in Games, Mind Canvas

Almost all of us have played or at least heard about Candy Crush Saga. It is one of the most addictive games ever made. It was reported that the developer of this game makes as much as $1 million per day from Candy Crush Saga through in-app purchases alone. But what makes this game so insanely addictive? Let us explore in-depth to understand the same.

But before that let’s dive into the history of this game a little. Candy Crush Saga’s game mechanics are based on an old match 3 game titled Bejewelled. It was first launched in 2012 and ever since has been rapidly expanding. Remember those annoying Facebook notifications from your friends constantly asking for lives in this game? That is what made this game go viral. I think the law of averages worked to the advantage of this game.

The law of averages is a simple law that states that future events are likely to turn out so that they balance any past deviation from a presumed average. In case of Candy Crush Saga it was the number of times people used to get those notifications that sort of forced them to at least try this game out once and when they did install the game they also got trapped into asking their friends for lives when they ran out of free chances. This catapulted the number of downloads and engagement of the game.

Dissecting Candy Crush Saga:

Furthermore, the gameplay of Candy Crush Saga isn’t just random. It is carefully thought through and perfected over the years. Why do you think this game constantly ranks in the Top 10 list on all app stores? Everything including the artwork, sounds and game mechanics have perfectly balanced out to make sure you are addicted to the game.

Here’s how it works basically, the game has seemingly endless number of levels so every time you complete level you are forced to finish one more psychologically and so on and so forth. You are trapped into a constant circle of completion and a feeling of accomplishment runs through you every time you complete a level. They also go as far as branding levels based on their difficulty. You can easily find out whether a level is easy or hard as they display it right before you start that particular level.

So if a level is displayed to be hard then it poses a challenge to our brain and our brain does not like to be challenged. It sort of becomes a matter of pride. And on the same thing they prey. Not only this, but the level map of this game also shows you which level your friends are on. If you have a large number of friends on social media you will find that many friends have completed more than 100 levels. This gives you an inferiority complex and gives you a reason to push harder and keep finishing levels.

It catapults you into an endless loop where you keep completing, completing and completing. It doesn’t matter if you are on the top of levels completed list among your friends. Because sooner or later one of your friends passes you through and is now 10 levels ahead of you. What do you do? You get back to the grind! You play further and further and this is where it gets worse. By this time you don’t even realise how badly addicted you are. Now you aren’t playing the game. The game is playing with you.

Plus the sounds used in the game are extremely carefully handpicked. They always touch upon your emotions perfectly by encouraging you when you make a good move. The game visually tells you that you have made a good move which increases the dopamine levels in your brain. It feels good when you get that chain reaction or create a special candy by matching 5 candies in a row.

Also, the game makes you wait for lives. If you complete 10 levels and lost the 11th level more than 5 times then you lose your lives and need to wait for a certain time before you can start playing again. Don’t want to wait? Either buy lives or ask your friends to send you lives through social media notifications and invites. Once you get into the flow of playing and have completed 10 levels it becomes extremely difficult for you to put the game down since now you are totally hooked to the game.

What most people don’t even realise casually is that the game has been made to be played anyhow you want. You can play the game either in landscape or even in portrait mode. This gives it an edge even further because people love flexibility. You can play this game literally anywhere and anyhow you want. Plus, you don’t even need both your hands to play it. You can play the game with just one hand. All of these factors make it one of the easiest games to play and thereby increases it’s addiction factor.

The game can be played by anyone and everyone and it does not matter if you are a 4 year old baby or a 60 year old grandmother. I have seen entire families being addicted to this game. It’s crazy to see how a game can have such a big impact on people.

Also, the game does not force you to pay. It has options to help you boost your game play of course, but you can choose to ignore them all and just keep playing without paying. However, if you don’t pay it becomes even more difficult and challenging for you to complete certain levels and so you keep playing on and on. But the temptation to pay for in-game items is almost extremely irresistible. The game offers you extra chances when you fail to complete a level for a cost. So if you have just one move left to complete a level you will always be tempted to shell out $0.99 to get through.

These are the things that make Candy Crush Saga one of the most addictive games to play. Let me know your views through the comments section about what you feel about this game.

So if you are a game developer I’d like to inform you that currently I’m working on a book which will talk about how to market your games to get downloads and make money through them. If you are interested in this book then make sure you sign up on my email subscribers list, I will keep you updated about the same. Link:

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This is Nikhil signing off, na shledanou!


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