Friday, October 24, 2014

Candy In The Media

All this month on the Candy In The Media segment of the Candy Critic blog we're going to look at candy themed games for tablets.  All of the games will be tested on my Nexus 7 tablet running Android Kit Kat.  Keep in mind that I'm not really a gamer, so my past experience is pretty minimal.  I'll mainly be focusing on how easy it is to play, how it incorporates candy, and any tech issues that may come up.  We welcome your suggestions for games you think we should try out on future posts.
I can't say that I have a great deal of experience playing games on my tablet, I have a few games that I like to play either alone or with Allison.  I also have a few games that I've played, but since taken off my tablet because I was either bored of them, or I finished them.  I can say that all of the games I've ever played on my tablet would probably amount to less than 30.  Even with such a small amount of video game playing, I can tell you that I don't think I'll ever see a game that I hate more than Candy Maker.
I played this game once, and then thinking that there's no way that this is the game and I must of missed something, I played it again.  I couldn't believe how boring, and of poor quality this game was.  I tried to tell myself that maybe this game is designed for children, so that's why it's so simple.  Then I realized that if you're a child and you are able to hold a tablet, than this game is way beneath you.  The basic principle of this game is that ingredients fly in over the pot, and you tap on them to add them into the pot.  There are several ingredients, some that I'm pretty sure don't actually belong in hard candy.  After all of the ingredients are added (and there is no "wrong" ingredients you just add them all) a spoon appears and you stir the ingredients.  This is the most complicated part of the game, and it's remarkably simple.
After your mixture is prepared you pick a colour to add, then you poor your mixture into a mold that you selected when the game started.  You can see that the graphics of this game are really simple, and the animation is simply fades, and basic graphics.  There's nothing really entertaining at all.  It doesn't even represent a realistic view of how to make candy.  There are ingredients that don't belong, like large quantities of oil, and there's no thought towards tempering or heating properly.
At the end of the game your lollipop appears and you can decorate it.  You can pick one of 9 backgrounds and one of 9 stick colours.  Then you can add graphics to your lollipop, which consist of 9 random candy like images.  The thing is, once you've selected an image, you can't take it off.  You can move the graphics around, and you can add more, but you can't take them off.  Finally you have the chance to eat your lollipop, which consists of a shrinking/fading graphic that I learned in first year animation school. Maybe I am missing something about this game, maybe there's a detail that I didn't come across, and in that case I'm the biggest idiot.  But if this game is simply what I described, you're much better off just going out and buying yourself some candy.

CC

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Cool Candy Thing - Halloween Costume Eddition

There's something rather evil looking about this costume.  If I remember correctly, Willy Wonka wasn't really very nice to children, at the end of the story he even yelled at Charlie, who was nothing but the nicest boy in the world.  So the idea of a child wanting to emulate a character that's mean to children seems a little strange.  Maybe this could inspire a new book, maybe we could learn about Willy Wonka as a child, and find out why a man who really doesn't like children would get into the candy industry.  If you made a movie about it you wouldn't have to worry about hiring a designer to design his wardrobe, it's right here.

CC

Monday, October 20, 2014

This Week In Candy

This week has started off on the wrong foot.  As of Saturday evening I've been fighting a cold that snuck up on me and leveled me out.  I had grand plans to start this week off with all kinds of fun projects, but alas I've been stuck in bed most of the time.  I've decided that I should take a few minutes to let you know what we have planned this week, but please keep in mind that some of it might be posted a little later (such as today's "This Week In Candy" post) in the day.

On our Snack Facts feed (available on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) this Wednesday, we're going to start off our count down to Halloween list of facts.  Also, many of you may not know that we also have an Pinterest gallery, on this gallery you can see all of the latest treats we've reviewed.  Finally, last week we started posting all of our newest link discoveries on Facebook, as well as Twitter. So far we haven't had any complaints, so we're going to continue, please let us know if any of our social media changes drive you nuts.

Today's new review is brought to you by the creators of Codhoppers, one of my favorite Canadian made snacks ever.  Did they improve on their already awesome candy, you'll have to click here to find out.

CC

Friday, October 17, 2014

Candy In The Media

All this month on the Candy In The Media segment of the Candy Critic blog we're going to look at candy themed games for tablets.  All of the games will be tested on my Nexus 7 tablet running Android Kit Kat.  Keep in mind that I'm not really a gamer, so my past experience is pretty minimal.  I'll mainly be focusing on how easy it is to play, how it incorporates candy, and any tech issues that may come up.  We welcome your suggestions for games you think we should try out on future posts.
This week's candy themed game was one that is fairly popular with many people, but one I've never actually tried myself.  Actually the Hidden Object Candy version of the game may not be the most popular, but the "Hidden Objects" style of game is very popular right now.  That would explain why there are hundreds of variations to this game, with all kinds of themes.  This is but one version of this game, and as you'll read later on, I don't really understand why they even bother.
The object of this game is to find random stuff.  A picture comes up on your tablet with a pile of random things loosely attached to the picture and you have to find (and click on) specific objects hidden amongst the clutter.  A few of the objects interact with the background, or at the very least are themed appropriately.  Most objects are completely random and are just floating within the picture for no particular reason.  You get a time limit to find the objects, and then you get a bonus round to fine even more.  I can see how the concept of this game may work, but I don't really think this version works at all.

