What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Candy Crush Saga is a puzzle game that very aggressively pushes in-app purchases. Players are given a limited number of lives -- and they lose one each time they fail to accomplish a puzzle's goals. Power-ups are also offered to help players through difficult levels, but these must be purchased -- and typically cost a lot more than a dollar. The game also pushes for Facebook integration to get users to act as its marketing arm, but this is not required of players. The license agreement for the app requires users to be 13 or older, and to be at least 18 to make in-app purchases.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
Engagement, Approach, Support
The app puts a spin on the match-three genre to make itself unique. It's hard, but you'll want to keep playing.
Kids learn through studying the board and strategizing the order in which to match candies.
The app doesn't have timed puzzles, letting players take their time to think things through.
What's it about?
Players attempt to match three similar candy types to eliminate them from the level and bring others into play. When four or more are matched, players earn one-time power-ups. To clear a level, they must either reach a point requirement, clear certain squares, or funnel certain elements to the bottom of the board and off the screen in a limited number of moves. If the goal is not achieved within those moves, you lose a life -- and you only have a limited number (though they regenerate over time).
Is it any good?
Candy Crush Saga is one of the more addicting games to ever hit the app store -- which is a good and bad thing. It's incredibly fun and engaging, bringing enough of a new twist to the match-three genre to stand out from the crowd. But the game's aggressive pushing of in-app purchases (and expensive ones, at that) and increased difficulty in later levels make it a trap for parents, whose kids will want grab the power-ups to clear a level.
While early levels are easy, it's virtually impossible to clear later ones without that help. And the game's pressure to incorporate Facebook (so that you might best your friends on high scores) gets a bit old, even if it's not mandatory.