I’ve heard a lot about Candy Crush Saga but consider myself lucky to have not been sucked into it’s hateful world of Ripping Off PopCap’s Bejewelled So It Can Sell As Many IAPs As Possible, and I have to admit I kind of look down my nose at people who haven’t been as fortunate as myself. I see them on public transport and in coffee shops, addicted to the tacky-looking rip-off, and wish I could just lean over and point them at any one of the huge range of Bejewelled clones out there that bring something new to the party. I’d be doing them a favour.
I guess the appeal is that it’s free; apparently the majority of the smartphone-owning public can afford hundreds of $$$ for their phone but won’t pony up a couple of bucks for a proper game experience, happy (and miserly) enough to make do with a freebie that perpetually puts up a barrier to their enjoyment unless they grind a few more gems or wait for a dumb timer to run out or pay an expendable fee or hassle some friends on Twitter or Facebook. Eurgh. What’s wrong with paying the one-time asking price for a proper game experience, people?
The other day I saw an advert on TV for the follow-up to Candy Crush Bejewelled Rip-Off Saga, something called Papa Pear Saga, and in keeping with King.com’s business plan as established by Candy Crush, Papa Pear Saga is another blatant rip-off of a PopCap game, Peggle, a genius videogame amalgam of old-school pastimes like pachinko and bagatelle and a game so wonderful and successful that it’s been ported to pretty much every modern gaming platform in the known universe.
Papa Pear Saga is Peggle with cheap graphics, cheap music, clumsy controls and empty level design. But of course they’ve thoughtfully made sure to hinder that ripped-off gameplay with timers, social-media pestering, and expendable IAPs, and the public has predictably been lapping it up.
Please don’t play Papa Pear Saga, and please don’t ever pay them one penny of the ransom they demand to let you continue playing. Please take a moment to look at Peggle. See the price? That putting you off? In exchange for that one time fee you’ll get masterful entertainment from one of the greatest casual game studios in the world, PopCap. Peggle has been honed to perfection. Anyone can play it, and it’s an absolute delight from start to finish. There’s even a sequel or two. And you’ll never, ever have to cough up expendable gems to progress, or wait for a dumb timer to elapse, or have to avoid tapping the IAP Shop button – because there isn’t one.
Please buy Peggle. It will love you for you, not for the size of your wallet. Papa Pear only loves you for your idiotic tendency to buy gems in return for permission to keep playing.
PS: There are indeed many games that copy the Bejewelled-style Match-3 gameplay, and I don’t lay the ‘rip off’ accusation at their door. Why? Because they bring something else to the party, a new twist of some kind. But most of all, they don’t just release games as Trojan Horse style vehicles for their hateful IAP bullshit. That’s the biggest issue here, beyond King.com’s dearth of game-design creativity of course.