#1 By: Mark Frauenfelder, July 3rd, 2013 14:33
"In the last 10 days, I’ve spent $21, repeatedly drained my phone battery, and blown a deadline for the first time in years—all so I could play a game for which I have absolutely no aptitude. I’ve been tapping away at Candy Crush Saga on the subway (like half of New York), in front of… READ THE REST
#2 By: Jeff Atwood, July 3rd, 2013 14:36
I hear that Triple Town game is similarly addictive.
#3 By: Stefan Jones, July 3rd, 2013 14:47
I've gotten sucked into games like that . . . fortunately, on a PC, which meant it took a while to start up and I couldn't take it with me.
The sheer availability of time-suck games, thanks to tablets and smart phones, makes them especially damaging.
I've went totally cold-turkey on computer games. The last game I played was a solitaire adventure for Tunnels & Trolls, requiring dice and scratch paper and lots of page flipping. The frustrations and virtual absence of "eyeball kicks" makes it easy to walk away from.
#4 By: incarnedine_v, July 3rd, 2013 15:14
It's called Aquaria, and it's what you should be playing instead of this drek.
#5 By: Noah Django Gross, July 3rd, 2013 15:32
growing up i never had a console, but loved to play in the arcade or laundromat etc. when i was in highschool, the NES had it's boom and the people my mom worked for didn't want me to be excluded so they gifted me one. it was instant crack. i wasn't allowed tv or games before homework but since I got home hours before my mom, I would play secretly, listen for my mom's car, and scramble to shut everything down when she got home. this is Super Mario Brothers I'm talking about. after some months, i finally got to the castle and defeated Koopa only to be told the princess was in another castle. set to work on the second world (night time, no turtles just beetles.) some days or weeks later, i eventually beat the second Koopa. "the princess is in another castle." dog, are you fucking kidding me?
I had what addicts call a moment of clarity. I was getting a video fix, and i had to go behind my mom's back to do it. I never played that NES again and eventually gave it to my friend. I never dreamed that we as a generation would all still be playing video games as adults. I thought my generation would be the one to not smoke, either, since we had access to facts about tobacco addiction from a young age ¯\(ツ)/¯
#6 By: Grace , July 3rd, 2013 17:58
I feel your pain, June. For me, it was 'Angry Birds - Star Wars'. I couldn't get on the board at Level 40 and acquire my longer light saber. I considered just taking the Kindle to a three year old and asking for some assistance, but I have my pride.
#7 By: fireshadow, July 3rd, 2013 18:44
I gave up all "social" games sometime last year because I got tired of having to ask people for help ... I immediately switched (unfortunately?) to once-a-day puzzle games, but they are once-a-day puzzle games that do not take much time or require me to be online at certain points. Better, right? Although a few days ago I found a logic puzzle site (http://www.logic-puzzles.org/) that I think is going to be problem for me ...
#8 By: adonai, July 3rd, 2013 19:25
It could be worse, the entire game could be pay to play
#9 By: xploder, July 3rd, 2013 19:43
It's great that you're really doing nothing more than playing Bejewelled...I lost patience with the damn thing (Bejewelled) when Twist came out. Glad to see someone else get sucked into the maelstrom...
#10 By: Jason, July 3rd, 2013 20:20
#11 By: Matt Jones, July 3rd, 2013 21:00
Interesting that a little while after I read Mark's post I found a link to this post at Daring Fireball that discusses all the ways the social games are extracting $$$$$$ from you. Candy Crush is mentioned specifically.
#12 By: ForeverZero, July 3rd, 2013 21:07
I feel compelled to bring this to your attention, Mark.
The Top F2P Monetization Tricks - www.gamasutra.com
I would like to bring special attention to this passage that I find very relevant to the tl;dr crowd;
King.com's Candy Crush Saga is designed masterfully in this regard. Early game play maps can be completed by almost anyone without spending money, and they slowly increase in difficulty. This presents a challenge to the skills of the player, making them feel good when they advance due to their abilities. Once the consumer has been marked as a spender (more on this later) the game difficulty ramps up massively, shifting the game from a skill game to a money game as progression becomes more dependent on the use of premium boosts than on player skills.
So the takeaway is "RUN! Save yourself while you still can!". I have walked this path many times now and I can tell you, it rarely ends well. Find a nice skill based game where the diffculty isn't made to pull more money out of you and avoid "Freemium" like the plague that it is.
Edit: sigh, ninj'd
#13 By: GWWebster, July 4th, 2013 13:23
I played it up until a level in the mid-110s, and then was suddenly struck with the fact that it has absolutely no redeeming qualities and was no fun at all. For what it's worth, I spent no money at all on it.
#14 By: GrrrlRomeo, July 5th, 2013 01:02
I read somewhere that 70% of the players on the last level haven't paid anything. I haven't paid and I'm on level 155.
It's only partly a puzzle game. Some levels can only be won by chance. Once I realized that a certain level couldn't be beaten with any amount of strategy, I just played it until I got the right magic combos by chance. No need to pay for luck.
#15 By: Acer Platanoides , July 5th, 2013 01:52
#16 By: cheem, July 5th, 2013 11:44
I think the king of monetization is Puzzles and Dragons right now. I know people who spend hundreds of dollars a month on that game. I guess you're paying to improve your pattern recognition skills...
#17 By: Chauncey S., July 6th, 2013 02:06
I'm on level 133 and haven't given the game a cent. Although I do know a lot of friends that have spent quite a substantial amount. My girlfriend's co-worker spent $221 over 5 days. She was late to the party so to speak, and must've felt compelled to get to the higher levels. People are nuts.
#18 By: Acer Platanoides , July 6th, 2013 09:14
Turning perfectly good money into pixels is a suckers game.
#19 By: Mark Frauenfelder, July 8th, 2013 14:33
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