LUV - Modern games are far too complicated. I got Hitman: Absolution for Christmas, and I’ve still only played it once. I got put off by the bit where you have to crouch under a counter for 15 minutes, then kill a chef, then clear up all trace of his murder, then dress up in his clothes, then hang around somewhere else for an hour – by which time you’ve forgotten what all the buttons do, so you accidentally shoot someone in the face and then, instead of running away from all the people who are now shooting at you, you just end up crouching down again and again like an angry idiot trying to fart on an ant.
I don’t have time for shit like that, which is why I’ve fallen so hard for Candy Crush. It’s the simplest game in the world. There are no people, just row after row of brightly-coloured sweets. Arrange them into groups of three and they disappear. Make enough of them disappear and you win the level. That’s it. Remember Bejewelled? It’s just like Bejewelled, except there are sweets instead of jewels so it isn’t really the same at all.
The beauty of Candy Crush is that you make order out of chaos. Everyone likes order, don’t they? A place for everything and everything in its place. Sometimes even the knowledge that there’s an app on my phone containing a load of jumbled-up sweets is too much to bear. When this happens, I have to get my phone out immediately and start playing. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing. The sweets are more important. There must be order.
And then sometimes I’ll close my eyes and all I can see are rows and rows of brightly-coloured sweets. All they want is to be slid into place. That’s all they want. So, regardless of what I’m doing – watching TV, operating heavy machinery, listening to a loved one tell me something important – I’ll start frantically arranging the sweets. They can’t be left as they are. They can’t. They’ll hurt me if they are. They’ll crawl into my dreams and dance around, dressed up as evil clowns, laughing and stabbing me in the back of my eyes with their flaming tridents of vomit. I have to put them into place. I HAVE to.
And sometimes, just to play a trick on you, Candy Crush will tell you that you have to stop for 30 minutes to, I dunno, wash or eat or something. Those jokers! They know that every second not spent organising sweets into beautiful little rows is like spending an entire lifetime being slit open and sprayed with vinegar in hell. They know that.
Oh, sure, Candy Crush will let you play again sooner if you tell all your Facebook friends that you’re playing Candy Crush. But you won’t do that because you don’t want everyone to know that your entire existence has devolved to the point where you’re constantly alone and hungry and covered in your own shit, fruitlessly shoving a never-ending stream of pixels around with your fingers forever to absolutely no gain at all. Oh god, this is agony. Send help.
HA HA, just kidding! I love Candy Crush! I LOVE IT! HA HA HA!
(No, really, I mean it. The sweets are making me say this. They said they’ll hurt me if I don’t. I can hear them, you know. SEND HELP)
- Stuart Heritage
HAT - Fucking Candy Crush. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. I hate it.
I hate it partly because it’s turned me into a twitchy, swivel-eyed Candy Crush junkie. The sort of person who takes her phone into the toilet, then spends twenty minutes in the loo. Several times a day! By now my phone must be encrusted with poo spores, but that doesn’t matter. Dysentery can be treated. Even cholera can be overcome. But I’ve been stuck on fucking level 35 of Candy Crush for over a week now, and I cannot. Let it. Beat me.
I keep finding myself humming the opening bars of the Father Ted theme, because it reminds me of the Candy Crush song. Even tapping out these letters on the keyboard is difficult, because my fingers naturally want to float up towards the screen and swipe them across the page instead. It is a PROBLEM.
The worst thing about Candy Crush, though, is how neatly it brings home just how stupid I really fucking am.
I don’t strictly know my nine times table, or what a gerund really is (even though it’s sort of my job), but I’ve fudged through life under the impression that I’m at least reasonably intelligent because I can (sometimes) complete (children’s) crosswords, and I read books (or used to, before I downloaded Candy Crush onto my Kindle).
But Candy Crush has forced me to accept my own idiocy. It began so simply – line up three sweets on a grid and they go pouf. Ooh, fun! I remember thinking, Exploding Skittles Tetris! But, now I’m progressing up the levels and have to create longer lines of sweets on boards that are increasingly shaped like Swastikas, I realise that:
1. It’s not Exploding Skittles Tetris at all. It’s Exploding Skittles Chess.
2. I’ve never learned to play Chess.
In Chess you need to think at least two steps ahead, and I don’t have the brain power for that. I’m so ignorant that I think one of the Chess pieces is called a ‘horsie’. I’m so stupid that, if I’d been Harry Potter I would have died playing Wizard Chess at the end of the first film. That’s right, I said ‘film’, not ‘book’ – THAT’S HOW MUCH OF A DUMKOPF I AM.
Genuinely, the lowest moment of my life was when I Googled ‘Candy Crush level 35 cheat’. Then I encountered a lower moment when I watched the video and realised it was made by a bored eight year-old. Then there was a lower moment still, when it occurred to me that I didn’t understand the video or how to beat the level.
I am basically a Neanderthal. I just want to make sweets go pouf. But I can’t because I’m too stupid. That’s what Candy Crush has done to me, and that’s why I HAT it.
- Robyn Wilder