King's massively popular matching game isn't the only gig in town.
Candy Crush Saga is the undisputed champion of match-3 puzzlers, but only due to its popularity. The secret behind King's addictive offering is that in reality, it's not even the most polished or entertaining of the match-3 clones and alternatives on the App Store. While it's enjoying its own time in the spotlight, there are plenty of other titles that could very easily take its place in the free-to-play sphere. We have five alternatives to Candy Crush Saga that'll satisfy those sugary cravings once and for all. Just don't blame us if you happen to form a new habit. We never said these games were free of the trappings of the free-to-play world!
1. Cookie Jam
While Candy Crush Saga is content to place pieces of candy in front of players to tempt them with saccharine treats, Cookie Jam takes things to the next level with delicious confections that you "create" by completing puzzles. There's a veritable menagerie of French desserts you'll work to prepare, ranging from cupcakes to sugary donuts and delectable pies. Though the game is fundamentally similar to Candy Crush Saga as far as its game board and overall mechanics go, it's a much more difficult game with frustrating map shapes, seemingly unbreakable waffle cone foundations and levels that feel nigh impossible to collect all three stars in.
2. Candy Blast Mania
Candy Blast Mania is a much more polished version of Candy Crush Saga in every way. It's what the juggernaut could have been with improved visuals, art direction and additional flourishes. Adorable characters accompany you on your journey to crunch up all the sweets, and there are also miniature boss encounters that break the monotony of simply clearing level after level, making strategic matches and attempting to divert the inevitable purchase of power-ups with real-world currency.
3. Puzzle & Dragons
It may not be cut from the same cloth as Candy Crush Saga, but Puzzle & Dragons shares many of the same characteristics. This collectible card game/match-3 title is rife with opportunities to explore rare drops, epic loot and collectible monsters that are just plain fun to rack up along the way. You won't find any candy or sweets here, but there are elements that interact with each other in ways not unlike your favorite dungeon crawler's combat system. Plus, with themed dungeons from anime series to Batman, you can't go wrong with how diverse it is for different tastes.
4. Juice Cubes
Juice Cubes may very well resemble Candy Crush Saga, and it's true the two games do share similar elements, Juice Cubes is actually a line-matching game that's much more satisfying than Candy Crush Saga ever was -- to us, anyway. Plus, it has that oddball charm to it with square-shaped pieces of fruits, gorgeous colors and combos that beat out even the most satisfying of Candy Crush's.
5. Farm Heroes Saga
Now, this might be an obvious addition to the list, but Farm Heroes Saga is different enough in its own way to merit inclusion. First, just look at how cute it is! It's your job to match up fruits and vegetables that smile back at you from the screen, but you're also collecting them, keeping them fresh and dealing with elements that you won't find in Candy Crush, such as ice traps and special boards that ensure you're going to have to work hard to collect all of those Cropsies.