Thursday, June 13, 2013


I Fear I'll Be Stuck on Level 29 of Candy Crush Forever

I’m no stranger to iPhone game addiction. I have a folder full of games I’ve spent legal tender on, as well as the ghosts of games that I've since deleted when they became "problems." A country’s obsession with Angry Birds turned it into a heavily discounted candy option that you now see by the checkout counter at your local CVS. And who can forget the Draw Something craze of March 2012? Remember the first time you opened Temple Run, and then immediately noticed that everyone else was playing it on the subway? (Oh, don’t even get me started on Temple Run 2.) There’s Letterpress, Tetris Blitz, Ridiculous Fishing, and now, the newest game: Candy Crush.

Don't be mistaken. This is not an endorsement. This is a warning about Candy Crush, the world’s most addictive iPhone game. It is more addictive than any form of FarmVille (RIP Zynga), more addictive than text messaging or even checking your Snapchats. This game needs no push messages to remind you it's been a day since you've played. Because it actually hasn't been a day. Actually, you haven't stopped playing in three days. Candy Crush has burnt a quick hole through your battery’s charge and prompted 3 a.m. Twitter rants that you don't even remember engaging in. Candy Crush my soul, more like.

The worst candy you've ever eaten (like Now-and-Laters!), Candy Crush is a cruel mix between the classic iPhone game Bejeweled and even more classic board game CandyLand—an endless virtual journey that forces you to re-arrange various candy pieces to rid yourself of evil jelly encasings and other woes I can't even imagine at this point, because I am currently stuck on Level 29 and I have been for about one full week.

The most evil thing about Candy Crush is its intrinsic "Time Out" system, in which a clock provides a "life" every half hour, forcing you to wait until those very lives appear before you can even consider feeding your addiction again. Sure, you can pay for lives (may god help your poor soul, if this is the case) but otherwise you're stuck on Candy Crush time. You'd think this would stop an obsessive like myself from playing endlessly, but thanks to some "helpful" (read: similarly addicted) Twitter followers, I've discovered a way to cheat myself into creating hours of uninterrupted Candy Crush play: by manipulating my iPhone’s clock.

If you turn that baby forward, you can seamlessly continue on your sticky sweet journey. (Beware, however: one Twitter user claims that her iMessages mysteriously malfunctioned after she time-traveled too far.) I myself have gone HOURS into the future at a time; I once forgot to set back to the proper time and ended up waking up four hours too early for work the next day. Another time, I accurately set my clock back, but Candy Crush saw my bluff and placed 400 minutes on my countdown clock. How do I live?

The trick, they say, is in the multipliers—those very special striped and packeted candies you get when lining up four or more same colored candies in a row. God forbid you get the coveted donut (I’ve been calling it a cronut, because I am so awful at this game that I have to wait forever to get one), which allows you to rid your board of all the same-colored candies at once. But often, even one donut isn’t enough to complete the level.

A Google search of “help me beat level 29 in Candy Crush before I end it all” came up with nothing, but one with “Candy Crush strategies” did bring some helpful tips for all you Crushers (help me) who are as stuck as I am. "Without the Sarcasm?’ says: “Work from the bottom up. The bottom candies tend to get stuck there and stay there, and more often than not you need fresh candy down there with lots of matches in order to clear the board. You can [also] repeatedly enter and exit levels to re-roll the starting candies.” Wait, so you don’t recommend I keep altering my iPhone’s time continuum? *nose continues to bleed*

I do not wish iPhone game addiction such as this on anyone. There is no greater despair, really, then realizing that your idle thoughts are flipping to the outline of a digital screen in your head, and realizing that you can visualize passing level 29, even though you know you can't, really. It is beginning to feel like an unsettling metaphor for my existence: I'm “stuck on 29,” I need a longer time out, and I need some real fucking candy. You’ve crushed me for good.

Lindsey Weber is an associate editor at Vulture. She is pleased to report that she has since made it to Level 38.

89 Comments / Post A Comment


There are $40 in-app purchaes in this game.

No SIR I will not keep playing your game. No SIR.


@TheUnchosenOne I SAID GOOD DAY.


Ridiculous Fishing made it that big to get up there with temple run and letterpress? Awesome.

That makes me feel good that at least one excellent developer made it big. Though the Vlambeer guy just got his bag stolen at E3, ugh bad times.


@Biketastrophy I just discovered letterpress. I wish there were a way for us all to share our game center names without potentially giving away our identities.


I never thought it was possible to hate chocolate bars with the burning passion of 100 fiery suns.


