Gamification Lessons from Candy Crush and Soda Saga

Andrzej Marczewski
Oct 19, 2017 · 5 min read

Candy Crush Saga from King games is one of the worlds most played games, boasting 93 million daily players at one point! I have always avoided it, but my wife has been into it for years. Finally, when she was explaining a level on the spin-off game Soda Saga, I cracked and downloaded it.

For those that don’t know, Candy Crush and Soda Saga are a genre of puzzle game called “Match 3”, first popularised by Bejewelled (though Shariki was actually the first). The basic concept sees you start with a board full of colourful tokens and you must swap two around that are next to each other to form rows of three. Create a row of three and they disappear, moving all of the other tokens around.

King took this idea and turned the dial to 11! It’s that turn of the dial that I want to speak about a bit. That is where they introduced what we would consider to be gamification in a game!


Challenge and Skill

As you progress, new challenges are added to the basic gameplay. Blocks that need to be destroyed, blocks that multiply, blocks that float, blocks that sink. Every few levels there is something new to discover.




Help / Powerups

Reward Schedules

Player Types

  • Players have plenty of points and leaderboards positions to play for.
  • Free Spirits have a great deal of autonomy in how they play the game, there are multiple ways to win each map.
  • Achievers have plenty of challenges to overcome and skills to learn.
  • Socialisers get to see how their friends are doing, creating some friendly competition. On top of that, they get to feel like part of a team in certain challenges.
  • Philanthropists are also catered for as they can donate lives to people in their networks.

Learning from Games

Originally published at Gamified UK — #Gamification Expert.


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Andrzej Marczewski

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Gamification consultant and designer, social media lover, games reviewer at @yarstweet, author of, husband & father of 2


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