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Candy Crush Soda Saga

Candy Crush Soda Saga is a match-three puzzle game for iOS and Android. Combine colorful candies to complete objectives in a set amount of moves to advance to the next level.

Publisher: King Digital Entertainment
Playerbase: High
Type: Puzzle
Release Date: October 20, 2014
Pros: +New candy combinations. +Bonus items. +Multidimensional movements.
Cons: -Some levels feel unfairly difficult.

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Overview

Candy Crush Soda Saga Overview

Candy Crush Soda Saga is an app based matching puzzle game available on iOS and Android platforms. The game involves strategic combinations of four or more candy pieces. These combinations result in special candies that are then used to blast through large areas. Objectives range from clearing all obstacles on the board to freeing specific objects. Score at least one star or more within the set amount of moves to advance to the next level.

Candy Crush Soda Saga Key Features:

  • New Candy Combos – new and improved candy combos from previous Candy Crush games.
  • Hundreds of Levels – updated monthly in episodes of 15 or more.
  • Dynamic Piece Movement – pieces move in numerous directions to add new challenge for players.
  • Strong Visual and Audio Effects – great score accompanied by appealing visuals and smooth animations.
  • Life Regeneration – one life regenerates every 30 minutes.

Candy Crush Soda Saga Screenshots

Candy Crush Soda Saga Featured Video

Full Review

Candy Crush Soda Saga Review

By Jessica Daugherty

Playing Candy Crush is a lot like eating real candy—bursts of instant gratification in small but enticing packages. Following the success of 2012’s Candy Crush Saga, the newest title in the line from King, Soda Saga, sweetens the deal by reimagining the typical approach to matching puzzle games in ways that outstrip the competitors and the original formula. Although the Tetris model is timeless, the developers at King raise the bar with the game's low-risk, high-reward system. By monopolizing on that appeal and utilizing all aspects of the numerous puzzle boards with intriguing combos, it's a treat that appeals to both casual and compulsive puzzle players.

For the unfamiliar, Candy Crush Soda Saga is an app based match-three puzzle game with an addicting rush. Satisfyingly complex levels, juicy fruit combos, and gravity defying soda pop make this game a sweet challenge with 885 unique levels (and counting). Swipe combinations of three or more candies to blast away the frosting layers and licorice traps to free the gummy bears encased below. Each move generates points that earn players 1 to 3 stars. The bigger the combo, the greater the reward.

Enter the Candy Kingdom

From sailing across purple soda seas and past dragon donuts towards candy cane portals, the game feels more immersive than your usual themed puzzle. The smooth animations accented by lighting effects and visualized pops make it feel larger than life and turns even the most trivial of tasks into a treat. The mechanics are simple but are accented by an expansive, detailed, and infectiously adorable map. Although there are minimal interferences from dialogue and a vague plot, there are animated animals that guide your stout, bright-eyed character down a winding candy lane even Willy Wonka would envy. You start on a striped path running alongside a candy cane village surrounded by cotton candy trees. The first level is a straight forward 5x8 board that seems to be mostly a formality for those unfamiliar with the gameplay. You’re well armed with 50 chocolate bars in case you need more turns on a board, three lollipops to take care of trapped candies, and the usual five lives which generate. Everything seems to be Candy Crush business as usual until…are those new special candies?

The Soda Saga Begins

The objective of this introductory level is to pop all of the soda bottles. These bottles are distinguished by their capsule marks and the way they seem to be bursting with sugary goodness. They come in all colors and are played the same way you would a normal candy. Combine one with two candies of the same color to release the soda inside. Combining soda bottles with candies of three or more will still produce combos. While all you need to do is simply pop each bottle of pop, these special candies will be used to fill the screen in order to raise rewards to the top. This small upgrade adds a whole new dimension to the way that players have to approach strategy. Soda bottles are suddenly a mandatory priority that require a bit of skill to utilize effectively.

Here you’ll also find a special candy that’s basically a jellyfish obtained by combining four or more candies in a square shape. Once formed, these fish can be combined with regular candies or combo candies to release them onto the board. They then swim around and tap one of the remaining candies, giving you a freebie. These two new additions are simple and in-line with what players expect from the Candy Crush story but are worthy of appreciation. It’s clear from the first board that Soda Saga is trying to push players out of the gate—which is intriguing.

First They’re Sweet…

The second level presents little difficulty outside of being larger than the first and that the soda bottles need to be released from licorice cages before they can be popped. It’s not until level three that the game reveals just how cool the soda element is. With half the candies on the top, the other lining the bottom, and the soda bottles in individual areas, the jellyfish come to the rescue. Using them to pop the bottles and fill the chamber will allow the candies to defy gravity and be reunited with the rest on the board. Not a hard level by any means, but just a sample of what’s to come.