Every time I listen to this, my heart's in my mouth@n


I have been stuck on level 29 for about 6 weeks. Attempted a few more times to get past it today while waiting for the doctor. No luck. Pretty sure I will delete it this weekend, I can't stand the feeling of inadequacy it produces. Also, I don't know how you are supposed to clear it when the DAMN CHERRIES don't show up until you have 12 moves left.


@fatblackcat Your comment made me laugh so hard. I am also so screwed with this ultra sugary addictive bonus giver colorful cheers and appreciation shower motheref'n game. it filled up all my unwanted voids of time, and now i am making time for it...


@fatblackcat I KNOW there will be other levels I'll hate more than I now DESPISE level 29! For now, I'm devoting all my energies on this effin' Level ! I keep clearing the board down to ONE... ONE, and I'm OUT!!! I refuse to delete it.. It's Candy Crushing ME or vice-versa!!!

Citizen Christy

I'm a sucker for time sucks like Candy Crush, but I've thus far avoided it like the plague. It feels as though everyone I know--immediate family, casual acquaintances, ex-sisters-in-law--has invited me to play, and I just have to keep saying no, otherwise I'll descend into the madness of another Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds, or Bubble Breaker fiasco.

And subway gamers: listen to a podcast instead! They've worked wonders for me.


@Citizen Christy Right there with you. Plus, I'm always one of the last to stop playing some games, and then I feel like they're this big chore and I get all angry at them before I remember they are a game that I am free to delete.

But podcasts are the best. I should probably download a few more...


@Citizen Christy
What does that make those of us who like to play simple puzzlers while listening to our podcasts? Twice as addicted? (Answer: yes.)

Citizen Christy

@ThatWench You are just an incredible multitasker, I think, and to be praised rather than scoffed at.


@ThatWench It makes me so mad when games can't be played with podcast! Dude, your game music isn't that good!

Oliver St. John Mollusc

I for one have definitely NOT spent today planning out the perfect Injustice team to finally beat Lex Luthor's ass. Nope, not me.

Citizen Christy

@Oliver St. John Mollusc I haven't stopped thinking about Mass Effect 2 for more than, eh, 10 minutes at a time.


UGH I spent $1.99 on a boost to finally beat level 109 yesterday. I AM FULL OF SHAME.


@Nutellaface I'm also on 109, so I completely know that feel.


I've played World of Warcraft for years, but I've had no bigger gaming thrill in YEARS than when I first combined the donut with a striped candy. Wait 'til you get to the chocolate levels.


@kimberussell I'm on level 70-something, and only did that for the first time yesterday. I was nearly sick, thinking of all the time I'd wasted. SICK.


@kimberussell Candy Crush just gave me the happiest game-play feeling I've had since I discovered the Bejeweled add-in for WoW that lets you play Bejeweled while you fly from point to point.

Now with flying mounts it's not as useful, but it used to be a pretty rad way to kill time while flying from one end of the continent to the other.


Level 64 is the evil son of a bitch which finally made me crack and purchase help adds. DAMN YOU ANDY CRUSH!!


@ZogPDX I spent a month on level 65. I kind of wish I'd just bought something, I don't think the frustration was healthy.

sugar cubism

Waiiiit, I have a question. Is there a way to get past level 35 without:
A. Paying real money
B. Admitting to facebook that you have a problem (aka, logging in and lending lives, or whatever?)
I am on like the fourth time of playing it through, levels one through thirty-five. And you are the first people I've told.


@sugar cubism on the main menu, unlink your game from facebook. go back to the screen where it asks you to hound friends for lives, and you should now have an option for "mystery quests". you can beat 1, get a ticket, wait 24 hours, and then play the next one. :)


@sugar cubism oh, but then when you get through it, link back up to facebook so you can play on facebook and on your phone to get a set of 5 lives and a unique timer on both. I have a problem :(

honey cowl

@sugar cubism I'm with you...stuck trying to get to 36 without linking to facebook or paying. Life is really hard right now.


@whoaisme I've had this same problem on my iphone, but this doesn't work for me... I don't even have the option to play a mystery quest. Any ideas?! I've been replaying levels to have three stars...


@sugar cubism I'm on level 185 and there are about six facebook friends that are more or less at the same level. I've set all of my privacy settings to the world at large doesn't know my shame, but other players do. Fortunately, they're as addicted as I and can say nothing. I, btw, haven't spent a cent on this stupid game. But, I've cursed it mightily.

honey cowl

@Staria Bad news: the mystery quest (for me) is the same as level 29. haven't been able to pass it tho have been trying for days.


