Level 70 of Candy Crush…
Level 70 of Candy Crush is the level that almost ended it all. Yes, I’m still playing the game. No, I don’t really want to talk about it.
Okay, I do want to talk about it. I want to talk about the hours I sat trying to get past level 70. For those who haven’t reached it yet (those who are beyond it are probably laughing at me), it consists of two columns. In the right column, there are two rows of chocolate being held back by four pieces of candy encased in licorice. As long as you don’t break the licorice, the chocolate remains in place. As soon as you break the licorice, you better be ready to make a lot of matches that smash the chocolate.
The best way to clear this level is to make a striped candy out of four vertical pieces of candy. You then move this candy (without using it) so it lines up with one of the chocolate levels. You then form a three-way match, and it blasts across both columns, smashing the chocolate out. You do this twice, and then you can break the licorice and go to town.
The first few times I played it, it was difficult, but I knew what to do, so no problem. I just need to make those striped candies. I kept getting close, leaving maybe three squares of jelly unpopped. By the second day of level 70, I was getting massively frustrated. I felt like my inability to pass this level was commentary on my intelligence. Wasn’t this similar to a freakin’ GRE question — one of those ones where you had to predict how many moves or yadda yadda yadda. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken the GRE, but this felt similar to the type of intelligence measured by the GRE.
I could not predict where the candies would land or set up moves; about 70% of the time, it was a total crap shoot. Maybe 30% of the time, I could see a move or two ahead. But even then, things would happen that I hadn’t predicted. A candy I wasn’t watching would drop into place, causing everything to cascade, messing up my perfect shot.
I was being bested by a freakin’ game. A GAME. A game that my eight-year-olds play. I couldn’t do it, and I started to phone it in, listlessly making whatever combination came up because why bother? Concentrating hard wasn’t working; maybe randomly selecting combinations would work just as well. I used up 10 lives that way.
And then, yesterday morning, I decided that I should walk away from the game because it was making me feel inadequate. Other people had not only gotten past level 70, but they had gotten past all the other levels after that too. They had probably sailed through level 70 in one try, whereas I had gone through over 50 lives. I was at the point where I was thinking about rolling up my graduate degree and mailing it back to the university since I obviously didn’t deserve to keep it, and then deleting the app so I could release myself from Candy Crush’s tenacious grip. But I had to wait for something, and while waiting, I played a round.
When those words “sugar crush” came across the screen, I almost cried. I wanted to take out an ad in our local newspaper and let all my neighbours know that I’m not a no-goodnik, unable to pass a double-digit Candy Crush level. I passed level 70! I am a productive member of society. I can teach the twins third grade math. I am SMART!
And then I remembered that this isn’t the Scripps Spelling Bee. This is Candy Crush. I have gotten myself this worked up over Candy Crush.
So I turned off my phone and returned to working.
[whispered: but secretly, I was smiling the whole day because I'm really really smart because I passed level 70 of Candy Crush!]