Scrubby Dubby Saga Review

Scrubby Dubby Saga Review

Dec 31, 2015

Matching pieces is always fun, and King looks to prove as much with Scrubby Dubby Saga, a new entry on Google Play.

Scrubby Dubby Saga works as a sliding match-three adventure, and is set up as such. One gets bright colors, rows against columns, and a grid set against bright naturescapes and beautifully blue sky. It incorporates rather smooth animations and explosive sequences, and the pieces in this one are whimsically shaped bars of soap. It looks and feels like an arcade game, and developer’s King’s hand is clearly at work in this one.sds3

Gameplay is a easy to understand: yep, the underlying idea is to line up three pieces of the same shape and color to dissolve them; doing so is accomplished by sliding an entire row up or down a column (or left/right across a row) to move a matching piece in place. When a set of three is created, they dissolve and are replaced “naturally” by pieces that cascade randomly from the top, such that the pieces are replaced and the grid remains full. If another set of three is created by a replacement cascade, they also dissolve, and the sequence continues till there isn’t a match of three that is active.

The game is leveled, and each stanza gives one objectives, such as getting a set number of soap pieces dissolved so as to move on. This takes a bit of cunning, as one needs to be able to strategize a bit. As the game goes on, the puzzles get more intricate, involving stuff like cages and such that require more maneuvering than usual, and creates challenges. When one tosses in the limited amount of moves per level and the possibility to create and use boosts (like from matching more than three pieces), one does get a compelling digital experience.

There is an energy requirement — failing to solve a level costs one a life — and as such, one can be patient and allow for replenishment over time, or expedite it with real cash.

Still, it’s mostly a fun ride.

Seriously though… with games like Candy Crush Saga and Farm Hero Saga as developmental stablemates, what would one expect?

Blossom Blast Saga Review

Blossom Blast Saga Review

Nov 27, 2015

And here comes Blossom Blast Saga. From King, no less.

Instead of the familiar bubbles one would kinda sorta expect, Blossom Blast Saga utilizes flower buds. The “hpw” does allow the game to set itself apart somewhat, and visually, the concept translates quite well. The aforementioned buds are quite colorful, coming in purple, yellow, read and peach, and as such, are mostly easily identifiable, especially on the gentle background. Beyond flower buds, the game utilizes other pieces, and these are represented well.

The playing area comes in landscape, and the basic idea is to make use of match-3 concepts to link buds of the same blast3color, which initiates graphical sequences that give the game a good dose of character. Linking three or more buds “pops” the buds, but the last one in the chain matures — and this is one fun, major aspect of the game.

See, the buds have different levels, ranging from mostly closed to blossomed. The idea is to mature them by said matching, or by contact from another set of matched pieces. In the game’s earliest levels, it still works like a lot of bubble shooters: cleared buds disappear, and are replaced by new buds of random maturity via virtual gravity.

Cleared buds yield points. There are point thresholds, up to three stars, and one has to make it to at least the first star to complete the level (barring other in-level goals); by the way, there are set number of moves per level.

And yes, the developer tosses in several other wrinkles to keep things interesting. As one goes on, several new gameplay elements make an appearance… stuff like roots for obstacles, glassed buds, buds that have a countdown number that causes them to blow when zero is reached and more. With a little bit of practice, the possibility of strategy becomes more apparent; creating cascades of exploding buds becomes a side goal that is challenging and even exciting.

It’s an easy, leveled gamethat is easy to get into and enjoy. The energy requirement is somewhat of a damper, but the game can be traversed quite well with patience if one rather not use real cash.

Bloom, baby. Bloom.

Blossom Blast Saga Launches on Google Play

Blossom Blast Saga Launches on Google Play

Nov 4, 2015

Prolific mobile game publisher King is back at it with a new title that just hit Android: Blossom Blast Saga.

Per Google Play:

Link your way through bee-autiful gardens full of colorful buds! Make the buds bloom to clear the flowerbeds before you run out of moves!

Link 3 or more buds of the same color to grow them. Sit back and watch as you set off an epic chain reaction of blooming flowers. If the chain begins to shake, you’re in for a big surprise!

Clear an entire flowerbed to get an ‘Awesome Blossom!’ but watch out for those weeds! It’s all about flower power so the more flowers you grow the better!

Take on this wonderful Saga alone or play with friends to see who can get the best score!

Blossom Blast Saga is free (with in-app purchases) on Google Play.

AlphaBetty Saga Makes its Way to the Amazon Appstore

AlphaBetty Saga Makes its Way to the Amazon Appstore

Jul 2, 2015

Hit word game AlphaBetty Saga is expanding its horizons by becoming more available: it is now out on the Amazon Appstore.

AlphaBetty – a fun, new word game from the makers of Candy Crush Saga and Farm Heroes Saga – King’s first, social, mobile word game!

