Welcome to the world of addictive gaming apps.
Last year we heard that the creator of Flappy Bird was taking his app offline, because it was too addictive and he felt bad. We all have those friends who keep their eyes glued to their screens while others are having conversations (if you don’t then you are that friend), and everyone remembers Farmville requests. Addictive apps are those games that you play just before bed, only to discover that it is 2am and you still haven’t completed THAT level.
The most downloaded free gaming app for 2014 on the App store and the Google Play store, was Candy Crush. If you need me to explain what this game is about, then I suggest you get out from under that rock. Candy Crush players spent over $1.33bn in 2014 and new levels are added all the time.
As if that wasn’t enough, the creators of Candy Crush released Soda Saga last year October. While the graphics are pretty similar, this game is more of a challenge than its predecessor.
Panda Pop is a game that I like to occasionally play. Although not made by the makers of Candy Crush and Soda Crush, it is equally as addictive. You are a mommy panda that has to save her panda cubs from the mean Monkey King who, for some reason unbeknownst to me, has hidden them in bubbles. As the panda mom you get to aim at the different bubbles in order to free your kids. (Pandas don’t really know how to mate, so why this mom panda has like 7 offspring is no short of a miracle).
While all of the above games can be addictive, a common feature is that once you run out of lives, you either need to beg your Facebook friends or buy some more lives. My boyfriend has become a fan (read addict) of Panda Pop and when he runs out of lives, he simply turns back the time on his iPhone. This way he gets new lives instantly without having to spend money or annoy his Facebook friends. That was until I spoke to him on Monday at lunch.
“I only got to work at like 10 this morning.”
“That’s unusual for you. Didn’t your alarm go off?”
“It was set to Sunday instead of Monday.”
“That’s weird… oh wait.”
“You know you have a problem when addictions start to interfere with your work.”
More silence… and then “I’m not addicted!”
Read more of my digital musings over at Tech Girl.