Without The Sarcasm http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com Insights. Analysis. Answers. Thu, 27 Nov 2014 01:08:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cult of the Fiver | November 2014 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/cult-fiver-november-2014/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/cult-fiver-november-2014/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 01:08:24 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5937 OlliOlli, head home for the holidays with Gone Home, reclaim the homelands with Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, escape in-laws... err.. zombies in Teleglitch, and stuff ourselves with bullets in Tower of Guns.]]> Thanksgiving 2014 is upon us! Let’s show everyone our l33t moves in OlliOlli, head home for the holidays with Gone Home, reclaim the homelands with Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, escape in-laws… err.. zombies in Teleglitch, and stuff ourselves with bullets in Tower of Guns.


Cult of the Fiver: OlliOlli

OlliOlli is the natural (d)evolution of games like SSX and Tony Hawk Pro Skater. Trick down challenging two-dimensional, linear skateboard paths across dozens of different courses, with challenges, collectibles, and multiple game modes to play.

OlliOlli is worth your $5 because… if you like these sorts of skate/snowboarding games, OlliOlli is a fun way to scratch that tricky itch. If you’re new to the party, it can be a decent way to get into the genre without the added complexity of those titles. There’s a plethora of courses and modes to try out, and the soundtrack is awesome.

But don’t pay full price for OlliOlli, since… it’s punishingly difficult. Just finishing some of the later courses on the basic game mode can be an exercise in frustration. Despite my previous experiences with the genre and a willingness to replay the same tracks over and over again, I was still unable to finish the game.

Store page(s): Steam | Humble

Quick Tips:

  • Pressing A right before landing (or down right before grinding) gives you a “perfect” landing, gives you a short green glow, and most importantly increases your speed slightly.
  • If you’re having trouble with a track, consider hitting the landing button early – you can still get a “sick” or “OK” landing by pressing A or down pretty early, and that can help somewhat in areas where you need to go a bit slower or where the timing is difficult.
  • Staying up as high as you can on grind rails tends to make the game somewhat easier. A lot of obstacles can be avoided simply by staying off the ground.

Gone Home

Cult of the Fiver: Gone Home

Gone Home is the story of a suburban American family, as viewed by the eldest daughter who is returning from some time abroad. Although the game is played from a first-person perspective, the game hews closer to an adventure game that has very few puzzles.

Gone Home is worth your $5 because… it’s a unique experience, with a touching story. Despite the low level of interactivity in the environment, it still manages to pull you in with its atmosphere and the complex yet relatable story the game is trying to tell.

But don’t pay full price for Gone Home, since… it’s not really a game in the traditional sense of the word. It’s more along the lines of interactive fiction. If you’re looking for something with deep game mechanics or with a lot of replay value, this just isn’t it.

Store page(s): Steam | Humble

Quick Tips:

  • There are a ton of useless objects in the game. If you pick something up and it doesn’t immediately look interesting, chances are it’s just there for flavor.
  • Nevertheless, touch interesting objects, flip them over, and be on the lookout for audio diaries.
  • Some interesting stuff can be found under beds and in trash cans…

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

Cult of the Fiver: Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

Part Metroidvania and part dual stick shooter, ITSP tells the story of a lone UFO attempting to free its homeworld from an invasion of shadowy, tentacled beasts. Explore the planet, collecting upgrades and new weapons! Fight tough bosses and solve interesting environmental puzzles!

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is worth your $5 because… it nails the exploration elements of Metroidvania games, with interesting environments and fun puzzles to solve. The art style is really interesting and unique. The various upgrades are fun to mess with, and for the most part feel unique.

But don’t pay full price for Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, since… combat’s really not that fun. I found myself running away more often than not. Sometimes checkpoints are really close together, and other times they feel too spaced apart. This game was designed for controllers, but there are a variety of weapons that would be helpful to have on a quick-key system.

