Voted "Best Social Game" at the International Mobile Gaming Awards, Candy Crush Saga takes the popular match-three style of game to another level by adding a variety of special game pieces (candies), "boosters," and objectives that go beyond simply scoring a lot of points. With its addictive gameplay, simple controls, and whimsical, circus-themed animation, it is very difficult not to grow a sweet tooth for this game. Also, its nifty map view, with all the stages plotted out, really makes you feel as though you're on a journey.
Similarly to Bejeweled, Candy Crush Saga gives you a board of different types of candies and asks you to match them in order to clear them and score points. To make a move, just swipe your finger across two adjacent candies to swap them. Matching three candies of the same type is the baseline, while matching four or more earns you bonus points. These larger matches also yield special candies that can be used to clear entire rows, columns, or sections of the board at once. In order to do really well in Candy Crush Saga, you have to set yourself up for large matches and chains of matches for big points.
But as more than just a Bejeweled clone, Candy Crush Saga adds special challenges to levels, making it a lot more interesting and a lot more difficult. At different points throughout the game, you might have to contend with move limits, scoring goals, or out-of-the-box objectives. For instance, some levels have jelly-covered spaces that need to be cleared before you can move on, while others have ingredients that need to be maneuvered to the bottom of the screen. Overall, it's these sorts of challenges that set Candy Crush Saga apart from other matching games.
Boosts can help you overcome some challenges, but you'll have to unlock them before you can purchase them. That's right: you have to get to a certain point in the game in order to unlock them, then you still have to purchase them with real-world money; some cost as much as $16.99.
As for the social aspect of the game, Candy Crush Saga integrates with Facebook and keeps track of high scores so you can challenge your friends. You can also tap into Facebook to ask friends for extra lives once you have depleted yours. Otherwise, you'll have to wait for the in-game timer to replenish your lives before you can play again. While such social components are certainly added benefits for some, you can rest assured that you don't have to play with anyone on Facebook in order to get into this game.