CandyMeleon (Free) by Bulkypix is a sweet little addictive game for your iPhone (or iPad), starring a chameleon who loves candy. And by love, I mean that’s the only thing he eats. Must be the life, right?
So what happens when a candy factory is sabotaged by said creature who loves candy? It explodes, sending candy flying everywhere as the eye can see. But don’t worry, as that’s all according to plan! Because now that candy is blown into the sky, it must come down. You know, down into the chameleon’s mouth. Your goal? Help this cute little guy eat up all the candy that he can. And don’t forget — you are what you eat.
The graphics in this title are adorable, colorful, and definitely delightful. It’s just the kind of stuff you expect in a game of this nature. The artwork is a bit on the simpler side, but it’s still nice, and definitely family friendly. Character animations are smooth and fluid as well, with no choppiness during play. The soundtrack is also endearing and fun, going along with whatever power-up candy you’ve eaten.
There are two control schemes in the game. By default, you can tilt the device to move left and right and then tap on the screen to lash the chameleon’s tongue out to grab candy from the air. The other option is in the settings, and you can tap on the screen to grab candy but also slide a finger left and right on the screen to move left and right. Both of these controls work quite well, so it’s just a matter of preference — if you want to look less silly in public, then go for the virtual joystick option.
CandyMeleon also has two game modes: Tournament (Standard) and Time Attack.
The Tournament mode can be paired up with Facebook to compete with friends, but this is completely optional. I opted to not link my account and the mode is still playable. You will go through levels of candy eating — candy will come in from the left side of the screen, and you must eat the good ones before you lose them and points. Each candy is worth one point, and will give you coins when consumed. Power-up candies are also available, which will change your chameleon’s color and grant special bonuses to help boost your score. Once you fill up the bar at the bottom, you move on to the next level. You can spend the coins you earn to upgrade your candies, which will drop more coins with each level or increase their effectiveness.
Time Attack mode is essentially the same as the Tournament mode, except with some different candies, as well as being timed. You must collect as many points as you can by eating candy, before the time runs out. You can earn some extra seconds as you play if you’re good enough, but it’s basically munch on as much candy as you can before time runs out. New areas and levels will be unlocked in this mode once you obtain enough stars from previous levels.
However, in both modes, you don’t just get good candy to munch on. In addition to the normal and power-up candies, there are bad candies as well, which are indicated by the red. Eat one of these and you will lose a heart (you only have three). And it’s not just poison candies you have to look out for either, as there are deadly phirannas that jump out from the ground in an arch, and getting in their way will also knock a heart off your health. And eat the ladybugs too, otherwise they’ll get to your hearts and take one away automatically.
There’s actually quite a lot of obstacles that you’ll have to watch out for in the game, which definitely help to keep things fresh and interesting with each round. Goals are available as well, which give you something to strive for and will net you some bonus coins as a reward upon completion. CandyMeleon has that just-one-more-game mentality behind it, which is terribly addictive. There is also full Game Center integration for both leaderboards and achievements.
I’m rather enjoying this game so far, as it’s just a great time-waster. However, I’m not too happy that it uses an “energy” system, similar to that found in Solitaire Blitz, for your hearts. There is also a premium form of currency, in the form of gems, that you can use to get more hearts and other items. So far, I haven’t gotten to many of these gems in game, but you can earn diamonds by completing offers or purchasing them through in-app purchases. I’m not too pleased with the completing offer thing, as I always found those to be a bit annoying.
Still, I recommend checking out CandyMeleon if you haven’t already. It’s simple-yet-difficult-to-master gameplay reminds me a bit of Fruit Ninja, since you need to have quick reflexes to get a score worth bragging about. And the best part? It’s definitely friendly enough for the whole family to enjoy.
So what are you waiting for? Go over to the App Store and download CandyMeleon for free for your iPhone (iPad version here), and get munchin’ on delicious sweets!