By Marisa Ross
I remember the first time I saw that flash of pastel-colored shapes. With a single zap, parallel lines and explosive bursts of color whizzed by as new pieces floated down and a deep voice emitted a heavy “deliiiiiciouussss.”
While on a train nearly two years ago, a stranger was playing what I now know to be Candy Crush Saga on his cellphone. At the time, I thought it was a knockoff version of Bejeweled Blitz. The changing colors and swiping motions he made intrigued me, but I couldn’t figure out just what the game was.
I discovered it during the summer of 2013 when the trendy game became popular. Today, Candy Crush still ranks as one of the highest grossing apps on the App Store.
Like my friends, I downloaded it, and, like them, I became slowly addicted. But my case was a bit more extreme.
No, really. I am addicted.
I am currently at level 696 on the original version of the game and level 397 on the Dreamworld extension. If it took me an average of 20 minutes to pass each level, that’s about 363 hours of my life spent playing Candy Crush.
Fifteen whole consecutive days out of my life, people.
That’s a pretty insane amount of time spent on a simple game, but I am not alone.
While some satirical organizations like Rock City Times mock the idea of Candy Crushers Anonymous, it is a legitimate necessity.
What makes this game, as well as other colorful games, so addictive?
Time Magazine says the colorful appearance “taps into our inner child,” and the visual aspect lures us in with its playful hues.
Psychology experts in the article say it’s a mix of different factors, including the need for control, the anticipation of replenished lives, the rewards system and a temporary escape from stress. Also notable in the game’s design is its appeal to color theory.
Furthermore, it is scientifically proven that people respond differently to alternating color combinations, according to The Guardian.
Fruity, fun, flavorful and friendly — rainbow-related colors are inviting and positive. The bright game wouldn’t have as many players if its color scheme was dark and dreary, would it?
King, the game’s creator, had a good idea of how to get us hooked. After Candy Crush, King has continued to reel in followers with its colorful games such as Pet Rescue Saga and Bubble Witch Saga.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have candies to crush.