In a typical bus/train, if you happen to observe keenly, 8 out of 10 people will be occupied with their smartphones/tabs, with earphones plugged snugly into their ears, and 6 out of those 8 oblivious beings will precisely be crushing colourful candies while you are probably wondering what this obsession with crushing is all about! Not that you will need Sherlock-brains to identify these candy crushers, as there is a certain pattern to the expression they will have on, like the goldfish-mouth, Einstein-eyebrows and an occasional hyena-laugh.
This new obsession that has gobbled down the entire human race of 21st century is popularly known as The Candy Crush Saga. This video game is all about aligning similar shape and colour candies in a pattern to gain points which then disappears and makes place for new candies to appear. The more number of similar candies you can align, the more points you get. This although is not a brand new concept, as similar games like Tetris and Bejewelled and bubble burst had appeared before, Candy Crush is visually more appealing and has improvised tasks that the player is challenged with in its 500 plus levels.
The yellow drops, red jelly beans, orange lozenges, blue mint toffees and the green gums looks so tempting you will almost gulp one down. There are also some stripped and wrapped candies with special powers. To clear a level, you are challenged to remove the jellies on the grid by crushing candies on them. And once you have cleared all the jellies, sugar crush appears, all the special candies explode and colourful fishes swoop in and eat all the remaining candies, and you go to the next level.
The company behind this extremely popular and free to download game is King, who owes major portion of its revenue generation to Candy Crush. Inspite of it being free, they earn substantial money by coaxing the addicted users into buying extra lives and powers in the course of advancing the levels, so much so that there is a speculation that Kings will soon float its first IPO in US stock market.
The concept and strategy to play the game is quite simple, then why are so many people, of all age groups, addicted to the game, and how! They say, “It’s relaxing”, some think, “It makes us sail through a tedious and dull work day”, whereas for some their partner’s addiction to the game is extremely annoying. “She doesn’t give me as much attention and time as before, all she does before sleeping off is play the game”, says Anand about his software engineer wife. A popular voting site reported that 11% of people in the world felt Candy Crush was the reason they had lesser sex this year.
It could be the control over creating pattern, which generally lacks in real lives, which people find so appealing. Or it might be the colourful and frequent rewards. Whatever the reason be, people have found solace in Candy Crush Saga.