Thursday, October 24, 2013

Candy Crush (Game Review)

Candy Crush is a nice match three game. You match three or more candies and watch them explode. Makes me wonder if someone had an unfortunate incident with some candy at a young age.

Anyway, here's what the game start screen looks like:


There's no instructions, but at least the game lets you choose between playing for the a high score for the number of turns you take, or the highest score for how many candies you explode in a fixed amount of time.

Maybe a match three game doesn't need instructions? So here's what the game looks like when you play:


You have a grid of candy, two boxes to show your score and how many turns you have left, a button to restart the game, and another one to exit. A lot of games don't have exit buttons, but I would like them on every game, even though you can press the home button to end any game.

Wait! What's wrong with the screen? The developer, Richard Armuelles, didn't make the game fit my phone, the ZTE Open. Close, and playable, but you'll notice that the Exit button is cut off at the bottom and the top row of candy is cut off at the top. Lose one point!

There are several books written on Responsive and/or Adaptable Web Design, and they are important for Firefox OS on a phone! One phone may be one size and another different. In this case, it's clear that the overall screen should have been a little smaller and the buttons on the bottom moved closer together.

Oh, and a simple help file would have told me what happens when certain striped candies are part of the exploding candy chain. I know I get extra points, but I don't know why. The striped candies seem to knock out a whole row or column, but I'm not sure exactly what because it all happens (reasonably) fast.

But the game is playable and I find that match three games are a good way to waste a few minutes when I'm waiting for the bus. Often a good game can be made better with a little bit more attention to the details, like help, but fitting to the screen is important. Because I like this game, I'm giving it a 4, because the game is definitely playable and has fun art.

Sometimes my rating is influenced by whether I like a game or not, but I'll try to be somewhat objective.

Anyway, this sounds like a good lead-in to my next post, which will start to look at the programming issues of sizes and boundaries. Stay tuned, but not iTuned.

Cost: Free
Genre: Puzzle
Score: 5 (out of 5) after revisions (see comment below by me)
Tested on: ZTE Open (Firefox OS)
Get it at: Firefox Marketplace