Its official. The “Howzit Doll ?” has been replaced by “Whats your level ?” which is frequently chanted by fully-makedup-Louie-Vuitton-Jimmy-Choo dolls everywhere. They are referring to the new addiction – Candy Crush.
Candy Crush is a free game that requires the player to match three of the same type of sweets (candy) in a row and when this happens, the candy bursts. Simple. Highly addictive. As the player progresses through the levels, matching candy gets harder and harder especially when obstacles and special candies are added to the game.
The player gets 5 “lives” to complete a level, using 1 life to play a level. Should the player fail to complete the level using up their lives, the player can purchase more lives or they can wait the 30 minutes where lives are regenerated or players can ask for lives via Facebook.
King, the maker of the game, has revealed that the game is played 15.5 millions time A DAY by 46 million players around the world. The game is ranked amongst the top games in the Apple Store and the Google Play Store.
So what makes this seemingly simple game so pppular ?
The core of this game is the Social element – how far can you get compared to your friends.
Facebook is where it starts. You login to the game using your Facebook credentials. This allows your game progress to be synchronised across all devices that you have the game installed on. No more frustration of having to start the game again when you load it on another device. It also allows you to see your friend’s progress as they progress through the 385 level game (with more levels being constantly added)
When you request help from your friends to send you lives, you tend to repeatedly login to check if they have sent you any and if not, you spend the 99c (US) getting more lives so that you can carry on.
The game is geared at being mobile friendly and so it becomes the “time-passer” of choice as you wait for the kids to finish school, wait for the doc, wait to go into a meeting, wait for the friends to show up to the restaurants etc. etc.
People like to solve problems. Our brains are wired to detect patterns and who doesn’t like candy ? this makes the game fun as you progress through the levels – it also becomes frustrating when you can not complete a level and have to go on “beg for lives” spree on Facebook.
Your friends who are not on the game (currently) will eventually give in as they see your constant request for lives and start to wonder whats this Candy Crush thing is. Then they are hooked too.
Its Free so what is in it for the game maker ?
Whilst the game is free to download and play, there is an ability to purchase items within the games. This is known as In-App purchasing. In Candy Crush, not only can you purchase more lives (99c) but you can purchase moves ($1.99 for the lollipop hammer) and colour bomb (99c).
Initially players dont purchase anything and simply wait the 30 minutes for more lives. However when you simply can not get past a level for the umptinth time you purchase some helper moves at “ONLY” 99c.
Out of the 46 million monthly players, if only a small percentage purchases R10 worth of moves that is a alot of ka-ching. In fact according to Think Gaming, who only look at data for the US market and iOS app store estimate that Candy Crush rakes in $850 000 PER DAY
So when you see someone taking an unusually long bathroom/ cigarette break, or you hear someone let out an involuntary scream of glee, or you see the people arriving early to fetch little darlings and are glued to their phone – chances are good that they are busy Crushing Candy to get onto the next level. And earn boasting rights too.