Ahhhhh yes, Candy Crush. The game series that everyone loves to hate. Well, not quite, everyone, considering millions of people are playing it every day and it’s consistently been one of King’s top performers basically forever… But, whatever. Joining the ranks of Candy Crush Saga (Free) and Candy Crush Soda Saga [apprice url="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/candy-crush-soda-saga/id850417475?mt=8"] today is Candy Crush Jelly Saga (Free). At Jelly Saga’s core, it’s the same great super-polished free to play match three gameplay that everyone knows. The familiar power-ups are all there, the delightfully whimsical music, the Facebook integration to compete with your friends, etc. Everything you’d think this game would have, it has it.
The thing that sets Jelly Saga apart from the others is a minor tweak in the mechanic of how the levels are completed. This time around, instead of getting rid of jelly you’re trying to spread it to all the squares on the play field. Where things get crazy is when facing off against the new Jelly Queen. In these levels, the game takes a significant shift to being turn-based, and you’re playing against an AI opponent who is spreading her own jelly across the board.
It’s surprisingly fun, and worth downloading for two reasons: First off, this new mechanic is really neat. Second of all, King’s tutorial design is just crazy. They introduce some surprisingly complex concepts in these games potentially to players who have never played a video game before and manage to do it without any kind of text or anything else. King has tutorial design down to a science, and this is just another great example of what kind of things developers should be doing to teach players to play their games.
Anyway, it’s also neat to see more Candy Crush games get released because if Candy Crush is your jam, between the three titles you can effectively just play them in an infinite loop without ever spending money. Go through your five lives in Candy Crush proper, do the same in Soda Saga, shift gears to Jelly Saga, and by the time you’ve spent those five lives chances are all (or most) of your original Candy Crush lives are back. I’m not sure if King intends players to play this way, but, it makes sense to me.