sound effects and “Sweet!” sayings of the narrator whenever you score a lot of points. Initially I told myself I would never play Candy Crush, even though countless people told me I should give it a try. I held off from downloading it on my phone for about two weeks before I gave in to the curiosity (besides it was free to download). I just had to know why a game with millions of active users on a daily basis was this popular.
Fast forward to today. Last night I stayed up to 2:00 AM crushing candies and the night before 2:30. During my breaks at work I always try to fit in a level or two of Candy Crush. Let's face it, I play the game a lot and most of my spare time is devoted to trying to reach that next level and surpass my Facebook friends and coworkers. The game is taking me over, just as it has taken others over before me.
For those that are uninitiated in Candy Crush Saga, it is extremely easy to get into. To play you simply swap one of the 6 different colored candies on the board with another one to make matches of 3, 4 or even 5 of the same colored candy. The objective of each level varies, but will always be one of a few different things. Reach a certain score(sometimes within a time limit), clear all the jelly spaces on the board, or get a certain amount of ingredients (cherries and acorns) to reach the bottom of a level.
As you beat level after level, the game gets increasingly more difficult with new gameplay mechanics added, such as chocolate filled spaces that multiply if you don't break them fast enough and block your progress. Some levels are even known for their brutal difficulty, which is why so many people are stuck on that one level for weeks or maybe even months.
Don't get me wrong, I like Candy Crush and the game is a lot fun, but my spare time just seems to disappear the second I load the app on my phone and see that orange King logo appear. I'm not the only one however who feels that Candy Crush Saga is stealing our free time right from our fingertips. I spoke to my friend Tara about why she recently quit the game:
“A year ago, I had a stroke and my doctors recommended the game to me because it stimulates brain growth. Before quitting the game, Candy Crush occupied my every day life. The reason I quit is because I am returning to college this fall and I want to make better choices in how I spend my time. Instead of spending hours playing Candy Crush and misusing my time, I will now be dedicating my time to studying and having a social life,” says Tara Meyers of Tacoma, Washington.
Tara enjoyed her time with Candy Crush Saga and it helped her after her stroke, but even she agrees that the game is a giant waste of time and one that limits the person playing from having the social life they want.
Other people who play the game say they stopped playing because the difficulty got too high and they refuse to spend real money on buying power-ups to make the levels easier.
"I'm not wasting money I don't have on Candy Crush so I guess I'll be stuck at 162 forever,”said Erica Weiman who is in her fifth year at Pace University in New York.
Paying for college expenses is Erica's priority so even spending a dollar or two on a power-up in a game is out of the question for her.
Candy Crush is a fun game that has brought much joy to the millions of people who play it, but the real question is, how much Candy Crush Saga in a day is too much Candy Crush Saga? The satisfaction you get from finally beating that difficult level you were stuck on is great, but is the short sense of elation you get worth missing out on valuable social time with friends and family? I think not.
Maybe in the near future I will wean myself off of Candy Crush and tell myself that I already devoted far too many hours into this silly game, but right now it seems that it's going to be hard for me to kick this addiction. I just reached level 76 and there's still many levels to go before I reach the end (there are currently 410 levels available with more being added every 3 weeks or so).
What are your thoughts on Candy Crush Saga taking away everyone's spare time who plays it? Let me know in the comments section below.