Fans of Candy Crush Saga take note: the evil geniuses at King.com are back with another infuriatingly addictive puzzler, one that’s initially free, but ultimately out to drain your wallet of every last stinkin' penny.
I speak of Pet Rescue Saga, a game that takes an existing puzzle concept and wraps it up in increasingly abundant freemium naughtiness.
Starting with the gameplay basics, Pet Rescue Saga invites you to clear areas of coloured blocks by tapping the screen. You can banish groups of adjacent blocks with – you guessed it; surprise, surprise! – matching colours.
The various tasks will be familiar to anyone who’s played Candy Crush Saga. You might be tasked with getting pets to the bottom of the screen, or hitting a particular score, with a one to three-star rating awarded accordingly upon completion.
There are also several obligatory power-ups in Pet Rescue Saga, which you’ll become increasingly dependent upon. In a technique ripped directly from the drug dealers’ handbook, King.com gives you a little taste for free before revealing the prices (from 69p to £1.99 each).
Power-ups include the Block Buster (smash a regular or multiplier block), Color Pop (pop all the blocks of a particular colour), Column Blaster (clear a column), and the Mesh Masher (cut through cages, which are a bit like the jelly in Candy Crush Saga).
As with – again – Candy Crush Saga, you can buy extra moves if you haven’t quite finished a level, and buy extra lives if the time-rationed five aren’t enough to satisfy you.
The most offensive thing, however, and something that put people off of Candy Crush Saga, is the sudden request to pay to continue; the game is effectively held to ransom at level 28 (of 72).
Well, to be fair, you can either annoy Facebook friends or pay 69p, but it’s worth noting that not everyone is on Facebook. If that’s the case, give King.com 69p or get the hell out.
Candy Crush Saga took a lot of flack for adopting the same system, but eventually introduced Mystery Challenges, essentially plain old levels separated by 24-hour wait times. Complete three and you don’t have to pay. Presumably we’ll see something similar in Pet Rescue Saga.
As evidenced by the fact that I’ve mentioned Candy Crush Saga, like, a million times, Pet Rescue Saga is much the same, ‘cept with slightly different mechanics. That’ll either sound like a nightmare, or a dream come true to you.
- The actual gameplay is pretty sweet (like candy)
- Very moreish
- Lots of power-ups
- Pay for moves!
- Pay for lives!
- Pay for power-ups!
- Pay to progress beyond Level 27!
Summary: Pet Rescue Saga is pretty much Candy Crush Saga with pets instead of candy.
Price: free @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.