Candy Crush Saga is absolutely crushing the competition in the App Store. Practically overnight, this addictive little puzzle became a smash hit. Somewhat similar to games like Bejeweled, Candy Crush tasks players with lining up three identical types of candy in a row, thereby clearing the row… and causing a chain reaction if you’re lucky.
The most recent version of Candy Crush Saga for iPhone features 335 levels, and the game’s popularity shows no signs of waning. If you want to make the most of your Candy Crush experience, this strategy guide offers plenty of tips, tricks, and observations to help you crush your current high score and beat those really tricky levels.
To Buy, Or Not To Buy: Should I Purchase Extra Moves, Bonus Lives, or Boosters?
Candy Crush Saga is free to play. However, you’ll notice that you do have the option to buy items via IAP, such as extra moves or bonus lives. Since those microtransactions can really add up, our strategy guide revolves around ways to master the game without relying on paid options.
That being said, the game does frustrate a lot of players because it feels like you’re constantly being nickel and dimed. If you want to play past the end of Lemonade Lake/Level 35, you’ll have to pay 99 cents. Since you have to make payments for new levels periodically, this is another reason this strategy guide doesn’t advocate the constant purchasing of candy boosters or the purchase of charms.
…some of the best boosters to pay for are the Lollipop Hammer, Jelly Fish, and Color Bomb…
As frustrating as it may be, you’ll save yourself a lot of money if you refuse to buy boosters in-game. You’ll still get boosters for free in-game periodically, so you won’t be left totally without bonuses as you progress through the various levels. If money is no object, however, some of the best boosters to pay for are the Lollipop Hammer, Jelly Fish, and Color Bomb. The Charm of Stripes, in my opinion, is horribly overpriced.
Candy Crush Saga Clear the Jelly Puzzle Strategy
There are three main types of levels in Candy Crush: clear the jelly, drop the ingredients and timed levels. Of these three, the clear the jelly levels are arguably the most challenging. While some levels feature jellies that can be cleared with a single match, some jellies take multiple matches to fully “dissolve.”
One strategy that’s helpful to employ in these levels is clearing the jellies from corners or other hard-to-reach places first. There’s nothing worse than getting down to your last couple of moves and not being able to clear that last corner block of its remaining jelly. If you do have a corner or awkward jelly block leftover near the end of the game and you don’t want to pay for extra moves, saving a coconut wheel booster until the very end of a level like this can help. A well-timed lollipop hammer can also get the job done.
In levels where you have multiple tiers of jelly blocks, it’s important to try and clear the jelly squares on the bottom tier first: the chain reaction you get from working on clearing the bottom jellies often clears the top level jellies in the same move! On levels where the jelly is all on the bottom of the board, try to clear rows, rather than columns, to maximize your impact.
In the Drop the Ingredient levels, your goal is to clear rows so that candy ingredients like cherries and hazelnuts can drop from the top of the board all the way down to the very bottom.
Candy Crush Drop the Ingredient Puzzle Strategy
You’ll want to scan the board on your first move and look for any opportunities to create special candies (made when matching 4 or more like colored candies.) Special candies can be matched to candies of the same color to clear an entire row, or swapped with a wrapped candy to clear huge swaths of the board.
…clearing huge swaths of the board at once is your best bet…
Four candies in a row creates a striped candy, five candies in a T or L shape creates a wrapped candy, and five candies in a row makes a color bomb. A striped candy clears a single row or column, while a wrapped candy clears a 3×3 grid. The color bomb clears all candies of a single color from the board. A wrapped candy and a striped candy combined will clear multiple rows and columns.
Considering the fact that most of these levels start with only one or two of the total collection of ingredients on the board, clearing huge swaths of the board at once is your best bet for getting all of the fruits and nuts onto the playing field in a small number of moves. You’ll also get a bonus if you can leave the special candies untouched on the board until the end of the game, but that can be tricky to pull off.
In general, if you work from the bottom of the board, you can cause the biggest shifts in the board’s layout. That being said, for your first few moves, it usually makes the most sense to drop the visible fruits by making matched rows or columns directly below the fruit’s location. These are the best level types to unleash the jelly fish boosters.
Candy Crush Timed Puzzle Strategy
Most Candy Crush Saga players argue that the timed puzzles are the easiest levels to beat on the first try. That being said, because the other two puzzle types can be played in such a stately, contemplative manner, the timed puzzles represent a challenging shift in gameplay style.
Try to ignore the timer, and just focus on making matches as quickly as possible. Whenever you see a “+5” candy, try to make a matching row with it to boost your available time for the level. As long as you work quickly, you shouldn’t have much trouble meeting the minimum score to complete the level successfully.
One thing you’ll want to look out for in the latest version of the game (Version 1.0.11 as of this writing) are the new Chameleon Candies. After any switch, these candies will change color, which can totally screw up your strategy if you’re trying to set up a 4 or 5 match.
Other Candy Crush Saga Puzzles Strategies
There are two other types of Candy Crush Saga Puzzles: Move & Score and Candy Order puzzles. Move & Score puzzles are the earliest and easiest puzzles in the game. If you simply make enough high-scoring matches, your final score will qualify you to move on to the next level.
Candy Order puzzles are a bit more tricky. In a Candy Order puzzle level, you will be asked to collect a certain number of candies by removing the wanted candies from the board. If you have not collected all the wanted candies before you run out of moves, you will need to repeat the level and you will lose a life. With focus and care, these levels are fairly easy to beat…especially if you can arrange for a special-wrapped match to clear a large chunk of the board in a single move.
Have anything to add to our Candy Crush Saga Strategy Guide? Share your own Candy Crush strategies, tips, and tricks with our readers below!
Candy Crush Saga is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.