You may not have heard of King Mobile, but you've definitely heard of their games -- your mom is probably crushing candies right now on their most popular mobile offering. They get a bad rap for being "casual", but lets be honest -- sometimes casual is just a way of criticizing a game for being easy and fun. So let's take a look at what King has on offer and whether or not they're worth your time and your money.
The big kahuna. Candy Crush Soda Saga is just the latest in a long series of insanely popular games, and it's king for a good reason. At its core, it's a puzzle game -- tap the right combination of candies to remove them, get points, and advance. There are pretty colors, great sounds, and lots of flashing lights -- like a casino, it's designed to trigger all those primal happiness triggers and encourage you to keep playing. That's not really an issue unless you run out of lives or moves, because at that point the game stops being free. Honestly, unless you have a gambling problem, this is a great game to play on your phone, but if you do, stay far away.
Alpha Betty Saga is Candy Crush's intellectual cousin, focusing on word games instead of smashing candies. It plays like Boggle or any other word tower game (there are a lot), and the concept is simple -- find the words, try not to get stuck, and earn points and bonuses. Alpha Betty Saga is a little harder than Candy Crush, and sometimes it feels like you're being set up to lose, but if you're looking for a word puzzle game with polish and flair, you can't go wrong with this one.
Farm Heroes Saga follows the same formula as Candy Crush (if it ain't broke, right?) but it has enough variation to make it interesting. Unlike Candy Crush, you need to match up to three of the same type of fruit or vegetable to harvest them and meet your quota for each level. A bonus mechanic based on adjacency adds some complexity and flavor to this that makes it a bit more thinky than Candy Crush, but that's the major conceptual difference. Unlike some of King's other games, there are some hard gates that you need to shell out real cash for, but they come pretty late in the game.
Pet Rescue Saga is a little less abstract than some of King's other games. Some adorable lost pets start at the top of the stage and you need to match and eliminate the blocks to drop them down so they can be rescued. There are obstacles and traps that you need to watch out for, but in general this is less frustratingly difficult than Candy Crush and if you like cute pets, it's definitely a good time. It's also not so hard on your wallet, mostly because you're not going to have quite as much trouble beating the levels.
Bubble Witch Saga 2 is a much needed update to the -- frankly terrible -- Bubble Witch Saga, one of King's first games. Like all of their other popular puzzle games, Bubble Witch Saga 2 is a clone of a prominent existing puzzle game with a little extra fun and flair. For BWS, you need to match the bubble and clear the stage (seeing a pattern here?), and if that sounds familiar, it is, but as usual it's just different enough from Candy Crush to be worth giving a shot. It's also a bit more random, which can be both fun and infuriating. You don't ever need to pay real money for this one, but you can get stuck if you don't.