Ramp Randoms: Is Candy Crush Saga the Devil?
We’re not prone to exaggeration, Reader, but Candy Crush Saga is the worst thing that has ever happened to humanity.
One minute you are on your phone, innocently downloading a free game you’ve heard so much about. The next thing you know, it’s six months down the line and you’re roaming the streets, lost, confused, your eyes as cold and lifeless as a shark’s and your thumbs bleeding from exhaustion because you can’t pass level 35 and it has been days.
Candy Crush Saga has a reputation for being addictive. The reputation does indeed proceed it. It’s currently the highest grossing app on iTunes and Facebook and with a casual glance down your Twitter feed, you’re sure to find someone complaining about it.
The game starts out simply enough. The aim is to match individual coloured sweets in pairs of 3, 4 or 5, within a certain amount of moves to achieve a set amount of points.
Suddenly, you start to run out of moves. You don’t hit the score the first time. What the… ? Why is this suddenly so difficult? You were a natural not one level ago. Clearly, you weren’t concentrating the first time. So you try again. And again. And again.
Every time you fail to complete a level THIS appears. YOU FAILED! If you didn’t know any better, you’d swear the game was almost delighted that you did so. See the little girl? She’s crying. She’s crying because you failed, you completely useless bastard. The worst part is, if you happen to be playing with the sound on, she makes an audible crying noise that wouldn’t be out of place in a Japanese horror film just to really hit home that you have made a small child weep with your incompetence.
So you continue to try to complete the level and continue to fail.
Then THIS appears.
You have run out of lives altogether and it is the worst thing that has ever happened to you. You nearly had it as well which makes it so much more cruel!
Your options are as follows:
- Wait 20 minutes for your next life. If that first life fails, you must wait half an hour for your next one and so on. Fuck that, you say.
- You sync the game to Facebook (if you haven’t already) and request lives from your friends who are also playing the game. No fuck that, you say. You are not one of the Farmville crowd. This is just a game you play for fun. You don’t need a life that much anyway. You don’t even think this game is as addictive as they say.
- You can pay 69p for 5 WHOLE LIVES. You’re tempted alright. It’s only 69p.
So eventually you obtain your new lives either by buying them, begging for them or waiting patiently during the longest half an hour of your entire adult life, you beat the level and then think ‘Yes. I am back on track. I am amazing at everything‘.
Gradually the levels become even more complicated. Such is the nature of gaming. Some levels are timed. Some require you to bring some fruit to the bottom of the screen by a process of blowing shit up. Some ask you to destroy some very unappetising looking jelly. Some levels have slabs of chocolate which make satisfying click! noises as they multiply and grow until suddenly you realise you are trapped in the corner with nowhere to go … anxiety pumping beads of sweat down your brow as you are cornered with bugger all places to go as the chocolate slowly creeps around you suffocating your candy as you watch, helplessly, with no way out. Those levels are right arseholes.
You gradually develop tricks to help you significantly during the levels. Certain candy combinations create ‘special’ candy such as…
THIS MAJESTIC BASTARD which shall destroy all candy of the same colour if you rub it up against something. On more than one occassion, this writer has exclaimed ‘DISCO BALL THINGY! WHY HAS THOU FORESAKEN ME?!’ to our eternal shame.
All the while, some omnipresent bloke with a voice fit for porn comments on your actions by saying things like ‘SWEET!‘ or ‘TASTY‘ as if he’s trying to groom you for something unsavoury later.
According to Buzzfeed there are 12 Stages of Candy Crush Addiction. We at Ramp.ie feel these stages are a bit too pleasant so we would argue the following stages:
1. THE JOY STAGE
The first stage before they brand your arse with ‘King.Com’ and shackle you to the game for life.
‘This is the greatest thing since that last thing I couldn’t stop doing/watching/playing. I am having so much fun. What on Earth I did to pass the time in between living my life to the full before Candy Crush came along, I just do not know. Sure, I’ve been playing it so much I can no longer open my left eye but this is totally worth it’.
You will find yourself craving jelly beans and pear drops. Jelly beans and pear drops that you shall happily arrange into groups of three and then mercilessly crush.
2. THE DENIAL STAGE
I’m not addicted. YOU’RE addicted. I could stop any time I like, I just don’t want to.
3. THE ANGER STAGE
‘I have invented precisely 100 new swear words in the last few minutes.’
