Candy Crush Saga




Candy-themed match-3 offers variety & challenge.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players can spend money on power-ups, one of which grants extra turns. This sends a message that players can buy their way out of a tough spot instead of persevering.

Positive role models

There isn't much of a story and only minimal dialog among benign characters as players explore a colorful and surreal set of candy-themed worlds. For what it's worth, the "plot" shows a young girl coming to the aid of the various characters she meets.

Ease of play

Easy to learn. Levels gradually become more difficult. The symbols blink to suggest possible moves. Some of the levels are timed, but the majority are not.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable

Players can spend real money to buy power-ups and extra turns and to instantly unlock new levels instead of having to ask friends for help. When you fail a level, you will be offered a chance to buy power-ups that may help you on the next go-round. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Candy Crush Saga is a match-3 puzzle game played on Facebook. It's free, but players can spend real-world money to buy extra moves and power-ups and to instantly unlock new episodes. Offers to buy such goodies pop up frequently. Players are regularly prompted to invite friends into the game, share status updates on Facebook, and ask friends for help.

What kids can learn


Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • strategy


  • motivation

Emotional Development

  • persevering

Engagement, Approach, Support


Levels are colorful and polished, with a variety of power-ups, obstacles, challenges, and goals to keep players coming back for more.

Learning Approach

Levels get progressively harder. Players get positive feedback. Leaderboards can motivate players to out-perform their friends, but the social features fall short of creating a truly collaborative experience.


Tutorials explain new features as they're introduced. Players track their progress -- and that of their friends -- through high-score leaderboards and an in-game map.

What kids can learn


Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • strategy


  • motivation

Emotional Development

  • persevering

Kids can learn about decision making and perseverance as they complete varied match-3 puzzles. There's an element of randomness to the gameplay, but strategy is also involved in choosing the most beneficial moves as well as in deciding which power-ups to take into each level. For example, in a level with jellies, players should choose the fish power-up, which clears three extra jellies from the board. Gameplay is a well-balanced blend of luck and strategy.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Bell

What's it about?

In CANDY CRUSH SAGA, players swap candies of the same color to clear them from the board and complete the level goal. Goals are varied, such as scoring points in a certain number of moves or within a certain time limit, clearing away sticky jelly squares, or moving ingredients down to the bottom of the screen. As players clear levels, they advance along a game map where they can track their friends' progress and compare high scores on a leaderboard.

Is it any good?


Candy Crush Saga draws players in with its cheerful candy theme, interesting power-ups, varied challenges, and the unique ability to create special candies and combine them for interesting effects. The game currently boasts more than 450 levels. Players can see which levels their Facebook friends are currently playing, which is a superb motivator to play "just one more game" to leapfrog past them on the leaderboard. Assistance from Facebook friends is required to unlock new levels, but, with 133 million active users at the time of this review, odds are good there'll be a few friends in your Facebook feed who will be willing to help you out.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how a familiar game can seem fresh again with a new theme -- in this case, a match-3 game with a candy theme. What other themes would work well with a match-3 game?

  • Is it fair for players to be able to spend money to gain an advantage in a game?

  • Talk to kids about the dangers of overspending on in-game purchases.

Game details

Price:Free With Microtransactions
Available online?Available online
Release date:April 12, 2012
ESRB rating:NR

This review of Candy Crush Saga was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Great handpicked alternatives

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For kids who love to think strategically

What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old November 29, 2014


I honestly dont know why common sense gave this game 13. It is appropriate and fun! There are no consumerous ada, and its just an awesome game for all ages, including adults. Candy crush is yes in my book!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Kid, 8 years old December 18, 2013

its a-okay!

this is good cuz when i was in new york qunice and i needed my hair done i went to somebodys house and they let me play candy crush saga
Parent Written byveraj January 16, 2015

Mental Stimulation

I find this game to be confusing, but a lot of fun. A few e -emails to King the game site designer. I was better able to understand what I was doing wrong and through trial and error I am getting better. This game can be highly addictive but it makes you think and exercises and stimulates the mind. I would highly recommend it. Give it a try and remember, have fun


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