Store page(s): Amazon w/Steam DRM | Steam | Humble

Quick Tips:

  • Scanning obstacles with your radar dish marks them on your map, as well as telling you what specific tool/weapon is used to interact with it.
  • The saw blade weapon is very useful in combat. I’d almost say it’s the most powerful weapon in the game against most foes.
  • Collecting certain hidden powerups will boost the power of the “gun” weapon, while others will increase your maximum health. Both of these are very useful for survival in the late game.


Cult of the Fiver: Teleglitch

You are a low-level worker for some faceless future megacorp, on a science station researching military mutants and also long distance teleportation. Predictably, things go horribly wrong and you find yourself trapped with a bunch of killer… everything, trying hard to survive despite the aforementioned “everything” trying to kill you. The game plays as a top-down dual-stick style shooter with survival horror elements.

Teleglitch is worth your $5 because… it’s a unique take on survival horror, roguelikes, and dual stick shooter genres. Surprisingly, this combination of disparate genres produces a very compelling game. The game isn’t scary, per se, but it is tense owing to the limited ammo and inventory capacity.

But don’t pay full price for Teleglitch, since… it can be frustrating to start over every time you die, although getting to certain levels activates the ability to get an advanced start. Despite the roguelike trappings, there are a lot of fixed elements in the game. For instance, the first level always has a shotgun and sticky launcher you can find. There is a limited roster of rooms that are just randomly arranged every time you play a leve.

Store page(s): Amazon w/Steam DRM | Steam | Humble

Quick Tips:

  • There are secret rooms hidden on each level. Look for areas where you can kind of see through the walls, then shoot the weak wall to destroy it.
  • If you don’t aim prior to pressing fire while holding explosives, you’ll put them on the ground rather than throwing them.
  • The way your character holds the gun effects the way in which shots will fly once fired. Keep this in mind so that you can more carefully aim.
  • You can eat canned meat to get your health above 100%. The empty cans can be crafted into plates that can be used for armor.

Tower of Guns

Cult of the Fiver: Tower of Guns

Tower of Guns is a classic style first person shooter with somewhat randomized levels and RPG elements. Each level is a series of rooms, packed to the gills with robots that shoot lots and lots of bullets. At the end is a boss that takes a bunch of punishment to take down.

Tower of Guns is worth your $5 because… it harkens back to the Quake era of first person shooters, where shooting stuff and running around like a crazy person was the ultimate in gaming entertainment. The somewhat randomized levels and RPG elements increase the fun of the game. Making progress towards unlocks and a fresh experience every time will keep you coming back for more.

But don’t pay full price for Tower of Guns, since… the randomness can sometimes bog the game down. For instance, many secrets require that you have extensive aerial maneuverability. If you haven’t found jump upgrades, though, you’ll be left out in the cold. Being limited to one gun per run is kind of a bummer. The game really needs a high score or hall of fame feature to make repeated game completions more interesting.

Store page(s): Amazon w/Steam DRM | Steam | Humble

Quick Tips:

  • Most of the guns will feel underpowered at the lowest levels. Collect blue items to level them up and unlock their destructive potential!
  • While most pickups time out after a while, the tokens, items, and weapon mods do not.
  • Sometimes it’s a good strategy to move around the room and take well-timed shots, while other times it is good to find a quiet corner to snipe from.
  • Many turrets can’t rotate completely. It’s possible to get behind certain enemies to make it easier to defeat them.
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Candy Crush Soda Saga Diaries: Level 16 to 20 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-soda-saga-diaries-level-16-to-20/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-soda-saga-diaries-level-16-to-20/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 19:14:25 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5915 Man, the difficulty of Candy Crush Soda Saga has sure ramped up quick, hasn’t it? Just wait until we hit level 18, where the rubber really meets the road. Let’s see if we can make it to 20 without throwing our phones in frustration.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 16

Level 16 is really funky. The level looks like a spiral, and the candy moves around it in a spiral pattern. This can make predicting the way candy will fall super tricky. It’s like there are three extra long columns that run the whole length of the spiral.


As with previous frosting levels, there is way more frosting than there are bears. Keep an eye on the color of the frosting, as I mention in my Candy Crush Soda Saga guide so you know which squares need to go and which are red herrings.