‘My fingers are disobedient and a constant disappointment to me.’
‘If this level doesn’t fuck up, my [delete where applicable] phone/computer is going right out the window and then I’m going to set it on fire and dance around it as it burns.’
‘This world map goes on for MILES. I am going to be here for YEARS’.
4. THE EXCUSE STAGE
The trouble with Candy Crush Saga, you tell yourself, is that it’s not that you are necessarily bad at it. Quite the contrary. It’s all down to luck. It’s just how the candy falls. If you can’t work with what you’re given, that’s not your fault. The rest of your mates, sitting no doubt smugly several candy lands ahead of you on the map? They are just lucky. Yes. That’s it.
5. THE TEMPTATION STAGE
Luck. What if you made your own luck? Yes. Yeeeesssss. Why don’t you just buy your way out? No one will ever know. £27.99 and you can paint, yes, paint candy any way you want. You’d brandish that Lollipop Hammer (3 for £1.49) like muthfuckin’ Thor, smashing your way to the top of the candy map where you belong where you’d rub victory in the faces of your enemies.
6. THE MISERY STAGE
You feel like a failure in almost every single way. You have also somehow acquired an iTunes bill worth several hundred pounds sitting in your inbox thanks to ‘a need’ to buy what is essentially imaginary wrapped sweets that didn’t even help you cheat that well anyway because you are crap at this game even when you cheat.
7. THE SHAME STAGE
Sooner or later you have to sync it to Facebook? What the di’vil? But you don’t even use Facebook anymore! Now the timelines of the people you are friends with are littered with game notifications and they can all see just how much you play Candy Crush and there is nothing you can do about it. There goes your aloof, mysterious persona forever.
8. THE COMMUNITY STAGE
So people on Facebook are judging you. So what? Thanks to Facebook, you have now become familiar with other people who play too! The almost constant exchange of lives and gifting of tickets to next levels is heart-warming and such kindness and generosity in your hour(s) of need makes you have hope for humanity. You’re even asking for lives from people you don’t even like. How is that for peace relations eh? Take that, Gandhi!
You feel a strong sense of belonging. Everyone is in the same boat. This is your new family.
Stuck on a level? They will come to your aid. You’ll communicate with others through a series of numbers. ’98′ they’ll say. ’110′ you’ll sigh. ‘Suck it 77!’ they’ll exclaim. ‘I wish I was dead thanks to 204.’ Did you know the direction of the stripes on the special candies determine the direction they go? Well they do. That’s the kind of tip people share to help you on your way through this journey of strife you’ve forgotten why you started in the first place but it is absolutely imperative that you finish. How helpful everyone is. You have never felt closer to the people on Facebook you only added because they were friends of friends, you wanted to creep their photos or you meet them once at a function, they added you and you wanted to appear polite.
In addition, all company spent with friends who also play the game shall consist of Candy Crush based therapy, team attempts to complete tricky levels and very little by way of actual eye contact and conversation. Pfh. Meaningful relationships with other people are overrated. You don’t really need human friends anyway. CANDY CRUSH.
9. THE SECOND ANGER STAGE
‘Where the hell is everyone?! I’ve been sitting at this train station waiting for people to give me tickets for a whole 10 minutes. Where are my tickets?‘
Then you realise it’s actually 4am and then you get angry at time itself for being so damn selfish.
10. THE REBELLION STAGE
Remember back in the day when ‘Snake’ was the game of choice on those old Nokia phones and we would all play them so much, whenever we closed our eyes we could see the little black slithery bugger erm… snaking we suppose… around our eyelids? No? Just us? Well you have now been playing Candy Crush so much and for so long, you can’t work out whether or not you are playing game, dreaming about the game or if you somehow accidentally took LSD and imagined the entire thing because you start to see remnants of the game everywhere you go.
This. Must. Stop.
‘I’m definitely deleting this App. Yup. I’m doing it. Fuck you, Candy Crush. You’re not the Boss of me. I’m deleting it after I reach this level because … um … I want to end on an even number. Yes. That’s it. I’ll do it then.’
11. THE ACCEPTANCE STAGE
My children shall be named Lemonade Lake, Peppermint Palace, Lollipop Forest and I shall be buried in a tomb made entirely from jellied fruit.
To the rest of you, we know your pain. We’ll see you on the map.