The Best Thing About The Worst iPhone Game

For my loyal readers who are expecting another update to Awesomesquad! Assemble! this week, I apologize. This is not that update. For you see, crafting a poetic satirical fiction/ action novel requires a light waltz on the line that separates action comedy and a brilliant piece of emotional storytelling. And once you add in all the dick jokes, the waltz gains a whole new dimension: a penis dimension… I think I may have screwed up that metaphor.

Pictured: Penis Dimension?

Anyway, I’m hoping to have it finished for next week. I promise you it will be epic. But it features The Kinfemaster, so of course it would be. But until then, this post will have to do, so let’s get to it.

Tonight, I want to rant about Candy Crush. If you haven’t heard of it before that last sentence, I apologize for what I’m about to do to you. Candy Crush is a time waster video game that you can either play on your smart phone or online here. I only posted the link so that you know it exists, but out of concern for your well being, I beg you not to play it. Nothing good comes from that game.

Candy Crush is essentially a candy themed version of bejeweled, in which you have to get three of the same color jewel (or in candy Crush’s case-candy) in a row to get points. You get three in a row by switching one colored piece for one next to it. You can get power ups by matching four or five in a row or in the shape of a T or an L. I haven’t played Bejewled in years, but I assume that the only difference between the two games is the theme. I would love to say that my biggest problem with Candy Crush is that it’s a ripoff of Bejeweled, but sadly, it isn’t. There are far worse things about this game, for instance:

It’s deliberately frustrating

I understand that all games are frustrating at times, and I accept that as a natural part of video games, because, hell, if they weren’t frustrating they’d be boring and who wants to play a boring game? The frustration you feel is just your desire to surpass an obstacle that seems unsurpassable, and only with repetition will you win. However, the problem with the Candy Crush Saga on iTunes is that after losing so many times, you cannot play again until after enough time has elapsed for another life to generate. For Candy Crush Saga, that is about 30 minutes. Now, thirty minutes may not sound that bad of a wait, but remember- you’ve just lost a level of a game that has just been irritating the candy colored crap out of you for the better part of a half an hour. And while with other games the feeling of frustration is offset by the feeling of triumph when you finally beat a level, each level of Candy Crush is seceded by another, more difficult and therefore more frustrating level. And if you cannot beat it on your first try, then you have to wait again until you have regenerated more lives. It’s like the game makers are trying to piss me off on purpose, or at least, piss me off enough so that I spend money on power ups. Which, by the way:

It practically demands that you spend money for it

I would like to say before I get into this one that I support game makers getting money. They are doing a job- entertaining us- so it’s only fair that we pay them so that they can, you know, live. I don’t think it’s selfish of them for them to suggest we pay for in game content for a game we download from the app store for free. Is it annoying? Sure, but they need to make money somehow. But I feel there is a right and a wrong way to do it, and Candy Crush does it the wrong way.

This might be a more acceptable way to get money from people, Candy Crush Saga.

This might be a more acceptable way to get money from people, Candy Crush Saga.

To prove my point, let’s look at a counter example in a game I actually enjoy playing for some reason: The Simpsons Tapped Out. Tapped out is essentially like all the other town building games out there where you choose a building to build, wait for it to build, and then wait for your characters to complete the tasks you have assigned for them. I trashed a kind of similar game back in 2010. The thing I like about Tapped out (other than all the Simpson references) is that you know that there is in game content you can buy, but you  know before you buy it how it does very little and may only improve your town rating or the amount of money you earn by incremental amounts. Plus, you know ahead of time that you have to spend real money on this. The same cannot be said about Candy Crush Saga, who makes you think that you need those power ups they say you’ve earned, but not let you have them unless you pay, which isn’t clear that you’re supposed to do in the first place. So you think you’re picking a power up you can use in the next level, but the next thing you know the game is asking me if I really want to spend 3.99 on something called a coconut wheel, which I don’t even know what it fucking does. No, Candy Crush people, this is not how you get my money. I know deep down that I do not need those things, so I will not buy them. If you were more like Tapped Out, you’d make me realize how much I wanted them instead.

And then, of course, there is the level cap at the end of the third land which doesn’t let you move foreward unless you pay real, human money to continue, or you link you Facebook friends and beg for them to send you a ticket. And that brings me to thing I hate #3:

It’s a one player game that thinks it’s a social game

I’ll be blunt here: I don’t enjoy the game. I play it because it’s addictive not because it’s enjoyable. Maybe some people find it enjoyable. It is possible that that can be true, but it is also true that some people find the taste of human flesh enjoyable, so I feel that that point is kind of moot. So given the fact that I do not enjoy it, I expect there are many others out there that also don’t enjoy it, and I’d rather not be mistaken on Facebook for one of the people who do.

Once more, there are a group of people on Facebook (and now Twitter, because the Internet is built to destroy itself) that send me requests for their stupid games. Each time I receive a notification or see a tweet about these games, I hate the sender or tweeter a little more. I absolutely refuse to be one of those people. I will not drown my facebook friends with requests for a game about exploding candy. It’s not happening candy crush people. Sorry. I have too much respect for myself to do that. But this brings me to the one thing I like about the game:

It forces you to stop playing

So if you’re like me (that is-awesome) then you’re absolutely hating how frustrated you are with this stupid iPhone game that you cannot quit playing because you’re hooked and look at all those levels you still have left to go and I wonder what kinds of candy show up next! But then, you reach the end of the third world and you cannot go any further without a ticket. A ticket that you have to either buy (not happening) or get from a friend (or soon to be ex-friend). So your frustration is now officially ten-fold because you want to continue, but your own stubbornness has built a wall between you and the next levels. So you quit playing. And that’s it. It’s over. You’ve broken your own addiction to one cheap Appstore game! Sure you wasted hours of your life over something that was, in the end, totally pointless, but damnit, you’ve actually beaten the game. It’s not necessarily in the way the makers wanted, but to hell with those peddlers of useless garbage! You’re free! Now go take a shower or something; you look like death.

Oh, and you still keep the game on your phone until they either update it so that you can continue to play, or just delete it off when you need room for the next annoying game that you download because you never learn your lesson.

That’s all for now. A new Awesomesquad! next week.



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