Late last night, two of the most feverishly beloved figures in American culture surprised us with new releases. There was Beyonce, of course, and her out-of-nowhere new album that set Twitter aflame; and then there was Candy Crush Saga, the supremely popular iOS and Android app, which was updated to include a new world ruled by a narcoleptic owl (as opposed to the one you’re used to, which is overseen by a ginger Willy Wonka and his Gretel-like assistant.)
This new, equally addictive Owl world changes the way you play Candy Crush. But after wasting six hours and the contents of your wallet on extra lives and shortcuts only to find yourself stuck in the Owl Kingdom, you may conclude that an appropriate name for the new level might be “Purgatory.”
Anyway, here is an introduction to Candy Crush Saga’s new rules and characters. After reading this, you may want to block off an hour or fifty to explore for yourself:
To switch to the new world, tap on the sleeping blue owl on the upper right corner of the screen.
Odeus (that’s the owl) will then bring you into his personal hell, which looks very similar to regular Candy Crush, just with different colors.
Unlike Mr. Toffee, his sidekick Tiffi, and all of those other relentless beasts of the original Candy Crush world, Odeus does not simply bat his eyelashes and bark orders at you. No, his method of insult is far more complex. He cares so little about you that he literally SLEEPS in the left corner of your screen as you play your game.
Odeus is perched on a crescent. And on each of the crescent’s opposite points is a randomly assigned type of candy. For every piece of corresponding candy that’s crushed, a gust of sugar powder (or something that looks like sugar powder) fills the crescent’s left and right sides. Say you have orange Tic Tacs on the left of the crescent and a green Chicklet on the right. If you clear a haul of Chicklets, the crescent will swing left. If you demolish a load of blue gobstoppers, it will swing right.
All of that would be fine and dandy if it weren’t for the owl struggling to balance on his crescent as it rocks back and forth. If you are mindful of the crescent candy proportions, he will wobble peacefully. But say you let a colorbomb drop and clear too much of one candy? The owl loses his balance, falls off his crescent, and you’re back to square one.
Perhaps the only good thing about the owl is his occasional exit from the premise. This occurs when you’ve filled both sides of the crescent with equal proportions of crushed candy powder. At that moment, the crescent rises to the center of your screen—adopting the air of a powerful electric conductor—and shocks all of one color of candy off the screen. This is called “Moonstruck” — not to be confused with the 1987 rom-com starring Cher and Nicolas Cage, which is similarly electrifying.
Once you enable the Moonstruck feature, chaos ensues. The owl flees the premises, and the screen starts flashing like you’re in an invincibility session in Mario Kart 64. This is your chance to make whatever big moves you need to without having to take care of Odeus, who—let’s face it—displays all the classic signs of inebriation.
Within a minute or so, however, the owl returns to his perch. And the whole dance starts again.
Do you have half a day and a wad of cash reserved for this terrifically meaningless app? Neither do we! But that doesn’t mean we won’t spend it. See you in Purgatory.