If you haven't updated the app in a while, do that. The option for Mystery Quests should appear then, and you can keep your money and Facebook dignity and wallow in shame privately, like you do.

(oh god I'm on level 89 please someone pry this thing out of my hands.)


"hey, little girl. i've got some candy for you."

"no, no vans involved. just download this app."

"yesss, that's it. give in to the dark side. *cough* i mean enter your apple password. that's right."

"now open me. mmhmm. look at all the pretty colors!"

"see how easy and fun it is? yes, yes, you're doing so well. keep playing, you can call your mother back later."

"no you don't want to go there, i bet that party would have been dumb. stay here. stay here and play with meeeeee."

"what does your boss know? nothing. your productivity is fine! just look at how far you are, level 64!"

"you don't need that job anyway. i'll feed you with candy."

"my preciousssssssss."

the roughest toughest frail

I'm ashamed to admit that I've spent money on the 5 extra moves. It was the only way I could move past certain levels, 29 included. The chocolates might just cure me of my addiction. Those hateful, multiplying chocolates.


It's so nice to know I'm not alone and admit I'm obsessed. I imagine one's first AA meeting feels like this.


I may already be using hastags on Facebook, but at least I'm not hitting my friends up with CandyCrush invites.

Nancy Sin

The best thing about Candy Crush is its riveting narrative (and endearing protagonist).


If you combine the chocolate ball and a striped candy it will not only make all the candy of that color disappear but it will also make them striped, caused a ton of little bombed to happen and give you a billion points in the process.

I've currently stuck on 39 but not being able to pass 29 for 4 days almost made me throw my phone against a wall. The trick is to use as many striped/wrapper combos and to pray for that chocolate ball/striped candy deal.


Candy Crush is my boyfriend's post-sexin'around cigarette. It makes me angry/is hilarious. I refuse to download it, and requests from him keep racking up on the right side of my fb. You aren't allowed to crush on candy more than you crush on meeeeeeee.


Look, I don't even have an iPhone, but I remember back in the day when I realized that my old school iPod had solitaire. And I'd end up staying awake, playing solitaire on a goddamn iPod. And when I'd try to sleep, I'd get stuck in that weird half-drowsy state, visualizing solitaire layouts. No, move the 3! Now the 2! Argh, that Jack is in the way! It was bad and I stopped playing.

I remember reading in a Daniel Pinkwater story though, someone getting this way about playing chess. Like, becoming obsessed with chess and staying up, thinking about opening strategies. Noooo thanks.


@yeah-elle That's funny, when I'm stressed out before bed I play a bunch of computer solitaire JUST SO I can get that half-drowsy visualization going on! It makes it so I'm not ruminating about everything I'm stressed about and can just go to sleep.


Oh god. I have downloaded, deleted, and redownloaded this game more times than I'd care to admit. It is currently OFF my phone, but this article has someone had the opposite effect of what you intended and I might have to go redownload it again.

Stiffy Byng

Well, I feel farther gone than anyone, being currently stuck on level 132...


@Stiffy Byng I am excited because I get the Wodehouse reference!!!


@Stiffy Byng I hear ya - I'm stuck on level 162. That means that I have spent WAY TO MUCH TIME ON THIS STUPID GAME!!


@Stiffy Byng 185 here. 181 sucked beyond the telling. As did 170. The time bombs, in particular, are a device that only evil people could come up with.


@Stiffy Byng HOW did you pass Level 29???? HOW HOW????


I've been stuck on level 245 for *days*, and I fear I will never get past.


@theenviousmoon I've had that happen a few times, and would just stop for a few days and then eventually be able to pick it back up and get lucky.


I feel so embarrassed and proud right now. I am stuck on level 349. I finished the whole game a few weeks ago and had to wait for them to release more levels. I may have a problem. I am really fucking good at this game though.

Pro-tip: if you have an iPad and an iPhone, the clocks don't sync so you can switch back and forth between the 2 devices and play longer.


@sarahchristine I, uh, do that with Facebook. The lives in Facebook are not synced with the lives on the iPhone app.


@pinecone I do this too. I play on Facebook until I run out of lives then immediately switch to my phone.

One time the lives did sync between Facebook and iPhone. Worst day ever. (Not really. There are worse thing. It just kinda sucked for a bit. But still.)


@sarahchristine - That's exactly what I do! I'm on my iPhone & switch to my iPad & vice versa! I've got to get past this effin' Level 29 before I lose my mind!!!


