Are you addicted to Candy Crush?

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

By Brooke Strickland

You might not be shooting an enemy, killing a dragon, or rescuing the princess, but if you have spent endless hours on your computer or smartphone playing Candy Crush Saga and you go to bed dreaming of colorful candies, then you’re probably showing signs of being addicted to the game.



In fact, one article calls Candy Crush Saga “insanely addictive” and says that even though it’s not super clever, it still might be one of the world’s most addictive games out there right now. (1)

Why is it so addictive? The rules are pretty straightforward, it doesn’t take much creative use of brain power, and there are almost 400 levels which give the brain new encounters, making the game even more appealing.  There are also rewards that come at unexpected time, which excites players, because they never know when their next special power will be granted to them.  Players can log on and play for 4 minutes or 4 hours – it doesn’t matter, there is no time limit on the game, like other online games available today.  They can take as long as they want, as long as they don’t use all their moves before the level is complete. This removes pressure and adds leisure to the game, and the longer players sit and play the game, the more likely they are to become addicted.

Candy Crush Saga gives users the opportunity to challenge themselves with bright, eye candy (literally) and the makers of the game, is reaping huge rewards because of users’ addiction to the game. The game is now number one on Facebook, even crushing the ever-popular game, Farmville.  There are more than 150 million registered Candy Crush users on Facebook and more than 45 million people play the game in the month.  (2)

Pattern matching games like this and other well-known games like Tetris or Dr. Mario engage your brain for a while, but it soon becomes fatigued. Without special moves or powers, games like this can’t give individuals the accolades or sense of achievement like other games do.  It might give a temporary rush of excitement when you initially play, but these games give no long-lasting feelings of worth for players.

Sure, it just might be a puzzle made of candy and if used in moderation, it can challenge you and get those brain juices flowing.  But if Candy Crush Saga has become something that you think about all the time and your adrenaline begins rushing when you simply think about playing it, it’s time to consider your use of the game. Are you abusing it? Are you neglecting other parts of your life to play the game? Internet and game addiction is real. Read more about it in Hooked on Games.

  1. 1. Pressman, Aaron. “Candy Crush: Insanely Addictive Today, but Likely on Borrowed Time.” The Exchange, Yahoo Finance. July 11, 2013.  Accessed July 14, 2013.
  2. 2. Edwards, Jim. “9 Facts You Never Knew About The Staggering Size of the Company That Makes ‘Candy Crush Saga’”. Business Insider. July 5, 2013. Accessed July 14, 2013.