My holidays back in Canada over Christmas and the New Year were pretty awesome, but a theme quickly began among many of my mobile-toting family members. As soon as they were reminded that I write about iOS games, they would quickly reach into their pockets or bags and pull out their device, presenting it to me like they would a wounded animal to a veterinarian. “You have to help me," they would plead. Taking a sigh and preparing to do my usual holiday tech support, I’d ask them what the problem was. “It’s this level in Candy Crush Saga/Pet Rescue Saga/Farm Heroes Saga/etc.," they said with a desperate look in their eye. I had to do this several times, helping them get through the various snags that had trapped them for, in some cases, literal months. I’ve decided to do something about it this year so that it won’t happen again next time. I’m going to make guides for the whole King shebang. Yes, this will take a long time. I see it as a little work today for the sake of long-term time-saving. I hope you can see where I’m coming from here.
I’m going to start with one of King’s newer games, Candy Crush Soda Saga (Free). It’s proving to be almost as popular as the original Candy Crush Saga (Free), and for good reason. The presentation is great, the game’s rules are simple to understand, and the soda twist makes for some interesting variations on the familiar gameplay. Like every King game, it’s got its fair share of absolutely maddening levels, including one very early on that we’ll be talking about today. That said, any level has the potential to catch someone, so I mean to be thorough here. We’ll start from the beginning and work our way up. Note that these strategies are not absolute guarantees of success. Like most free-to-play puzzle games, Candy Crush Soda Saga will sometimes deal you a combination of candies you cannot win with. Persistence is your best friend on those occasions. These strategies will, however, get you on the right track to take advantage of a winning set.
Level 1: This level is basically rigged to let you win. You just need to match the soda bottles with two other pieces of the same color to raise the soda level to the top of the screen. The relatively confined play area should make this a snap.
Level 2: This is another gimmie level. You’re once again tasked with raising the soda level to the top of the screen by matching bottles. This time, the trick is that some of the bottles are contained in licorice cages. You’ll have to match pieces once to free them from the cage, then once more to raise the soda level.
Level 3: This level teaches you how to make jelly fish, and in doing so, basically hands you the victory. You’ll notice at the start of the stage that two of the soda bottles are in inaccessible parts of the screen. You’ll need some jelly fish to get at them. Start by matching the pieces in both of the upper corners of the screen. Simply slide the highest pieces down to create a 2 x 2 square, and you should get some jelly fish. Now match the fish to get the two isolated bottles. That should raise the soda level and give you plenty of pieces at the bottom of the screen to finish the level. Just keep matching soda bottles as they appear.
Level 4: You’ll learn about combining special pieces in this level. Start the stage by matching the jelly fish with the sprinkle candy at the top of the screen. That will turn all of the same-colored candy pieces on the board into jelly fish, quickly clearing out most or all of the licorice cages and likely raising the soda level a few steps. Now simply finish out the stage by matching soda bottles and you’re on your way.
Level 5: This stage will teach you about the special paint candies. Just make a match in the center from any direction and you’ll end up with a paint candy. Match that candy with the piece next to it to paint the special candy’s color onto all of the matching candies on the board. That should clear out almost all of the licorice cages, which should open up the board enough for you to finish out the stage by matching bottles.
Level 6: The training wheels are starting to come off now. This stage serves as the introduction of both frosting and a new objective: rescuing the gummi bears. Your goal is to save the bears by removing the frosting that is blocking them. Removing frosting is simple enough. You just need to make matches on top of it. Sometimes frosting has more than one layer, though, so you might have to make multiple matches. In this stage, it’s just one layer, so just start making matches. If you can make any special candies like the jelly fish, go for it. They’ll help you get at any out of the way spaces with frosting on them. The stage is finished once the frosting is cleared.
