10 Games To Play Instead Of Candy Crush Saga

10 Games To Play Instead Of Candy Crush Saga

2013 was the year of Candy Crush Saga. It was on television, in music videos, and — most importantly — it was in the hearts and minds of millions of mobile gamers around the globe. Let's see if one of these 10 alternatives can't dislodge it.

I probably played Candy Crush Saga more than any other game last year. There were times it was the spackle that held my day together, filling in every little crack with a tiny dose of gaming. Well now I've had enough of those little pieces of candy drawing me in with their bright colours and then punishing my rapt attention with seemingly impossible levels.

Join me in throwing off the shackles of Candy Crush Saga and replacing them with different, better shackles. Just pick your poison.

More Of The Same — Farm Heroes Saga

10 Games To Play Instead Of Candy Crush Saga

From the makers of Candy Crush Saga, Farm Heroes Saga is as close as another entry in the Saga saga comes to matching the Candy Crush formula. Instead of candy, we're matching fruits and vegetables with eyes. Fresh elements like ice traps and special board zones that multiply the number of living plants you collect keep things fresh, but on the whole this is a very familiar experience.

Get Farm Heroes Saga free on Google Play or iTunes or play on Facebook

Same Thing, Only Different — Juice Cubes

10 Games To Play Instead Of Candy Crush Saga

Developed by Pocket PlayLab and published under the Rovio Stars label, Juice Cubes is the game that most of my former Candy Crush Saga friends have flocked to as of late. It's incredibly tactile, the matching here, achieved by a combination of lovely effects and satisfying sounds. Instead of match 3, this is a line-matching game, and there's nothing better than taking out half the board in one fell sploosh.

Get Juice Cubes free on Amazon, Google Play, iOS or play on Facebook

A Little More Different — Bake Shop Drop

10 Games To Play Instead Of Candy Crush Saga

Bake Shop Drop takes more of a Tetris-like approach to matching. Cakes and pastries drop from the top of the screen, disappearing when matches are made, otherwise stacking. Should they reach the top, it's game over. The tension is quite delicious.

Get Bake Shop Drop free on iTunes or play on Facebook

Matching 'Em Old School — Bejeweled

10 Games To Play Instead Of Candy Crush Saga

It's Bejeweled! Remember? The game that set the whole match three genre in motion? There may be no quests, and no maps to traverse, but if you're looking for a quick (or extended) match three fix, there's still none better.

Get Bejeweled HD for free on iTunes, Bejeweled Live + on Windows Phone, or Bejeweled 2 on Amazon and Google Play

Advanced Placement Old School — 7 Elements

10 Games To Play Instead Of Candy Crush Saga

Ready to take your matching skills to the next level? Keep telling yourself that. 7 Elements, not to be confused with any other numbers+elements games, takes standard match three gameplay and adds a heady twist — you can move more than one piece at a time. In fact, you can move up to three, making it easy to match large groups, if you can wrap your mind around the concept. Quick rounds and really pretty effects round out this brain-taxing variant.

Casual Gamer Milkshake — 4 Elements

10 Games To Play Instead Of Candy Crush Saga

4 Elements and its sequel, 4 Elements II, transform the gem-matching genre into an extended quests, mixes in some special powers, maybe a little hidden object adventure gameplay — it's several different casual games in one. It's kind of magical.

Matching For Role-Players — Puzzle Quest 2

10 Games To Play Instead Of Candy Crush Saga

The Puzzle Quest series adds magical fantasy combat to the match three mix, creating a puzzle/role-playing game hybrid that's almost a genre unto itself. In Candy Crush Saga you move down a set path to progress. In Puzzle Quest 2 you roam a dungeon, gaining experience points and new skills while taking down increasingly dangerous creatures. It's double dorky, in a wonderful way.

Matching For Impatient Role-Players — Dungeon Raid

10 Games To Play Instead Of Candy Crush Saga

Another role-playing puzzle game, but this one cuts out all of the unimportant junk, like, for instance, story. Dungeon Raid is all about upgrading stats, amassing powerful equipment, and just basically surviving until you inevitably succumb to powerful skulls. Skulls are jerks. Then you start over, maybe unlocking a new class or race. Next thing you know it's next Tuesday and you smell horrible.