I'm on 348. You don't know true agony.

There's absolutely no need to buy anything to advance, for what it's worth. I haven't spent a dime on Candy Crush. You just have to be patient.


Throwing out my back recently and then recovering from an unrelated surgery has contributed to me disappearing down a Bejeweled rabbit hole. This is embarrassing, but if anyone wants internet stalk me my name is all over the high scores list for he new Bejeweled app for Chrome (the Speed game). I'm #1! And 3, and 4, and 5...
I would love to know what it is about some people's brains (my brain) that makes clearing rows of colored blocks irresistible. I seem to be powerless against any game based on that concept. The only cure for me is to play constantly, forever, until I eventually grow tired of it.


I visited my best friend and she was already stone cold addicted to this game and talked me into downloading it. I was hoping there wasn't an Android version so I would have an excuse not to, but alas. Anyway, I'm on level 50 or something. For a while I was kind of addicted but I've forgotten to play it for a few days straight now.

I have fleeting moments of casual-game addiction. I played Temple Run persistently for a few weeks, then stopped. There was a period where I did nothing but play Cut the Rope, and that stopped. Osmos HD had me rapt for a while; no longer. Such, I suppose, is the nature of casual games, and they will cycle back around again, as they are wont to do.

The gaming app on my phone that gets the most play time is actually the GBA emulator, but shhh.


I created an account to say that I review kids apps for a living (best kids app is Elmo Calls, btw) and there is no app that frustrates and enthralls me as much as Candy Crush. The worst part is that I have CC on every device in the office and get to level 30+ but then we have to factory reset them all to test stuff. Le sad.

Also, this: http://tcrn.ch/142EgDX. TL;DR: King, the devs of CC, make so much money on the in-app purchases that they got rid of the advertisements in the app.



I JUST got over my Candy Crush addiction (I was stuck on level 79, ps, after spending at least five actual dollars on the game for lives and/or more levels). The only reason I got over it was I got addicted to ANOTHER iPhone game called KIKI'S KOI-KOI which is a version of an actual Japanese card game. This has the advantage of being a) an actual game I can play in the real world one day, if I find a deck of the cards and b) makes me feel worldy. Oh, I'm just playing this complex ancient card game, you probably haven't heard of it.
I'm also AMAZING at it, as it turns out. I just might have taken an extra long bathroom break to finish a game. Or MAYBE NOT.


@Umlauts I was on 79 for six weeks. SIX WEEKS.


This happened to me on level 29. I think they do it on purpose so you're forced to buy their dang lollypop hammers or share on Facebook. I did not do that. The trick for me was to clear the jelly from the corners on the bottom first, since those are the ones that were left most often when I played. I got re-stuck again on level 32 or 33 and finally deleted the game for good because I'm not paying for tricks to advance. I'll stick to Bejeweled 2, my first true iPhone game love.



Candy crush, the only iphone game I have ever played. I found it post break-up: recipe for disaster. I am now on level 207 and I have spent more real money than I care to admit (only on extra lives!! Never on boosters!). I just forwarded this to at least four people.


@hotdog I made a horrifying/amazing discovery this week, which is that if you change the time setting on your phone/ipad, you can replenish your lives! of course, you will be forced to keep changing it, playing candy crush further and further into the future and when you get texts they'll stay at the top of your inbox because they came from the future, but...WORTH IT!



You have no idea how happy I am that you wrote this!

I play it on Facebook, which is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I can't play it on my cell phone. On the other, the only time I'm on Facebook is when I'm supposed to be working, and I clearly don't need help finding new ways to waste time.

The worst part about failing level 29 over and over on Facebook is seeing the scores of the people I know who have passed this level. I know these people. They were the kind of kids who needed safety scissors, the kind that were too busy huffing paint thinner to pass in their homework in ninth grade ... but they've beaten Level 29 and I haven't.

There must be something wrong with me.


Hi,anyone stuck at any level can email me fuzzylie@yahoo.com.where the problem with candy crush i can try to help u out.peace :)

Casanova Frankenstein

I CAN'T BELIEVE I NEVER THOUGHT OF RESETTING THE TIME. I have been actually waiting a full half hour in between lives each time and I feel like a damn fool.

Casanova Frankenstein

@Casanova Frankenstein I just finished level 29 yesterday, after days of loudly telling anyone who would listen (my friends all hate me now) that this game was some BULLSHIT because it was impossible to beat that level without buying anything. And then I beat it.
And now I'm stuck on level 31.