Level 7: Once again, you have to clear away frosting to save bears. The game will introduce the lollipop hammer now, and encourage you to use it. You don’t have to, and you should probably save it. The lollipop hammer lets you hit any space of your choice. It might seem like a small favor, but sometimes it’s very hard to get at a certain square. The hammer is perfect for those situations. The catch? The game only gives you a few hammers, and after that, you’ll have to pay real money for more. Don’t get in the habit of using them. The biggest problem in this stage is finding the bears. Look for a faint green glow behind the frosting. If you see it, there’s a bear hidden behind there. Try not to waste matches on frosting without a bear behind it. If you’re having trouble, try matching a striped candy (match four of the same color in a row) with a jelly fish (match four of the same color in a square). The result will seek out a good row or column and clear the whole thing.
Level 8: The frosting is back, but this time it’s got cake on top of it! To clear the cakes, you have to make a match beside them. One match will remove the cake, the second will remove the wrapper. Then you can get to work on getting rid of the frosting underneath. Remember to check for the green glow that shows where the bears are. All special candies are helpful here, and they should be easy to make in the beginning when the play area is small. Take advantage of that by making a few and matching them together. Explosive packaged candies (make a T- or L-shaped match with five candies) are particularly potent here!
Level 9: Here’s a new stage goal. There’s a gummi bear in a bubble, and you need to float it up above the candy necklace at the top of the play area. Since this level introduces the objective, it’s pretty easy. Just make matches above each bear and the soda will float it up. Do that on all three boards, and you’ll be off to level 10.
Level 10: The goal is the same here as last time. You have to raise the bear up above the candy necklace. The problem here is that it’s isolated in an area you can’t reach, stuck in a licorice cage, with two cake wrappers blocking it from the candy necklace. The key here is jelly fish, and the stage will provide you with a few to help you out. You’ll need to make matches to remove two of them from licorice cages. Then, match the jelly fish to clear the path for the bear. If you need another jelly fish, remember that you just have to match four pieces of the same color into a square to make one.
Level 11: This is another stage where you have to raise gummi bears above a candy necklace, but there’s a trick to this one. Not only are there cakes in the way, but you have two bears to raise up. You can’t see the second bear until you finish raising the first one, but it’s down at the very bottom of the play area. Clear the first one as quickly as you can by making matches, then match the two special pieces near the second bear together to clear a path. It’ll float up to the next screen, where you’ll find two sprinkle candies behind walls of wrappers. Make matches to clear the way to the sprinkle candies, then match them with whatever’s nearby to clear more of the path for the second bear. You’ll probably have to finish off the last couple of matches on your own, though.
Level 12: The good news is that you don’t have raise any bears in this level. The bad news is that the frosting is back, and it’s double-layered this time. Not only does that mean you have make two matches on a square to clear it, but you also can’t see where the gummi bears you have to rescue are. Aim for special pieces here if you can. Striped candies can help peel away the second layer of frosting across wide areas, helping you spot the green glow of the bears. Packaged candies are great for clearing out a wide area. Fish aren’t as useful here, as they won’t home in on bears and there are too many frosting squares for them to make a difference.
Level 13: It’s another frosting level, this time with just single-layered frosting, but plenty of cake to go around. You’ll also be introduced to the packaged candy/sprinkle candy combination, which turns every same-colored candy on screen into packaged candies. This is one of the best combinations, as it can clear out tons of blocked areas very quickly. The more candies you have on screen, the more powerful this combination is, so start the level by making some matches and replacing the cake wrappers with more candy. Once the screen is reasonably full, match the packaged candy with the sprinkle candy and watch the fireworks go off. You’ll probably have to mop up after to finish the stage. Don’t forget to use special candies where you can. Jelly fish can be very useful here for hunting down the last few bits of frosting.
