Candy Crush Saga - Problem with Unlocking Levels
My New Addiction
My name is Elani, and I have a problem. I am addicted to Candy Crush Saga.
I would not consider myself to have an addictive personality in general. I have never had a problem with drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, or anything like that (although I have always had a pretty serious Blistex problem). I have always enjoyed video games, but I was always able to put them down at bedtime (I have known people who could not, I had a college roommate who stayed up three days straight playing Zelda, Ocarina of Time).
Then I met Candy Crush Saga.
What is Candy Crush Saga
Candy Crush Saga is a ridiculous game that you can play on Facebook or on your smart phone. The basic premise of the game is to match three of the same candies in a straight line. Doing so destroys the three candies and drops new pieces of candy into the screen. Each level has a specific objective. Some have a point score you must achieve, some have jelly that you must destroy, and other levels have pieces of fruit which you need to push to the bottom. You can also create special candies which destroy a greater volume of candy by matching up four or five of the same color, or by creating an "L" shape of the same color.
One subjectively positive aspect of Candy Crush Saga is that you are only allotted a limited number of lives. Each player starts with five lives, and has to wait thirty minutes for each life to regenerate. This helps me put the phone down and do things like sleep, eat, work, and have a social life.
Trouble with Candy Crush Saga
My love has given me a lot of disappointment. After level 30, you must either pay to unlock the next set of levels, or link your Candy Crush Saga account to Facebook and ask your friends to unlock the levels for you (it is a simple request on Facebook, they don't have to pay they just have to accept the request). Once three of your Facebook friends accept your request, it unlocks and you can play the next set of levels. This is free advertising for the game, because it forces people to share the game on Facebook in order to continue playing. I don't usually like to link games I play to Facebook, because I don't want to inundate my friends and family with stupid updates concerning what level I just completed on a stupid game.
This isn't the worst of it though. The biggest problem is that Facebook and Candy Crush don't communicate properly. I have a lot of friends who share my addiction. Many of them accepted my request to unlock the levels, but when I clicked it on Facebook, it did not appear on Candy Crush. When I went back to Facebook, the notification had disappeared. Sometimes my friends didn't even receive my request. I thought there might have been a problem with the way my phone had downloaded the game, so I uninstalled the game, erased all the residual files on my phone, and re-installed it. I had the same problem. It took almost three weeks for my friends to finally be able to unlock the game for me.
My boyfriend used to make fun of me for not being able to play. He got his friends to unlock level 30 with few problems. He would play his game in front of me and flaunt it. Vengeance was sweet. He got to level 50, and had to ask his Facebook friends for help again. He then had the same problem as me. I tried unlocking it for him over and over again. The game refused to register my efforts. Finally, two weeks and about seven requests later, I was able to unlock it and he could play again.
What do you think of Candy Crush?
Why does this Happen?
I honestly do not think that this lack of communication is unintentional. Too many people have the problem and this game has been out for way to long for it to not be resolved. I think it is intentional.
I think the creators of Candy Crush Saga know how addicting the game is. I think having your Facebook friends unlock the game is too easy. Making it complicated, making it take a long time, will "encourage" many players to just give up on their friends unlocking the levels and pay the $.99 to unlock it immediately. In addition, according to an article on Slate, Sugar Comma, Candy Crush Saga knows which players have paid for unlocking levels, extra moves, and extra lives. It then intentionally makes the levels harder for those players who are known to pay!
I, for one, will not give in to this underhanded way of tricking me into purchasing. Candy Crush Saga is advertised as a free game, and regardless of how addicting it is, I will not be swindled into paying for it. I will, however, be swindled into providing the game with free advertising via my Facebook account.
I think it has been 30 minutes...I should have another life by now!