Candy Crush Soda Saga

Soda Pops into the World of Candy Crush

The original games in the Candy Crush series caught on widely due to the unique approach that was taken by the wizards who created them, and the heavy emphasis upon immediate and instant gratification and the tracking of success as a value-added element in the games.

As with all of the other games in the series, Candy Crush: Soda Saga is free-to-download, and free-to-play, and in that respect the player gets more than their money's worth!

It nicely rounds out the basic series and delivers exactly the sort of game play experience that the player is expecting - and that the player has anticipated while at the same time offering new game play mechanics and strategy that will instantly alter the basic perception of the game.

While we have come to expect a certain minimal level of advertising interruption in games in this genre, it is fascinating to discover that a game has departed from the established pattern in the opposite direction!



That is the case with Soda Saga - while it does include advertising as part of its revenue system, it is very clear from the onset that this was crafted into the game play experience to be far less intrusive than is usually the case.

Of course if a set of game wizards have downplayed one of the established paths towards revenue in a game, that naturally means they have increased the position of one of the others, and in the case of Soda Saga that would be the real-money in-app purchase system.

For Soda Saga the in-app purchases take the form of Gold Bars - which range from .99 cents for 10 to $39.99 for 510, and their importance comes into play when you run out of lives and don't want to wait out the timer.

For Candy Crush: Soda Saga the standard match-three and pattern matching has been augmented with the presence of special Soda Bottles, whose introduction into a pairing increases the score and has the effect of bringing the level closer to completion by raising the level of Soda that appears in the play screen area for each level.



This presents a number of different special game play options with some emphasis upon strategically playing to maximize the score and delay popping bottles which would then increase the Soda Level in order to do so.

Game play is made even more challenging by the applications of basic physics - that is to say that matches that are made above the line of soda in the level naturally cause the candy to fall thanks to the inescapable effects of gravity, while actions made below the Soda line/level cause the candy to float UP, so that your typical game play strategy for setting up future sets and special moves is altered by the added effects.

This is a great feature for serious fans of the genre because it puts into play a new set of strategic play that often requires complicated planning in order to obtain maximum results before the Soda Level rises to interfere with them!

Pieces can preform actions that the player both does not anticipate and can not predict - such as a special set transforming a candy piece into a Gummy Fish, then having that Gummy Fish swim halfway across the play screen to explode, freeing a secured bottle of Soda that causes IT to explode, completing another unforeseen set of connections that result in both a higher score but also raising the Soda Level.



But that is what makes the fun and challenge so unexpected and unique in this newest entry in the series, and is one of its best and biggest draws for players new and old!

The Sound and Graphical environments in Soda Saga easily support each other, with a blend of action-based combinations that offer an important sense of presence and progress for play - often in fact the sound effects communicate more about what has just happened on the screen than the eyes are able to take in!

It is just this sort of situation that explains why we always take the time to evaluate and comment upon both the graphical and sound elements in the games we review, because this sort of crucial connection between game play and results while it is subconsciously detected by the gamer has far more meaning and value when they are better aware of it.

Remember that you only have so many moves in each level, and part of the focus for the use of those moves is to pop a set number of bottles, and anything that makes keeping track of that easier - including a unique but recognizable sound effect - is basically a good thing.



Ordinarily a game that we are playing for review only exists on our platform for the time that it takes for us to play the game and then review it.

Among those folders on our iPad is one labeled “app/game temp” - the games we are playing to review are stored there. Temporarily.

We tell you this to explain how significant it is when a game manages to transition from that last folder into one of the permanent ones - an event that quite frankly rarely happens.



So the fact that Soda Saga arrived in the app/game temp folder and departed in the one whose label reads “Arcade” should already tell you something important - that we consider Soda Saga a keeper!

Which is how it came to find itself getting a solid 5 Stars from us because of all of the matching and pattern games we have played, it is one of only a handful that presents the genre with respect and that does not beat the player over the head with unwanted advertising or tries to force open their wallet, and how about that?

5.0 / 5.0
 
review by CMBF | Jan 12th 2015


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