Challenge your skills in a brand new, free word game that will take you on a rip-roaring adventure to the far-flung corners of the mouse world! Join Professor Alpha, Betty and their loyal friend Barney as they embark on an epic quest to collect new words and complete the Encyclopedia of Everything!

Journey to exotic lands in this top new word game and puzzle your way through over 100 cheesetastic levels of letter-linking fun!

Collect special characters on your travels to help you along the way, but watch out for those mousetraps and creeping vines!

Play on your own or take on your friends to see who can get the highest score in the best game to ever ignite your word skills!

Let the adventure begin!

AlphaBetty Saga is completely free to play, but some in-game items such as extra moves or lives will require payment.

We had an opportunity to review the game recently, and liked it; it is available for free (with in-app purchases).

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[Our Review]

AlphaBetty Saga Review

AlphaBetty Saga Review

Jun 22, 2015

Yes, AlphaBetty Saga is a word game, but clearly wants folks to know it is more than simply that; it packs in elements across the board, from Scrabble, word search, matching, and even a lit bit of Tetris-y gravity play… and then some. It does a lot, which helps it come out the gate strong.

At first glance, it’s easy to see developer King’s handprint on the visuals. The game employs bright colors and graphics that lean towards the whimsical without necessarily stumbling into the cartoonish. As a word game, it relies heavily on tiles, but the developer isn’t so jaded as to forget splashing character into the background. It’s a vivid presentation, and it mostly works in the plying area, which usually consists of random word tiles.

The gameplay, as noted, is a conglomeration of concepts. The core concept is the word search using tiles that hearken to word formation games. Using gestures, one can “dissolve” tiles by forming letters with them; the forming rules are fairly liberal, and one slide forwards, backwards and diagonally, and even cross each other. As long as the stream is connected by adjacent letters and it is a recognized word, it’ll probably count. When a word is made, the letters used to form it disappear, and. the resulting gaps are filled by randomized cascading new tiles. As one would expect, longer words are good, and it’s possible to earn power-ups and to make use of the occasional special tile that drops in.

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It’s around this cornerstone a lot of the gameplay is built; the leveled gameplay has the player complete tasks like dropping an item or group of items from the top of the grid to the bottom, or popping a set number of special bubble tiles, using formed words. To up the ante, there is usually a set number of moves one can make per level, so strategizing becomes key. Each level is graded on a three-star system.

Added all together, it makes for a relatively engaging experience. There is an energy requirement, but it can be alleviated by prior success or real money.

When it’s all said and done, AlphaBetty Saga is a cool journey that is easy to pickup and consume in tailored gulps, and that’s why it’d probably a safe bet to try.

Candy Crush Soda Saga Arrives on Amazon Appstore

Candy Crush Soda Saga Arrives on Amazon Appstore

May 30, 2015

The popular King game Candy Crush Soda Saga is now available on the Amazon Appstore. This means that the game is now available to folks who access the store from Fire devices and other Android phones and tablets.

Product Description
Download Candy Crush Soda Saga for free now. It’s Sodalicious

Candy Crush Soda Saga is a brand new game from the makers of the legendary Candy Crush Saga. New candies, more divine combinations and challenging game modes brimming with purple soda

Candy Crush Soda Saga is completely free to play, but some in-game items such as extra moves or lives will require payment.

By downloading this game you are agreeing to our terms of service about.king.com/consumer-terms/terms

New Candy Crush Soda Saga features

Over 350 Sodalicious levels
New Game Modes include
Soda – switch bottles and candies to release purple soda and save the Candy Bears
Frosting – match candies to smash the ice and set the Candy Bears free
Honey – match candies next to the honey to release the trapped Candy Bears
Scrumptious new candies and sublime new combinations
Match 4 candies in a square to make a Swedish Fish
Match 7 candies to create the remarkable Coloring Candy
Explore juicy new environments and meet the kookiest characters
Mouth-watering new graphics, Candy Crush never looked so tasty
Easy and fun to play, yet challenging to fully master
For players that Facebook Connect, there are leaderboards for you and your friends to compare your Sodalicious scores
Easily sync the game between mobile and tablet devices and unlock the full game features when connected to the internet

This mouth-watering puzzle adventure will instantly quench your thirst for fun. Join Kimmy on her juicy journey to find Tiffi, by switching and matching your way through new dimensions of magical gameplay. Take on this Sodalicious Saga alone or play with friends to see who can get the highest score

Te game is free to play, and offers in-app purchases.

Candy Crush Saga and Pet Rescue Saga Get Unlimited Lives Special Offer

Candy Crush Saga and Pet Rescue Saga Get Unlimited Lives Special Offer

Sep 26, 2014

Fans of Candy Crush Saga and Pet Rescue Saga that use the Amazon Appstore are in for a treat: for a limited time, if one buys a a booster in-app in any of the games, one gets unlimited lives for two hours.

