Have you ever been tempted to use cheats and guides when playing a mobile game?

I have. Admittedly I am one of those people who ordinarily scoffs at the notion of needing help to complete a simple mobile game, this was until I became enthralled in the Candy Crush world.

Like all brilliantly popular mobile games (Flappy birds, Tetris, Snake) the illusion of simplicity hides a hidden undercurrent of complexity and hence frustration. The way in which lives are distributed in Candy Crush makes the feeling of failure much, much worse. It is the reason millions of pound are being spent on in game purchases and millions of Facebook friends are being bombarded with annoying requests.

Candy crush is the hit mobile game created by developers, King on the 12th of April, 2012 (for Facebook at least). It soon became the most popular game on the social media site with 46 million average monthly users and it was also the most downloaded IOS App of 2013.

The game itself is a ‘variation’, I prefer adaptation, of certain match-three games like Bejeweled. Levels feature boards with different coloured candies and obstacles on them. The objectives vary from game to game and can be anything from removing jelly or chocolate to reaching 1500 points in under 30 seconds. Progression through the stages leads to new worlds as the complexity increases.

Every failed attempt at a level loses the player a live, of which you are given five. There are then three equally horrible ways in which these lives are restored:

  1. Waiting for them to replenish themselves.
  2. Begging Facebook friends to ‘send’ you some.
  3. Purchasing them through credit card or Facebook credits.

I travel a lot for my work so find I have a lot of time to play mobile games. Rather inevitably I gravitated towards everyone’s favourite, Candy Crush. After cruising through the initial lands I soon reached my peek. After exhausting all avenues, including ashamedly badgering Facebook friends whom I haven’t seen for over 20 years, I decided to whip out the laptop and see if Google could save me.

To my delight/bemusement there are a large number of sites that are brimming with Candy Crush Cheats and tips.

These dedicated sites offer walk-throughs, unlimited lives, cheat codes and much more. A god send. The game has been installed on over 500 million devices so I am safe in the knowledge I can’t possibly be the only ones reaching out to these sites for help.

After getting past the initial feelings of shame and regret I soon zipped through the remaining levels until completing the game. With any game ending there is a feeling of sadness but on this occasion there was relief. I am free from my addiction. No longer shackled by the bright colours and tempting in game purchases. My Facebook friends are free from random requests and normal order is restored.

Well at least until more levels are released.

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