The wrapped candy really shines here, with the weird way the candy flows. The fish is again underpowered, as it will seek out frosting that is pretty useless.

My first run through this, I lost a good 4 or 5 lives. My second time through, I cleared it with 3 stars on the first try. There’s a lot of luck involved, but don’t give up!

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 17

Wow, five bears! And no soda! This level looks weird to start out with. At the beginning, you can make a fish + fish combo, which releases 3 fish. Each new section of the level is intended to teach you a fish special combo. There’s no way to lose, though. Just keep following the hints and you’ll be through in no time flat.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 18

Back to frosting and bears, this time with more licorice cages. Remember that these caged candies can’t move, and have to be broken a total of twice.


There’s a few coloring candies hiding out here too, so chances are this whole board is going to go up in a massive explosion at some point. Try to use these in special candy combos if you can, but it can be tricky to get other special candies into the far left and right columns.

Late in the level, you can try going for fish candies or fish + fish combos if you’ve got just a few squares of frosting left to clear. It’s a bit luck-of-the-draw if they’ll break the frosting you need, but a last minute Hail Mary fish has saved me more than once.

This is the first really hard level, in my opinion. Plan to spend some time or some boosts here in order to get the luck you need to win.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 19

Now we’ve switched back to bears and candy strings. All these level changes are making my head spin… :P

In the first section, there’s a premade striped candy match ready to go. That will shoot the bear up a whole screen, but first you may want to make any special candies that you can on this screen before you go. The top two rows of this screen move on, so if you can put a color bomb or something there, it’s probably worth it. Failing that, you could also benefit from some fish in this next section.

Now we’re approaching the top of the soda, so breaking soda bottles is the most important thing. You can match candy above the soda line, or make fish wherever you can. Much like a lot of the levels so far, winning this one is going to take a combination of luck and a lot of special candies.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 20

Ah, this is a pretty typical Candy Crush scenario – cake blocking an area you need to match in, plus a board area small enough to make special candy matches tricky. There are 16 bears of various sizes, but here again not all the frosting is important.

Focus on breaking the cake so that candy can pour into the right side. The right side is upside down (for whatever reason…) but it’s mainly going to mess with your head rather than change the strategy.

Horizontally striped candy can break frosting on both halves of the level, so that’s a priority. Wrapped is slightly less powerful here, and fish are downright useless until you’re very close to the end. I actually came down to just two frosting squares on my last move, and only one blocking a bear. I matched a fish and it picked the wrong one :( Another life down…

Next up on Candy Crush Soda Diaries: To be continued…!

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Candy Crush Soda Saga Diaries: Level 11 to 15 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-soda-saga-diaries-level-11-to-15/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-soda-saga-diaries-level-11-to-15/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 19:11:01 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5913 Now that the early levels are out of the way, it’s time for Candy Crush Soda Saga to up the challenge level a bit. In this guide, we’ll cover levels 11 through 15 and break through some trickier candy puzzlers.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 11

Level 11 throws us a curveball by featuring 2 bears to rescue. The first one is blocked by a checkerboard of cake, but a few quick matches ought to solve that problem.

Then we move down to where the second bear is, and there is a quick striped + wrapped combo ready-made for us. How kind of them! Then there are a couple of color bombs that can be used if you can get the cake out of the way.

Notice how the screen tracks the bear? If you don’t free the color bombs before moving past this point, you’ll lose the opportunity to use them.

This one might trip you up for a life or two, but just focus on that cake and you’ll be through in no time.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 12

Level 12 is a wide-open board with 3 bears lurking under some thick frosting. Not all this frosting has to go, however. The bears themselves are only one square by two squares, so most of the board is just filler.

If you read my Candy Crush Soda Saga guide you know what to look for in order to spot the bears. You’ll have to clear the first match of the frosting in order to spot them, but that’s a lot easier than just clearing all of it!

Focus on making special candy combos that break a wide part of the board, like wrapped + striped. That will help quite a bit more than simple match-3 moves, or even the fish on this level.