It is a limited time offer that is running from September 26th through September 28th 2014, so make hay while the sun shines.

Both games are massively popular titles from developer King; they both feature variations on match gameplay. Puzzles are a part of the latter, and boosts and such make up a good portion of the gameplay.

Both Candy Crush Saga and Pet Rescue Saga are available for free (each with in-app purchasing) on the Appstore.

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Bubble Witch Saga 2 from King Coming Soon, Returning to the Bubble-Popping Well That Got King Started on Mobile

Bubble Witch Saga 2 from King Coming Soon, Returning to the Bubble-Popping Well That Got King Started on Mobile

May 21, 2014

King has announced Bubble Witch Saga 2. This game is the sequel to one of the free-to-play behemoth’s first mobile games, bringing more bubble popping to the masses, with improved graphics and new character designs, improved controls for mobile, and of course tons of challenging new levels, where players must be careful with their bubbles, as they have a limited supply to complete each level. The game has soft-launched on iOS in Holland, and should be worldwide soon for mobile platforms and Facebook.

Opinion: Why King Has Both a Moral and Legal Obligation to Gaming in Defending its “Candy” and “Saga” Trademarks

Opinion: Why King Has Both a Moral and Legal Obligation to Gaming in Defending its “Candy” and “Saga” Trademarks

Jan 23, 2014

Editor’s Note: This piece solely represents the opinion of the author.

There’s a big difference between doing what is legal and what is right, and King, though they may be in the legal right with their trademarks for “candy” and “saga” that they have registered, proof that they are in the moral right is not forthcoming.

For those who haven’t followed King and the candy trademark saga of the past week, here’s a short rundown:

Gamezebo reported that King is trying to trademark the word “Candy” in reference to video games and other products, and is threatening other developers who use the term “Candy” in their titles.

As well, it was revealed that they have filed for the trademark for the term “Saga” and are opposing the trademark application for the game The Banner Saga, which is about vikings – and not a casual puzzle game.

A screenshot of The Banner Saga. As evidenced, not Candy Crush Saga in the slightest, but seemingly, that legally irrelevant.

A screenshot of The Banner Saga. As evidenced, not Candy Crush Saga in the slightest, but seemingly, that is legally irrelevant.

Now, as Polygon’s article on the issue points out, trademark holders have a duty to protect trademarks or else they can lose them. “Aspirin” used to be a brand name in the US, owned by Bayer, until it fell into common use as a genericized term and now anyone can legally use the word aspirin. King themselves have used this defense in a statement on the opposition to The Banner Saga trademark.

And even this isn’t anything new: plenty of other generic words have become copyrighted in specific instances. Apple is a good example. Even Android is a trademark of Google. But that doesn’t mean that Apple can restrict the use of the word “apple” to describe the fruit, or for companies outside their business, and Google can’t restrict the word android to mean a humanoid robot. Trademarks are not unlimited. But for games, they often do represent the entirety of gaming, even though the games King makes are different from what other companies make.

Candy Crush Saga 1

It’s all a complicated situation, but King deserves at least some credit for having released statements regarding these issues. But there are two reasons why there should not be any tears shed for King, and why developers are being hurt:

King’s goal has been quite explicitly to make money and a lot of it. Their games are designed in such ways that they are meant to be popular and to allow players to spend unlimited amounts of money. And spend they have. Candy Crush Saga has been one of the most lucrative games of the past 12 months across iOS, Android, and Facebook. King quite simply wanted to be in this situation where they would be so popular that they would have products others would want to exploit for their own financial gain. They made this bed they’re lying in now.

The other thing that being rich and successful provides is the opportunity to pay for lawyers – good ones at that – and have them be merely a drop in the bucket in terms of expenses. Compare this to the average financially-solvent independent developer that has merely a barebones legal budget if anything. They can’t fight King. This allows King to effectively enforce their will merely by existing.

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See the case of Rocketcat Games’ Wayward Saga. They may have to change the name of their upcoming game solely because they feel like they could not fight King’s lawyers.. And King is legally compelled to do so.

Wayward-Saga

And the name change comes at a cost: their game has been reported on as being Wayward Saga. They’re now causing brand confusion before release. This impacted Vlambeer, where they changed the name of their early access game Wasteland Kings to Nuclear Throne due to potential trademark confusion with InXile, creators of the Wasteland series. This came after its highly-publicized announcement as Wasteland Kings.

Anecdotally, I have discussed Nuclear Throne with multiple people who follow gaming, but they didn’t know what I was referring to until I let them know it was formerly Wasteland Kings. While this issue has smoothed out over time, it was a problem.

