'Games' I take issue with: Candy Crush Saga - Destructoid

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20 year old nocturnal game design student and aspiring comic artist with a 9-5 office job. I'm like that boy that doesn't sleep and they can't figure out why, except i'm older, a girl and tired all the time.
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There are very few things I have as much of an issue with as I do with Candy Crush Saga. I'll admit, my friends, the TV commercials and the constant barrage of Facebook notes about it got me to actually play it. This 'game' has become the new FarmVille really and for a few weeks I was super into it too. I love playing games like Bejeweled on casual or infinite modes and Candy Crush is essentially Bejewled but it's the subtle yet major differences which cause my discontent for the game.

Let's look at the basic lay out of the 'game'. You are trying to get the candy in lines of 3-5 to clear the stage. Simple but Candy Crush wants you to reach a specific score or, in the case of some stages, complete a specific task in order to move on. This is where the problem starts. Each stage has a limit on how many moves you have to reach this score or complete this task. So you have X moves to rack up Y points in a game with randomly generating candy. Many times I would play a stage and, luck of the draw, it was impossible to complete the goal or get the points in the allotted turns. Well then you just keep playing the game, right? Wrong. You have a specific amount of lives that you can get back 3 ways. Wait, beg your friends on Facebook to give you more lives or buy lives. This part is what I have an issue with.

King is banking on the impatience of it's players to either give them money or give them publicity. Sure, making money is the point in making a game but they have taken a mechanic that doesn't work with constraints, put constants on it and asks you for a credit card to unlock them. It's like a rigged carnival game, there is really no way to win.

It's common knowledge around my friends that I despise the idea of making someone buy for a game and then keep paying to be able to play it. It's why I feel the practices of games like WoW are scummy (DISCLAIMER: I'm not saying WoW is a bad game) and I can't understand the idea of xBox Live. I was miffed with FarmVille's "pay to win" business model but Candy Crush advertises that it's a "free game". Most people would say that their business model is the same as FarmVille's, "pay to win". I disagree. Candy Crush Saga is a "free" game that's business model is "pay to play" and even beg to play. It's one thing to sell extra stuff to get through the game faster and make some money off their free game, it's another to make the game almost impossible to progress in unless the player pays. Not only do I feel it's scummy and dishonest, it's degrading to the player and, frankly, a flat out scam.

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Living the dream since March 16, 2006

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