Did you know that dark chocolate has nearly five times the antioxidants of blueberries? Or that sugar is one of the few naturally fat-free foods? Not that I’m advocating a candy binge, but its nice to know the good stuff isn’t completely off the menu. Candace Kane’s Candy Factory is an assembly line game which has you producing more of the sweet stuff by the dozens.
Candace "Candy" Kane is the niece of famous candy maker Wilbert Kane. Wilbert has finally decided to retire, and now Candy is taking over the family business and opening up her own candy shop. She needs your help to get the factory up and running. In addition to becoming successful, Candy wants to make it to the pinnacle of the candy-making world — the Candy Cup Championship. It’s not just about the candy – the Kane’s have a long standing rivalry with the Rich family, including the highly competitive Lico Rich who comes up with all sorts of ways to sabotage Candy’s business.
To play, you must match orders that appear by swapping candies on the conveyor belt. You want to match the exact 3-candy pattern which is shown above the customer’s head. Once the pattern is complete, the order is automatically bagged and set on the counter top. Click on the bag, and then click on Candy to deliver the order to the customer. The customers can leave you gold coin tips which help unlock new customer types and increases your profit. Speed is important, as customers can lose patience and leave. They are pretty forgiving though and don’t lose patience too easily.
Some special candies, like stars and cubes, are stackable. Clicking on two of these items combines them. Using a stacked candy in an order adds value to it. Combos are also a good way to add extra profit. A combo is made if you fill customer orders in succession, without stopping to make any other swaps. Doing swaps that don’t make and order will reset your combo.
If you have extra time between customer orders, you can get a small amount of extra profit by matching three identical candies in a row on the conveyor. These candies are considered "on sale," so they don’t earn you as much profit as filling the main orders.
The upgrades also effect your total candy value. The "candy coating machine" adds a colorful candy finish to everything that passes through it, so that the candies on the last half of the conveyor earn you more profit. The "wrapping" machine makes pretty packages out of your candy, scoring you extra profit, especially with certain customers like the Grannys. If you’re getting overwhelmed, you can use the "pause lever." This temporarily stops the conveyor so you can make matches at your leisure. This particular power-up needs to recharge before you can use it again. All of these upgrades are purchased with the customer tips you’ve earned during the game.
Using a variety of candy combinations makes the game more challenging, as do the upgades if you choose to use them. There are a lot of random challenges and events that make things more exciting, like qualifying contests for the Candy Making Championship, and Lico’s meddling with your production.
However, on the whole, there aren’t too many unique developments in this game which make it stand out, and it starts feeling repetitive once you beat the first few levels. It’s just a tiny bit too easy for extended play. While you can choose to try and make big combos and use the upgrades to the fullest, you don’t seem to need to do this in order to advance. Also, clicking on both Candy and the bag to deliver the order seemed redundant. Once in a while, my matches were ignored for a few seconds before the match was noticed by the AI – this made the game feel a bit unreliable. I would have liked more selection in the upgrades, and more integration between the upgrades and success at higher levels.
Despite that, if you enjoy assembly line games like Teddy Factory, and also like basic tile matching games, you might find this a good diversion. Because its very simple, its easy to pick up and play for an hour or two when you have time to burn.