But here’s the thing with the Wasteland Kings situation that King has yet to do: InXile reached out to Vlambeer in a personal level to let them know their concerns. And Rami Ismail said it best: “We’ve been through a lot of trouble with people riding on things of ours, and we understand that American trademark law is pretty strict in that not defending a trademark weakens it. We realize that both games are set in a similar setting, that the names are similar and that InXile obviously felt the need to reach out. Although we aren’t sure Wasteland Kings and Wasteland are confusing enough for this to be an issue, both us and InXile really don’t want to spend development time on arguing over trivialities.”

NuclearThrone

“Most of all, we appreciate that the first contact between us was by a normal employee, and not a lawyer. There was no extravagant Cease & Desist-letter, nor a threatening letter in an envelope labelled ‘URGENT’. The e-mail we received was short, amicable and to-the-point. It was followed up by a quick conversation on Skype, in which we established that it would be the right thing for us to change the name.

This is the way business should work nowadays: between people, not companies, not lawyers, not departments. There’s so much paperwork between one and another that it’s easy for people to forget that they’re dealing with people instead of numbers and dossiers. Things can be friendly, rather than formal for the sake of formality.”

And that’s how King needs to approach this, not just as the billion-dollar corporation that solves its problems with lawyers and statements to the press, but as humans. Yes, they have valid reasons for defending terms like “Candy” and “Saga”, especially the latter which is used as a brand by them for multiple games. But trademark coexistence agreements do exist. And King could take steps – and public ones at that – to balance their duties of defending their trademark against actual scammers, while allowing for reason to rule the day.

No one will confuse The Banner Saga or Wayward Saga with Candy Crush Saga. So King could instead make sure that those games can exist, while also protecting themsevles from the actually malicious.

It can be done. And King, by being a company that wanted to become rich and powerful – and succeeded – has no reason to not dedicate some resources to be a good citizen, instead of using lawyers to solve everything.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown, King. And right now, that is the head of a misguided tyrant, threatening those who do not truly stand in their way. But it’s time to become a benevolent monarch. Trademarks are important and have valid uses, but legality and morality are entirely different things.

Papa Pear Saga – King To Bring Its Popular Physics-Based Facebook Game To Android Devices This Fall

Papa Pear Saga – King To Bring Its Popular Physics-Based Facebook Game To Android Devices This Fall

Aug 20, 2013

King has announced that it will release its popular Facebook game, Papa Pear Saga, on Android devices this fall. It currently reaches over 4 million players each day on Facebook and it will soon bring over 120 levels of that same addictive physics-based gameplay to Android.

“Papa Pear Saga is different to any of our other games. It still possesses that core King puzzle quality, but it will be our first mobile Saga game to have a physics element which we think will translate very well to mobile and tablet game play,” said Riccardo Zacconi, CEO and co-founder of King, in a press release.

papapearsaga

Pet Rescue Saga, King’s Newest Addictive Puzzle Game, Launches on Android

Pet Rescue Saga, King’s Newest Addictive Puzzle Game, Launches on Android

Jun 13, 2013

King, the mobile gaming behemoth behind the ultra-popular Candy Crush Saga that has replaced FarmVille as the go-to reference for an “uber-popular game that everyone and their mother is playing,” is launching their latest mobile game, Pet Rescue Saga, which is available today on Google Play.

Much like their other titles, this is a block-destroying puzzle game. Players must tap on blocks to destroy multiples of the same color, though single blocks can’t be destroyed. Eliminating a column will shift all blocks to the left. This shifting becomes important, because certain obstructions on the playing field will seaparte some blocks from others. Thus, getting some blocks to a point where in order to get them touching other blocks and to actually remove them, a column must be removed. The game is set up to where if a match can’t be made, then the top block gets removed automatically and the next row fills up.

Pet_Rescue_coverpage

This seems helpful, right? Well, yes and no. Well, the key to success in many levels is to destroy a certain percentage of blocks. So ones that get eliminated automatically become a real problem. Of course, performing well means that three stars can be attained. Some levels feature pets that must reach the bottom in order to complete objectives as well.

PRS Screenshot 1

Along the way, players can use powerups that can be bought in order to make progressing and succeeding much easier. There’s pickaxes for eliminating single blocks. A color pop can eliminate all blocks of a single color. There’s one powerup that has to be earned and charged up while playing, a rocket that goes up and clears a single line entirely.

Of course, it’s possible to connect to Facebook to compete for high scores and to get friends to gift extra lives to keep a game going. Who wants to wait? Waiting is for suckers. That’s at least what King hopes. All the elements that make their games so popular and addictive – the social elements, 72 challenging levels, and of course the gameplay that’s “simple to learn but difficult to master” as the old adage goes. Those who have started playing the game on Facebook can login with the same account and continue their game on the go, or vice versa.

Android gamers will get to play Pet Rescue Saga starting today, with the game available on Google Play.