The first four levels fly by and it’s almost infuriatingly easy by the time you reach level 5. Then the most useful of all the Soda Saga upgrades is revealed, the coloring candy. Combining six candies or more will produce this sphere with a bright and gooey center. Release the goo by combining the coloring candy with any candy in it’s immediate area. The goo paints all of the pieces the same color as the coloring candy, often resulting in many useful combos and bonuses.

…Then They’re Sour

The mood is light and the difficulty slowly increases as you travel across a bridge through a lollipop forest. In this area you’re introduced to frosting cases that hide giant gummy bears underneath. This essentially means that you have to hit each candy twice in order to officially clear it making this the first time you have to be conscious of your moves. Overall, the task of freeing the bears is simple and satisfying (that is, until there are fifty something of them).

I didn’t find myself getting frustrated (i.e. needing to use more than one life or sacrifice any chocolate bars) until around level 12. The 9x9 board looks simple, but with frosting on every candy piece and only 23 moves, it was one of the first levels to require a good eye for combos of four and up and decent foresight. After losing a few lives there, the next few kept knocking me down. Not enough to spark discouragement but enough to bait my competitive streak. While I was happy that the hand-holding basic levels were done, it was kind of a snub to my ego that levels this side of fifty were getting the best of me. I was hooked.

Combos and Items: Necessary Evils Controlled by Chance

What really made me tick was probably that I always felt just out of reach of the goal. A couple of more moves, a better thought out use of combos, even just a better randomized board and I could win. The cool thing about that mentality in Candy Crush Soda Saga is that it’s not just a dream, it’s real. But it’s sort of like the pyramid scheme of puzzle games in that its always going to take a little more than it gives back.

We’ve covered the new amazing combos, but the striped, wrapped, and colorful bomb candies remain just as crucial to winning as they were in the original. Like the frosting mentioned before, there are additional traps like bubbles, chocolate, and honey. Fortunately, with five kinds of special candies there are many combinations to help blast through the sticky obstacles. Combining a color bomb candy with a fish jelly candy, for example, will turn every candy of that color into a fish. This often means that you can blast massive areas of the board away in short spans of time. The tricky part, however, is getting the right combinations. This is where the “scheme” feeling comes in, as there are some levels that are basically impossible without the perfect super powered candy combinations, making them feel a little unbalanced and entirely chance driven. Seeing rows of candy and frosting blasted away simultaneously is pretty cool though, can’t lie.

Risk vs. Reward

It’s this push and pull towards advancement that make the game so undeniably addicting. I found myself feeling like a rat on a wheel—happy to run on as long as the cheese was in my line of vision. You’re given just enough lives and supplies to feel confident spending them, but not enough to get you through more than five to ten levels at a time. This is where the marketing aspect comes in. By making the items so useful, the levels intriguing but not intimidating, and the overall mood welcoming, players are compelled to return. And as teasing levels force you to spend your lives, you find yourself wondering if you should sign in via Facebook and send your friends lives to recharge your own. Thousands of players are doing just that, many even spending money to keep playing. Now that’s a successful business model.

Final Verdict - Great

While the original now boasts 900 levels, it had a repetitious feeling that would start to annoy you like a toothache. In Soda Saga, the veneer is nostalgic and nearly identical to the original but the subtle changes and additions solidify the addicting secret Candy Crush formula. Although it’s basically just the original on steroids, it offers challenges to those that want more from the game and can be mindless for those just looking for a short thrill. In short, it’s worth a download. Play it one time or a hundred, it’s worth it.

Screenshots

Candy Crush Soda Saga Screenshots

System Requirements

Candy Crush Soda Saga System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Android 2.3, iOS 5 or later
Hard Disk Space: 47MB

Music

Candy Crush Soda Saga Music & Soundtrack

Additional Info

Candy Crush Soda Saga Additional Information

Developer: King Digital Entertainment
Publisher: King Digital Entertainment
Distributor: Activision Blizzard
Game Director(s): Sebastian Knutsson

Composer(s): Johan Holmström

Facebook Release Date: October 20, 2014
Android and iOS Release Date: November 11, 2014

Development History / Background:

Candy Crush Soda Saga is the project of developer King’s creative director, Sebastian Knutsson. The game was developed at Knutsson’s studio in Stockholm, Sweden and introduced with a soft launch in May 2014. Soda Saga is the sequel to Candy Crush Saga, the most popular game on Facebook as of 2013. Soda Saga was first made available to the public via Facebook in October with mobile versions for Android and iOS platforms released the following month. With monthly updates, the game remains one of the top ten downloadable games in the Apple and Google Play app stores.