May 29, 2014
“Candy Crush would be better if you replace the candy with bees. And of course, those bees love to dance to disco music.”
If those thoughts have ever crossed your mind, Disco Bees is the perfect Candy Crush clone for you. Disco Bees has its own unique charm but in terms of gameplay, it is a mirror image of Kingâ€™s popular candy-matching title.
Players must rescue bees trapped inside their honeycombed hives by matching a line of at least three same-colored bees. Just as in Candy Crush, there are additional challenges that arise in levels as players progress through the game, including clearing out honey and collecting pollen. All of this must be done within a set amount of moves.
In order to conquer these more difficult obstacles, players can unlock superpowered bees by matching up four or more bees. Bees can be moved vertically or diagonally to make matches and clear the board. Supercharged bees will clear whole sections of bees in a single move. That is all there is to gameplay but the simplistic charm makes Disco Bees accessible and addictive.
Disco Bees is free to download but it is monetized through microtransactions. While it never truly requires players to shell out real money, frustrated users are encouraged to drop a few dollars in order to pass levels or unlock new hives. Disco Bees most obvious attempt to invade playersâ€™ wallets is by limiting their lives. Players are only allowed to fail a certain number of times before being forced to pay or put down the game. If users fail too often, they will have to wait before earning the ability to continue.
Each level contains a three-star scoring system that grades playersâ€™ performance. Points are racked up as players clear out bees and complete challenges. The gameâ€™s first 25 levels are divided into two hives but to advance any further beyond that point, users must earn three stars on each level or be willing to spend some cash. Although Disco Bees offers an alternative to paying, it is disappointing to get into a nice groove with the game only to have the flow disrupted by microtransactions.
Disco Beesâ€™ appeal comes from its bright and vivid color palette and its characterization of cute bees. Setting off a chain of colorful events as bees buzz across the screen is only made more rewarding when animations tell you that move was â€œbeeautiful.â€ The bright colors make the game seem like it is geared towards a younger audience, but all players canâ€™t help but enjoy the happiness-evoking visuals.
Unfortunately, the allure provided by the adorable bees quickly wears off due to the overuse of bee puns. From the start screen to the menus and even during moments of gameplay, phrases such as “bee prepared” and “beegin” appear all too often.
While Disco Bees has its own unique charm, players will be left feeling like theyâ€™ve been here and done this beforeâ€”because they have, only with less microtransactions. Instead of a Candy Crush clone, Disco Bees should buzz off and try to bee itself.