Tuesday, July 2, 2013

365 Levels of Hell, or, Why I hate a certain popular matching puzzle game (and yet still keep playing)

I'm not usually the type to fall into trends right away. It always takes me a while to catch on-- I was late to Harry Potter, Twilight, Plants vs. Zombies, I still haven't read 50 Shades (though I don't plan to), and I rarely buy things right when they come out unless I'm really, really excited about them.

So it's taken me a while to decide that this game I kept hearing about on Facebook and Twitter was something I might be interested in playing.

This game, let's say it's called Fruit Flipping Journey, involves matching brightly colored "fruits" to a catchy, looping soundtrack against a whimsical fruity backdrop. It's pretty neat because it's not just about racking up points; each level has a particular goal and a certain amount of moves or minimum amount of points required to pass it.

But there's a problem.

Each time you play a level, the tiles are dealt randomly. Which means not every level is solvable every time. Especially when you have a low move count or a difficult goal, it can take you many tries to pass one. freaking. level.


It gets worse. You can only have five lives at a time. You accrue new lives every half hour, but only up to five.

I've been stuck a couple of times now. I was stuck about a week ago, for about a week. I must have replayed that stupid level over 60 times. Finally, I managed to pass it, through sheer perseverance and a serious amount of luck.

The next day, I got stuck on the third level after that.

The sad part is? I COULD make the game much easier. I could PAY ACTUAL MONEY to buy extra lives, or extra moves, or special "fruits" that blow the whole board clean open and make magic rain down from the heavens. Or I COULD link it to my Facebook profile and annoy every person I'm friends with with constant updates on how I'm doing on my Fruit Flipping Journey.

But I refuse. I refuse to give in. I refuse to pay $34.99 for even what might be the best weapon in the whole game (and no, that's not a typo. There's legit something you can buy for THIRTY-FIVE DOLLARS).

So instead I truck along, five lives at a time, waiting days, sometimes weeks, to advance to a new level. I fall asleep with the stupid looping soundtrack and visions of brightly colored fruits in my head and some creepy guy saying "TASTY" and hate myself a little more. And the next day, I pick up my phone, and I try again.

It's okay though. I'm pretty sure I just solved the level I'm stuck on by throwing my phone at the wall.

Take that, Candy-- err-- Fruit Flipping Journey. That'll show ya.