My first thought in regards to CandyMeleon was “oh great, another one of those games”. You know, the ones where you have to feed a cute character candy all day long? Sure enough it is, but at least there is no rope cutting or fan blowing or gadget positioning of any kind. In fact, this really isn’t any sort of physics game at all. Instead it’s a good old fashioned arcade game where you have to grab the good stuff, avoid the bad stuff and last as long as you can. It’s also quite addictive once you get into it. There’s no brain power required here, and it’s a nice change of pace when it comes to games about consuming sweets.
You control the candymeleon, and your task is simply to eat as much candy as you can before you lose all your hearts. You get three to start with, and so far I’ve not seen any cases where I’ve been able to earn one back. There are certainly plenty of ways to watch your hearts disappear, though. Candy marked with a skull and crossbones are the most basic element of evil. Then you get fish that are friendly on the way up but ready to chomp on you on the way back down. Ladybugs will swipe your hearts if you don’t eat them before they reach your life meter, and falling rocks will just knock you upside the head. The only non-lethal opponent I’ve run into so far is the spider, but if your tongue gets caught in its web you’ll be stuck for a short amount of time, during which other bad things can get you.
To move the candymeleon you just tilt the device back and forth, and tap the screen to unleash its tongue. You can consume candies if they get close enough without using your tongue, but keep in mind this applies to the bad candies as well, since apparently the candymeleon can’t tell the difference without your help. As you continue to play the same game you’ll go through various levels which introduce more types of bad things and generally just get harder. As you complete games and achievements you’ll actually advance levels from a skill perspective, which means you’ll unlock new locations, power ups and candymeleons. The power-ups are active when unlocked, but power up upgrades as well as the unlocked candymeleons and locations must be purchased using coins that you earn during play or buy with real money via IAP.
There are two game play modes in CandyMeleon: Tournament and Time Attack. If you really want to challenge yourself, play Time Attack. You get 60 seconds to start, and while they seem to have dispensed with all the evil except for the bad candies, every good candy you get knocks 2 seconds off the clock. You also don’t get all the upgrades you’ve acquired in Tournament mode, and it’s quite difficult to even earn a single star out of the three available on each level. For now I’ll stick with Tournament mode to keep this a truly casual experience, though it’s nice they’ve included Time Attack for the more seasoned player. The game has all the usual connections with Game Center, Facebook and Twitter so you can stay socially in the loop as well.
Visually the game is cute, with bright, cartoon like graphics. The candymeleon makes some amusing facial expressions if you can take a couple seconds to pay attention amongst all the chaos. The backgrounds are nicely drawn and sometimes look like paintings. The sound effects compliment the Saturday morning feel of the game, and the music is light and bouncy to keep your spirits upbeat and maybe even your toes tapping.
I think mobile devices have become synonymous with casual games, which makes perfect sense. The theory is that you won’t be spending a lot of time at once in front of them, unlike playing a PC game or visiting a virtual world on your console. As such, CandyMeleon is a perfect fit for your mobile collection. The game is simple, fun and addictive, and it hits the trifecta of usefulness: pass it off to your kids to keep them occupied, keep it for yourself when you want to play without thinking, or actually sit and take turns playing it with your kids.
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||5.0|