Ok but those of us past 29 can agree that Level 33 is a real sonofabitch, right? Because before this "Mystery Quest" thing appeared to get me past 35 without hounding facebook friends, that was the only level I hadn't be able to achieve a 3-star deal on.

Oh, and if you're addicted to this game, never ever download Jewel Mania, which is basically the same thing. Except there, you have to wait an HOUR between lives.


@HeyThatsMyBike So I started playing Candy Crush this weekend, and all I could think was, "Man, obviously these people have never played Jewel Mania. This is cake."


@meetapossum Jewel Mania is SO HARD. I mean, some levels I whiz right by, but others I am stuck fighting for weeks. I'm up to the levels where you have to put out fires now. I have a feeling this one I'm on now where I have to put out fires AND not have those timed jewel bastards blow up is going to be a 2-weeks-to-pass kind of deal.
[I'm just excited that somebody else plays Jewel Mania. It is the "RC Cola" to Candy Crush's "Coke."]


@HeyThatsMyBike Oh god, there will be fires? Christ.

I finally got past level 84 after like MONTHS of attempts. I sort of gave up, but after playing a couple levels of Candy Crush I got sucked right back in. The worst part about Jewel Mania is that you have to beat all the levels AND have enough stars. If you don't have enough, you have to go back and play all those one-star levels that you probably just barely beat to begin with.


@meetapossum I know! So tricky! The children yelling "NICE!" and "GREAT JOB!" makes me feel creepy, but I can't help it.
OH GOD! Yes, there are fires! I just got to the fire levels late last week. Jewels set on fire!
I remember being stuck on 84 for a while, too. And then getting bored and going back and trying to beef up all my one stars in the interim. Because I am an adult with important things to do.


@HeyThatsMyBike WTF IS UP WITH THESE STUPID SNAKES?? ARGH!!! Jewel Mania will be the death of me


@meetapossum The snakes are mega-annoying, but I love the sound they make when they go away!


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@yak11 This is my favorite spam in a long time. Helen is so concerned about our well-being!

Linda Richman

Great Post.

Hey guys,
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After all this time, a Candy Crush post is what gets me to register.

Sadly, it made my way way too ecstatic when I discovered combining 2 donuts. Go try.. your brain will explode. I wish I could quit you, CC.

practical cat

@mileena I KNOW I had been doing so well before I saw this. Farewell, time.


If you think Debra`s story is really cool..., in the last-month my friend's dad basically easily made $9834 workin a 10 hour week at home and the're co-worker's mother-in-law`s neighbour done this for nine months and got paid more than $9834 part-time on- line. use the instructions on this address, wwwBOW6.COM


I haven't read all the comments...but I found last night that if you have a stripped candy and a packaged candy next to each other and swap them..you get a 3 line clear horizontal and vertical...very nice. Level 29 was a bitch


After reading this article, I started playing Candy Crush. It's now been 5 days and I am officially obsessed! I was stuck on Level 23 for two days, but cleared it this evening (I'm in Australia) and powered on through the next few levels. I was worried about level 29, but I cleared it first go!! I just failed level 30 and have 18 minutes left til I get another life, though I should probably get some sleep (and my lives will all be replenished when I wake up in the morning).


OK, so I read this when it came out and I was totally floored by the glory of setting my time ahead. But then, last night, I discovered something else.

You put the time ahead, then go back to the game and you have no timer because you are full. Once you are full, go back and set your time back to the correct time.

Or, play as much as you want and keep moving the time forward and then when you are done, refill once more, set your time back to auto and you're golden.

But don't try to go forward past 11:59, because it will think you went backwards half a day. Move it to 11:59, leave that screen and wait for a minute then move it from 12 - 2. Yay!

Alexis AliMarie Waranka@facebook

Just as an fyi to those tired of waiting for annoying time clock for lives. If ur account is linked with ur facebook on and android phone (idk about iphone) then follow these steps.go to ur settings. Then ur storage or apps. It should bring u to a list of ur apps and dowloads. Then select candy crush and clear all data. Dont freak out high level players. Once u have done this then open ur candy crush app. On the home screen it will ask to connect with facebook. Connect and it will bring u to the level u left off with along with a full set of lives.

Jim Lee@facebook

When I was on level 29 I was also thinking like you lol.

Candy Crush Level 29


If you are looking for in-depth tips for nearly every level, try out candycrush-cheats.com. Their level write ups are actually super helpful, and are easier to follow than the hundreds of youtube video walkthroughs that don't really get you anywhere


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Hassan Jamal

I'm sure you will pass this level lol best cell phone plans

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