Candy Crush Saga
What parents need to know
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
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.
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'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.