What is it that makes Candy Crush Saga so popular? After all, it replicates the all too familiar puzzle design we constantly see in the App store. So what exactly has caused this King Ltd. App to enjoy so much success? This review focuses on the reasons why this installment differentiates from previous puzzle games.

The game itself involves various levels that differ depending on the stage. Most of the time, the objective is to achieve a certain score by connecting three sweets of the same type together on the board, simply by swiping your finger in the direction you wish to move the sweet. The player must look out for any sweets that look a bit more interesting, as these offer the chance to score much higher if you manage to rid it from the board. Other stages may ask the player to rid the board of jelly covered sweets or a specific sweet. Each stage gives the player a certain amount of swipes or moves, so planning and thinking is required. Sounds familiar I hear you say. So what is it that makes keeps this puzzle game in particular top of the charts?

Ultimately the answer is quite straightforward. Like most puzzle games that involve progression and desirable victory, the player can become staggeringly addicted and this results in an unstoppable effort to achieve monstrous high scores and a general feeling of pride through being victorious. CCS offers all of this and more, with a constant barrage of puzzles that, as child-like as they seem, will keep any mind working overtime.

However, the average person would argue that the game offers nothing original, and they would be correct. The game doesn’t hold a wow factor or give the player a new mobile gaming experience. In fact, the games success is most likely down to its inspired theme. We see various different themes for puzzle games that are meant to help improve their attraction factor. With CCS, the sweet-themed experience both looks and feels like a perfect match. Colours are exuberant and shine thanks to the high-def screen of the modern iPhone or iPad. Furthermore, the novelty aspect of the game fails to wear off unless you’re bothered by constant advertising.

Interestingly in terms of gameplay, some levels are only accessible through Facebook. Many have criticised this, branding it as annoying and frustrating for those who, quite rightly, want levels to be easily accessible. What’s more, if you end up running out of moves or lives, you will be pestered into purchasing these straight away for bizarrely overpriced fees i.e. 69p for one extra move! In context, this seems far too pricey and should generally result in the player giving up once they’ve run out of lives. It’s no surprise that it doesn’t of course, so what exactly is it that makes this game so addictive?

It has to be the wonderful simplicity that surrounds the game. It couldn’t be easier to play, purchase upgrades or test your brain in any other app in the App Store. The theme works brilliantly, adding a distinct flavour and allowing the game to target players of all ages. The gameplay is delicate and easy going. There is no time limit although you are forced to think carefully before making a move due to these being finite. In addition, the complexity of the stages is gradual and, with so many levels available to play, you will find that your puzzle solving skills are likely to improve noticeably as you progress.

So at the end of the day, Candy Crush Saga is nothing new. However, it can’t be denied that this game is an entertaining puzzle experience that is likely to retain its place at the top of the free game charts for the foreseeable future.