A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published May 10th 2014
Candy Crush is surely the most addictive and frustrating game currently available online. Haven't been exposed to Candy Crush yet? You are one of the few. Basically it's a game where you have to line up 3, 4 or 5 coloured 'candies' to eliminate them, score points and/or complete tasks, and progress to the next level. It starts off being relatively easy to complete levels and advance. This of course is merely a tactic to lure you in.
As you move to more advanced levels, there are more and more challenges being thrown at you - like time bombs (that end your game if they explode before you detonate them) and - the worst - the creeping, 'spawning' chocolate.
Candy Crush: evil or wonderful? (Image credit: Wiki images under Creative Commons)
It can take just a few minutes to complete (successfully or unsuccessfully) a game of Candy Crush. If you are unsuccessful in your attempts at completing a game five times, you are locked out of the game for 30 minutes until you are given the next 'life'. Of course, if you have multiple appliances (computer, tablet, smart phone) you can play on each of these, getting five lives on each. You can also have friends help you by giving you lives and extra moves.
Playing on various devices increases your chances. (Image credit: siukiu903 on Wiki Images under Creative Commons)
In the odd spare moment when not playing Candy Crush, it's easy to find your mind wandering to the game, and trying to think of a strategy to get through the current level (or at least envisaging those brightly coloured candies falling). If you're playing while commuting to work, you will be (briefly) glancing around to see if others are playing, and, if so, surreptitiously trying to check out if you're on a higher level than they are. These are the first signs that your gaming is becoming an addiction.
The second stage of addiction is that your other tasks (possibly your work tasks) are neglected as Candy Crush takes over.
If you start to spend 'real' money to help to get yourself through the more difficult levels, you know you have reached a point of deep addiction. According to this article, Candy Crush earns the game's creator, King.com, around £400K (about A$722K) PER DAY.
The final stage of addiction is if you actively start to hate chocolate - such is the impact of the nasty spreading chocolate in the game. (So perhaps there is at least one advantage of having a Candy Crush addiction!)
So how do you go about curing a Candy Crush addiction? Here are some ideas.
1. Admit to your addiction
Face the hard truth and take stock of how it's affecting your life. How much time is it absorbing each day? How else could you be spending your Candy Crushing time? How is it affecting your friendships, relationships, work productivity?
2. 'Cold Turkey'
Delete the app off your multiple devices. Block Candy Crush requests on Facebook. Don't walk down the sweets aisle of your supermarket - in case the urge comes back.
If you're a commuter Candy Crusher, try and find something else that will engage you long enough to stay away from gaming. Try planning your next holiday, listen to a TED Talk, or, of course, browse your daily Weekend Notes email.
Have you beaten a Candy Crush addiction? How did you do it?
These suggested 'cures' are hypothetical only. I'm currently (stuck) on level 349 and have no intention of giving up! Admittedly, it was difficult to find time to write this article.