This is what it’s all about in the world of “apps you buy to stop yourself from playing Candy Crush because it is a frankly dehumanising experience and you hate yourself for it every time you reach for your phone”. Simple, tasteful design.
Reaction of genuine, anonymous Candy Crush addict: “This one feels good to play. A bit like some kind of activity designed for non-human life-forms. I’ll be honest though: I don’t quite understand what I’m doing. I’m playing it, but have no idea why.”
Beat our score: level 2. Then we gave up.
This one looks and plays the most like “The Crush”. But Two Dots trades the hellish candy motifs of its vulgar, blockbusting counterpart for smugly minimal circles. An app to impress the high-born ladies at your Japanese History of Art class.
Candy Crush addict says: “Totally satisfying in the same way Candy Crush is. Far more elegant though. Crucially, it occupies your brain without requiring too much mental resource. The effort-put-in-to-satisfaction-derived ratio is perfect. Also: you can play with one hand. Good for when you’re holding coffee.
Beat our score: level 154.
A nice origami-themed one, similar to Strata, but way easier to get your head around. It’s great. Really satisfying “paper-folding” sound effects used throughout too. The kind of game you want to put on your mantelpiece.
Candy Crush addict says: “Looks great. I felt smug playing it on the way to work. It’s more of a puzzle too, so you feel smart, not just happy, while playing it. Actually if it was longer I’d have said this was the best one. But it ran out too quickly.”
Beat our score: finished it, mate.
Another spacey, minimal puzzler that, like Classic FM, goes to great lengths to tell you just how “relaxing” it is. Arrange coloured bars (geddit?) to make them go away.
Candy Crush addict says: “Pretty good. It’s easy to ‘get’, with quite a lot of satisfaction generated each time you complete a level. But it does get boring. Not to mention the design aspect of it – the bubbly alcohol theme – is naff and completely pointless.”
Beat our score: level 34.
Tetris‘ cool younger brother who spent three years organising minimal house events in Berlin. Relaxing and stimulating, like skinny-dipping in a moonlit lake of pure ambiance. Until, like Tetris, it starts speeding up.
Candy Crush addict says: “This one’s enjoyable. But it gets pretty stressful as it speeds up and the whole point of these things is to not stress me out. Also, the fact there’s no levels, it’s essentially one infinite level, somehow really underlines how pointless the whole activity is.”
Beat our score: 51,000.
An international festival of light
Dinner in a decommissioned 1967 underground carriage
Half-price brunch and a HUGE fried chicken burger