Collectible Card Matching — Puzzle & Dragons

10 Games To Play Instead Of Candy Crush Saga

Again with the role-playing, only this time instead of playing the hero, you're controlling a squad of colour-coded monsters you've won or purchased from random monster generating machines. You cultivate a team of these creatures, mating and evolving them so they can accompany you on increasingly perilous adventures. The action is match three, and the colours you match determine which creatures attack. It's very fancy.

Evolutionary Matching — Triple Town

10 Games To Play Instead Of Candy Crush Saga

When you're done with messing around with gems, why not try matching a whole town? Triple Town's bushes and buildings do not disappear when you match them together. They grow larger. Grass becomes bushes, bushes become trees. Eventually you've got a whole kingdom to call your own — a kingdom threatened by giant bears, but what kingdom isn't?

Have you already thrown off the yolk of sugary enslavement via some other mobile matching game? Testify in the comments below.


    I would offer Scurvy Scallywags as an 11th alternative. Awesome game and has the advantage of having the humor of Ron Gilbert as well :)

    If you are looking for a similar game then yes, but Papa Pear Saga has replaced Candy Crush for me in terms of addictiveness.

    Puzzle & Dragons continues to be unavailable in Australia and make me kind of sad.

    Triple Town is borderline dangerous. I get addicted to that way too quickly.

    I'll just leave this right here....


    You can swear at me later Mike...

    Let’s see if one of these 10 alternatives can’t dislodge it.

    I really hate this Americanism term that's creeping into everyday use. It's similar to the "I could care less thing". It's meaning the exact opposite to what you're intending.

    What you're saying is, "let's see if one of these 10 alternatives can not dislodge it". That makes no sense. What you're meaning is, "let see if one of these 10 alternatives CAN dislodge it".


      I agree with you, but I'm feeling like a bit of an asshole today, so I'd like to point out that since the result is binary (can / can't dislodge Candy Crush), finding out whether something "can't dislodge" it, will also tell you if it can.

        It's the complete opposite way you need to be looking at it though. You don't find out the value of x in an equation by trying to figure out what it can't be. If someone asks you to do a job, you don't come back and say "I'll see if I can't do it".

        Saying "let's see if one of these 10 alternatives can't dislodge it" indicates that they are expecting one of these to actually dislodge it. It should be the other way around, they should be expecting Candy Crush to hold its position. That's the established party here, the others are yet to prove themselves.

          Like I said, I agree with you. The way it's phrased is terrible.

          I'm just saying that if you find out something is false, then you also know that it's not true.

    I've just added these to "The Plague" list, my list of games to avoid like the plague.

    Puzzle Quest is far superior to Puzzle Quest 2.
    There is a LOT more variation in it, just wearing a particular type of helmet can change your playstyle greatly. Where as the items are all very generic in puzzle quest 2, making for a much more repetitive feel. The skills aren't as unique in 2 either.

      I agree. Even though Puzzle Quest 2 was much shorter than the original, it felt like such a grind.

    When you're ready for a real puzzle game, get The Room.

    Last edited 15/01/14 3:00 pm

    What about the Doctor Who one? That's good to a point, and then..
    Grinding, So much Grinding.

    If you are interested in trying a brand new match-3 gameplay mechanic and local multiplayer for up to 4 players, you should check out my first iOS game titled Mystic Marbles. As a bonus you support a one-man indie developer team :-)


    Great list. Also check out Wizard Orbs (http://www.wizardorbs.com). It's an entirely new take on match-3 style games that's best described as a combination of Tetris, Columns, and Bejeweled.

    Join new games


    Me and my friend own a small game startup in Vancouver (just two guys). We have just launched our match-3 style puzzle game on Facebook (works only from computers so far, not from tablets yet) called Monsters of Murkland.

    I think we have a really cool story and theme in the game and the story is bound to the in game action too. Also, we have some new cool in-game elements (though some of them come later in the game) that I haven't seen in other match-3 games that I've tried.

    Check it out at https://apps.facebook.com/monstersofmurkland

    I hope you enjoy it :-)

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