Australian Council on Children and the Media

Candy Crush Soda Saga - King

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Short takes

Candy Crush Soda Saga is a match-three puzzle game.

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Candy Crush Soda Saga was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 9 December 2014.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: Candy Crush Soda Saga
Developed by: King
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: Everyone
ACCM suggested age: 13+ due to in app purchasing
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Candy Crush Soda Saga contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This review focuses on levels: 1-10.

App description

Candy Crush Soda Saga is a match three puzzle game where players slide images of items across the screen in an effort to match three or more of the same kind, and create cascading combinations of items. The objective is to play through the multiple levels of increasing difficulty, learning new combinations and matching more items where possible. The skills required to play are spatial/visual, lateral thinking, and problem solving.

Reviewers comments

When the app is opened, players are brought to a title screen that contains a large ‘Play!’ button, as well as a button that may be used to connect via Facebook. The background is filled with bright colours, candy and lollies, as well as two young female characters.

After clicking play, users are then brought to a screen with a winding path of levels – one of which is unlocked. It is visible that players have 5 hearts already, as well as 50 gold bars. More gold bars can be purchased for real-life money within the game. Conversely, it is possible to ‘Ask your friends for more lives’ by signing into a Facebook account.

Once a player begins level one, they are given instructions in a pop-up screen to meet the goal of ‘matching the bottles to raise the soda’. A board of images then appears, containing candies of various shapes and colours. Players must then match two candies in a row with a soda bottle in order to raise the soda level. They do this by swiping up, down, left or right in order to move a bottle to match it with two similar coloured candies, so that they form a line of three – these three then disappear from the board, and all the objects above drop down to fill the gaps. The soda level then increases on the backdrop of the board. Once players complete this, they are brought to a pop-up screen – this offers them three gold stars, as well as a score and their comparative achievement to the highest score obtained.

As the levels increase, the difficulties and challenges within them increase also. The board becomes larger and more items can be moved and matched, whilst the bottles needed to raise the soda level are also locked into place (and must be unlocked by matching three, and then matching a second lot of three in order to burst them). When players win higher levels, the word ‘Sodalicious’ or phrase ‘Soda crush’ appears on the screen in addition to it being verbally spoken in a deep male voice. This indicates that players have completed the goal, and they are told they have ‘popped all the bottles!’. At Level 6, the goal changes to ‘Find the bears’. Players are then told that they must crush the ice to save the bears. Getting three in a row will set a bear free. As the levels continue, different goals become evident – for instance, ‘activate the lollipop hammer to crush any candy’. Some of the suggestions appear to be inappropriate for younger users in regards to its message, such as ‘Smash any candy that is giving you a hard time. Revenge is sweet’. In addition to this, the app encourages players not to quit the game – when players elect to do so, a pop-up screen appears with an image of a girl crying. There is a sign underneath stating ‘You pressed the quit button’, with an option to Retry instead of quitting. This may encourage addictive game-playing behaviours in children.

Despite this, the app does not appear to pose any overt risks to children, and aside from risks associated with in-app purchase, it may provide a fun way of practicing spatial/visual skills as well as basic geometric and problem solving skills.

In App purchasing

In order to purchase more gold bars, players can obtain these in packs of ten gold bars for $1.29, 55 gold bars for $6.49, 110 gold bars for $12.99, 260 gold bars for $26.99, or 510 gold bars for $49.99.

Online information

In order to obtain more hearts/lives, players may connect via Facebook and ask their friends to assist them. This is the central feature associated with online social media connection.

Gambling

No gambling content found in the levels played.

Advertising and product placement

The app contains advertisements for the creator of the application, ‘King’. This occurs at the end of each level, when a full-screen temporarily appears with the King logo in the centre of it. There does not appear to be any advertising for external apps.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

No game playing behaviour which may be of concern to parents was found during the review.

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About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age

Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

About games and gambling

Most games contain elements of risk, chance and knowledge, that is why they are fun to play. There is growing concern about the impacts of simulated gambling games on the health and wellbeing of children. That's why we are identifying games that contain gambling elements on our site.

The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.