Sugar Smash: The Book of Life

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Sugar Smash: The Book of Life App Poster Image
Typical but fun all-ages match-3 puzzle game.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The game uses simple touch controls, and not only starts off easily enough, but has helpful tutorial messages as well.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Players use gold coins to keep playing when they run out of turns. These coins can be earned by playing or bought from the in-game store. The game is based on a 2014 animated movie.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sugar Smash: The Book of Life is a match-3 puzzle game for iOS and Android devices. It has no objectionable content, apart from how all the game pieces are delicious candy. Players can earn gold coins by playing, or can buy packs of them in the game's store, and these coins are then used to keep playing when you run out of turns. Players can also get, and give, lives by connecting the game to Facebook. Doing so also allows you to save or share your progress, though there's no other communication between players. The game's connected to a 2014 animated movie of the same name. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared, and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Though inspired by the 2014 animated movie, SUGAR SMASH: THE BOOK OF LIFE doesn't have a story. Instead, it's just a series of match-3 puzzles. While you do get words of encouragement from some of the movie's characters, they never tell you why you need to solve these puzzles, nor is there any reward for doing so, save for the satisfaction of knowing you were able to link three or more of the same kinds of candy.

Is it any good?

Though it was made to promote an animated movie, this match-3 puzzle game is still fun even if you've never seen the film. Inspired by the 2014 film of the same name, Sugar Smash: The Book of Life has you using simple touch controls to line up three or more pieces of candy that have the same shape and color. Doing so removes them from the board, and hopefully solves the puzzle's requirements before you run out of turns. And, as always, matching 4 or 5 candies also gives you special pieces that can clear out even more of the board than just matching 3.

As match-3 puzzle games go, this mostly plays like the rest, but with a handful of important distinctions. Matching pieces in the shape of a square does nothing, which can be a bummer for players who expect this move to work like it does in other games. Book of Life slightly makes up for it by giving you candies that take out pieces diagonally when you make a match in the shape of a T. Similarly, while fans of the movie will be bummed this has little more than a superficial connection to it, people who didn't see the film but like these kinds of puzzle games won't feel lost. More importantly, while this starts out easy enough, as they all do, it does get clever and more challenging as you progress, unlike some puzzles games, which often play it safe. Which is why you'll keep playing Sugar Smash: The Book of Life long after you've forgotten the movie it was made to promote.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about managing your money. In Sugar Smash: The Book of Life, you earn coins by playing, though you can also buy some from the game's store, so how do you decide how much money to spend on a game that's free?

  • Sugar Smash: The Book of Life was made to promote a movie, but does playing the game make you want to see the movie?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Price: free with microtransactions
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: November 22, 2019
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Size: 134.50 MB
  • Publisher: Jam City
  • Version: 3.82.129
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 8.0 or later; Android 4.0.3 and up
  • Last updated: October 20, 2020

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