My biggest problem with this game is the randomness.  The randomness of where the things are sitting on the screen, as well as the randomness of the objects themselves.  Most of the objects that you search for have no relation to candy whatsoever, they're just random objects.  While the backgrounds are candy themed, the hidden objects don't really belong in the pictures for the most part, and when they are integrated they're nonsensical. To me it seems like the candy theme of this came is just thrown in with no effort.  I'm guessing if the candy theme was pulled off a bit better, I may have enjoyed the game a lot more. As it stands I've played it 3 times, and that's probably it for me.

CC

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Cool Candy Thing - Halloween Costume Eddition

I generally dislike the idea of dressing a baby up for Halloween.  It probably stems from the fact that I don't really like dressing up for Halloween, and I believe that stems from bad childhood memories.  I'm not really sure the specifics for my dislike of dressing up for Halloween, but it leads me to find most babies costumes to be kind of creepy.  The saving grace of this costume is the double meaning, Sugar Babies being a real candy (for those outside of the US).  While I don't have any children, and if I did I wouldn't dress them up for Halloween until they were old enough to eat the candy themselves, I do appreciate the humor in this costume. So if you really feel the need to dress up your baby this Halloween, I think ironic candy costumes are the new thing, or at least they should be.

CC

Monday, October 13, 2014

This Week In Candy

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!  To me Canadian Thanksgiving is really the first official day of fall.  Fall in Canada is truly a beautiful time of year, the harvest is in, leaves are changing colour, and Tim Horton's is offering pumpkin everything (as pictured above with the pumpkin pie donut).

This week on the blog we're going to continue looking at some awesome Halloween costumes, as well as review another candy related tablet game.  On our Instagram feed "Snack Facts", all this week we're going tell you some fun facts about artificial flavours.  As always you can keep up with the latest candy news by following our Twitter feed, also this week we're going to start sharing the latest news on our Facebook page as well.

This week's review is a classic Canadian treat, the Caramilk Bar.  I figured since it's a Canadian holiday I might as well  go with a Canadian review.  Click here to read this week's review.

CC

Friday, October 10, 2014

Candy In The Media

All this month on the Candy In The Media segment of the Candy Critic blog we're going to look at candy themed games for tablets.  All of the games will be tested on my Nexus 7 tablet running Android Kit Kat.  Keep in mind that I'm not really a gamer, so my past experience is pretty minimal.  I'll mainly be focusing on how easy it is to play, how it incorporates candy, and any tech issues that may come up.  We welcome your suggestions for games you think we should try out on future posts.
This week we're looking at the first candy themed game that I ever downloaded for my tablet, Cut the Rope.  I have to be honest, when I first downloaded Cut the Rope I didn't even know that it was a candy themed game.  I just saw the cute little picture of the monster that eats all the candy and thought he (or she) was really cute.  Fortunately for me the creature was not only really cute, but the game was kind of fun and candy related as well.
The best part of this game for me is the theming.  Most puzzle games have a theme, but it's rarely more or equally clever as the games themselves (unless the games are really, really lame).  I can assure you that the Cut the Rope game is also really clever and fun, but so is the story that follows them.  You're basically trying to feed this little monster that comes in boxes delivered to your doorstep.  You have to complete puzzles that collect stars, and eventually feed the little monster a piece of candy.  The sound effects of the little critter are great, and the look of the game is perfect with the theme.  And the thing that drew me to this game, the cute little monster, is very cute and likable.
The basic design of the game is fairly simple, yet each puzzle varies in difficulty.  I found that the order of each puzzle didn't really reflect the difficulty of the puzzle.  In other words the puzzles didn't really get progressively harder as you move on.  Some of the puzzles at the beginning were very challenging, and some later or were very easy.  I did have a few puzzles were I gave up on trying to collect all the stars, and one that I even used one of the free firefly cheats to win.

As a game I found Cut the Rope to be a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed the way candy was integrated.  Candy wasn't just used as a decoration, but it was part of the storyline.  My biggest problem with this game is the advertising.  It's pervasive, constant, and interrupts game-play a lot.  I have never been so disturbed by advertising while playing a tablet game before.  It's physically impossible to ignore the advertising.

CC