Level 14: The candy necklace is back, and this time you have to raise three bears. There’s a ton of cake in the way, and you even have to raise the soda level by clearing a few bottles. In short, there’s a lot to do here, and not many moves to do it. Try to make jelly fish, striped candies, or packaged candies at every opportunity. The fish will get the soda bottles, the packaged candies will remove cake, and the striped candies will clear a path for the bears. Combinations will help, especially striped plus packaged, which will clear a huge path vertically and horizontally. Don’t waste any matches here. You should at the very least be able to clear some cake with every move, if not more than that.
Level 15: This is another level with a lot of things going on. You need to raise a single bear above a candy necklace, but it’s a long way to the top, and you need to raise soda levels the whole way through. The bottles are often trapped in licorice cages or behind cake, so getting at them can be tricky. Jelly fish are the best method here, as well as packaged candies set off near any cake clusters. Make your way up slowly, making sure to hit every bottle along the way. Once the necklace is in sight, you can focus on getting just the number of bottles you need to raise the bear above it. After that, match like crazy above the bear to beat the stage. Jelly fish are the weapon of choice all the way through.
Level 16: Time for a break from candy necklaces! That means it’s frosting time again, served double-thick, just the way you like it. This level has an odd shape to it. Candy pieces will enter from the bottom right and flow counter-clockwise as you make matches. There’s a lot of frosting here and no hints as to where the bears might be, so just start making matches to try to find the green glow. Generally, it’s better to make matches at the opposite end from where the candies come in, since the shifting candies might make more matches along the way. Jelly fish are not so useful here, but packaged candies and striped candies are very valuable. As soon as you can see a frosting square has no bear behind it, move on. You don’t get enough moves here to afford to waste any.
Level 17: It’s back to the candy necklaces for this stage, which looks a lot more intimidating than it actually is. The game reminds you about how make jelly fish at the start of this stage, because you will need them. It doesn’t tell you about matching two jelly fish together, but you’ll need that, too. Matching two jelly fish sends out three fish instead of the two the pieces would normally produce individually. Start by making squares to create fish, then match the fish together to raise the soda level and move to the next board. You’ll have to do the same here. The rest of the boards of this stage simply teach you what the various fish combinations do. Just match special pieces together and you’ll be on your way in no time.
Level 18: This stage gives you double-thick frosting and a whole lot of it, to say nothing of the ton of licorice cages getting in your way. A painted special candy sits on either side of the play area. These are the key to victory. You need to break your way through to them as soon as possible. A well-placed striped candy can hit both in one shot, but you’ll have to do things the old-fashioned way otherwise. Once you set those painted candies off, it will start a chain reaction that should clear out most of the frosting. All that’s left after that is a little mopping up. Fish and packaged candies work well for that part.
Level 19: After the last tough level, this one is like falling off a log. You just need to raise one bear above the candy necklace. Start by matching the striped candy directly under the bear. That will clear a path up to the next screen. Now you’ll want to start matching soda bottles to raise the level, keeping in mind the usefulness of jelly fish in accomplishing that task. Once the soda level is raised high enough, switch to matching above the bear to move it up the screen. That should scroll more of the stage into view, and you can go back to matching soda bottles until the soda level is higher than the necklace. After that, you just have to make matches above the bear until it clears the line.
Level 20: Now it’s back to frosting, but there’s a twist this time. The right side of the field is initially inaccessible. You have to clear the cake at the bottom of the left side, which will cause pieces to fall into the right side from the bottom. All of the bears you need to uncover are on the right side of the screen, so you need to get over there as soon as possible. Vertical striped candies (match four of the same color in a horizontal row) will help you break into the other side quickly, while horizontal striped candies (match four of the same color in a vertical column) can help reveal bears and shake things up if you run out of matches on the right. Packaged candies should be used on the right side of the play area to help clear out frosting as quickly as possible. This level is tough, but the key is simply getting both sides opened within as few moves as possible.
Hopefully, these tips will help you out of any sticky situations in the early stages of Candy Crush Soda Saga. I’ll be back next time with a guide to cover the next 15 stages, so if you’re having trouble, check out our general guide for the game, and if that doesn’t help, just hang in there!