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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

‘Candy Crush’: simple nostalgia and comfort in one app

Isabelle Wang
A ‘Candy Crush’ level.

Through hectic school days and busy school nights, one consistent routine has stayed constant since 2020: playing “Candy Crush” on my phone as I snuggle in bed before I go to sleep. 

As I mindlessly swipe at bright yellow gumdrops and blue lollipops, a deep masculine voice reads “Delicious!” and “Tasty!” while cheerful yet calming jazz music plays in the background.

Despite going through this motion thousands of times, my heart still jumps with excitement as I swipe five purple flower-shaped candies in a row to form a chocolate truffle right next to a striped candy. Swiping the chocolate truffle with the striped candy, the screen explodes with color as the striped candy duplicates and strikes dozens of candies across the board. 

I was introduced to “Candy Crush” when I was 8, mindlessly searching the App Store on my mom’s phone as we waited for my brother’s swimming lesson to end. At the time, I reached level 23 before I got bored and moved onto a different game.

When quarantine started in 2020, I found myself aimlessly scrolling through the app store on my phone. When I came across “Candy Crush,” I immediately downloaded it for its nostalgic music and simplicity. (The free mobile game was developed by King in 2012, a video game company founded by Riccardo Zacconi.) With the abundance of time I had during quarantine, I soon found myself spending hours a day playing it. 

Each game has a goal to accomplish in a certain amount of moves, like matching 30 blue candies together or unlocking the licorice — tasks that required minimal thinking. This made “Candy Crush” the perfect game to play during history class on Zoom, car trips or ending the day on a good note by winning 20 levels.

As my addiction grew, I unlocked more levels. While “Candy Crush” starts at a simple pace that anyone would understand, it slowly builds up the levels by giving you a larger board, incorporating more candy designs and creating obstacles.

For instance, chocolate squares swallow and replace your candy pieces before you can swipe them. In order to get rid of the chocolates, you have to swipe candies that are placed adjacent to them. Other levels have cherries or chestnuts that you have to drop at the bottom of the board by swiping away the candy. 

Additionally, you can use treasure bars to buy power-ups that start each level with an extra chocolate truffle or buy extra moves to finish a level. You can get treasure bars by completing a certain number of levels in a row without dying. 

Overcoming new additions and challenges as I accomplished more levels, I found this game to be the perfect balance of mindless fun and minimal strategy. Even now, after four years of playing and 3,154 levels completed, I will end a long day flopping on my bed to spend a couple of minutes swiping through the app.

I’ve even created a tradition for screen recording my milestone levels, such as levels 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000. For each 1,000 milestone, Candy Crush even designs the levels so that there are chocolate truffles that write out “1K,” “2K” and “3K” and special music plays. 

Graphic by Isabelle Wang

Levels 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000 of ‘Candy Crush.’

While I’m only on level 3154 and there are over 16,000 levels on Candy Crush, with new levels released every week, I hope to reach at least 10,000 someday.

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