One thing that never fails to annoy me about Facebook are the game status updates that always pop up on my newsfeed. I always know who is playing what, what their scores are, and there’s usually an invite to join them. Friends, if I wanted to play slots, I would go to Vegas, not pretend to play them on Facebook! I like to think I have better things to do with my time than playing those games. My Pinterest boards clearly demonstrate my affection for online hoarding and if I’m going to waste time somewhere, I’d rather decorate my home online with items I can’t afford than play a game. Of course this all applied to me before I stupidly tried a game that everyone who is anyone has been playing for some time – Candy Crush Saga. Now I’d rather crush some candies than bother to pin a funny ecard or recipe that I wouldn’t make anyway.
I stumbled upon Candy Crush during our recent vacation. I had made my moves on Words with Friends and did a quick check on Facebook. Sure enough, several friends had passed some levels and I thought, “What the heck? It can’t be too bad.” One quick download later and I was faced with all those pretty candies. “Shiny,” I thought. “I like that.” I admit it took me a few minutes to figure out I had to line up the candies and it took a little longer to determine how to make those combos and how it all worked.
All went well until I used up my 5 lives. As I tried to play a 6th game, I was met with a clock that indicated I had to wait 30 minutes for my next life unless I wanted to shell out $0.99 for a booster pack. What the…? I have to PAY to play? Nowhere in any status updates did my Facebook friends mention having to pay money to this game! No, thanks, Candy Crush. I’m not falling for that.
I made good on that vow for about 2 days, which in all fairness I think is pretty good. Thanks to being on vacation I was kept busy with activities so whenever I played CCS I had a full set of lives. What broke me was getting stuck on a level. I don’t even which level it was but I was getting really pissed off. Is there anything worse than getting so close to completing a level but falling short by a mere margin? With a sigh of extreme irritation, I paid the dollar to get those five extra moves. It didn’t help and I still didn’t pass the level but a dam had been broken. The next time I was faced with the choice to pay or play was when I finished my first episode. I had to buy another episode to continue playing or I could play quests. Of course you can only play one quest per day. Here you go, King, another $1 for your pockets! Hmm, a booster of special powers to make getting through levels easier? Shut up and take my $1! Wow, I’m only 30,000 points away from completing this level? Surely I can achieve that in just 5 more moves even though the prospect on my board is bleak! Another $1!
Very soon my internet browser history was filled with “tips for level such-and-such on Candy Crush.” I’ll take any help I can get, although this game seems to be more about luck than skill. Ok, so there are some useful hints that most likely anyone with a clear head would think of but when you’re in a candy crushing induced rage you aren’t thinking rationally. Every time I felt like I was getting the hang of the game, a new twist would be introduced. I’m talking to you, chocolate squares. I never thought the day would come when I hated chocolate so much.
I’ve been playing for a month now and I’ve made some realizations and rules. I will only buy the episodes. No more buying extra moves because it never helps me. I’ve learned that with patience I will eventually pass a level. I’ve also learned I have no patience and my iPad has come dangerously close to being thrown out the window too many times to count. I don’t buy boosters, though I have been sorely tempted. Perhaps most importantly, I never, ever play through Facebook so no one has any idea that I even play (well, until now). It’s not because I’m embarrassed (much) but more because I don’t want to be bothered to donate a precious life to a fellow gamer in need of a quick fix. Wait your 30 minutes, alright?
Now if you’ll excuse me, there are candies waiting to be crushed.