Overall this level isn’t so bad, and it sets the stage for similar but harder levels to come.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 13

Another bear level – this one is pretty close to level 12 except that it’s full of cake. There’s a premade wrapped + color bomb combo here, but I’d suggest waiting a bit before using it if you can. If you know your special candy combos from our special candy guide, you know that color bomb + wrapped turns all of the same color into wrapped candies and sets them off.


Sometimes when I play this level, the wrapped candy is the same color as the two candies embedded in the cake, but sometimes it’s not. If it is, I find that to be a big advantage.

Beyond the initial few moves, the goal here is just to burrow downward and expose the two giant gummy bears behind the frosting. Wrapped candies can be used to great effect to dig holes into the cake and let you get matches lower down. Again, fish candies are kind of not that great, unless you mix them with wrapped candy. They will then seek out cake or frosting and blow it up.

There’s not enough moves on this level to clear it without a lot of special candies and special candy combos, but this isn’t as tight a level as some that will be coming later. You may fail a few times, but stick with it and you can win!

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 14

Back to the bears and candy strings again! This time there are some pre-made special candies to play with. Hitting the fish will cause the soda to break, which is going to be a requirement if you want to get those bears high enough to clear the string.

However, the major problem here is all that cake. It’s everywhere. Until some of it is cleared, big special candy matches are all but impossible. Try to clear this as fast as possible, and focus on some special candy combos to speed the process up.

Once the soda level is high enough and the cake is out of the way, it’s a straight shot. With so few moves though, this is going to be a close one.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 15

Another bear and candy string level, but this time the soda level is critically low! The soda bottles are blocked by cages. This is a level where the fish special candy shines. If you can manage to make a lot of fish candies, or even a fish + color bomb candy combo, you’ll be kicking butt early.


Keep in mind here again that the bear will move on and leave your special candies behind if you’re not careful – try to use the special candies quickly to avoid this!

Priority one is those soda bottles. If you’re all out of soda, focus on getting the bear up by breaking candy that is in its way.

Next up on Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 16 to 20!

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Candy Crush Soda Saga: Tips, Tricks, and Guide! (Part 2) http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-soda-saga-tips-tricks-guide-part-2/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-soda-saga-tips-tricks-guide-part-2/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 23:39:20 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5895 Here in part 2 of my guide to Candy Crush Soda Saga, we’ll dig a bit deeper into the new stuff that’s been added over Candy Crush Saga. Soda, gummy bears, and fish candies, oh my!

I Caught You A Delicious Bass

One of the most interesting and often most important new candies in Soda Saga is the fish candy. If you read the special candies guide, you know you make a fish candy by putting together a square of 4 (or sometimes more) candies.

Candy Crush Soda Saga: Fish Candy

The fish is unique because it will seek out important squares and break the candy inside them. One of the core issues on many levels is that you’ve got to make matches in tricky spots – corners, for example. Often making a square somewhere else and then matching the fish candy is easier and costs fewer moves.

Do be warned, the fish doesn’t always seek the squares you might want it to. For instance, on a “find the hidden bears” level, it may break frosting where there are no bears!

Candy Crush Soda Saga Tip Generally, the fish candy is best when there are only a few “important” squares on the board. Usually this means if you have a choice between a fish candy and another special candy (ie, a striped candy) you may want to pick the fish if it’s late in the level, or the striped if it’s still early.

You Sunk My Gummy Bear!

There are a couple of new gummy bear related game types in Candy Crush Soda Saga, so let’s go over some tips for these.

“Find all the bears” is a new objective type for Candy Crush Soda Saga. On the surface, it looks similar to “break all the jelly” levels from Candy Crush Saga. However, it’s subtly different. In some levels of Candy Crush Soda Saga, not every frosting square covers a bear.

You can tell which squares do block gummy bearsby a couple of different methods.

  • One I call the “battleship” method – exposing part of a gummy bear will tell you where the rest is. Gummy bears only come in certain shapes an sizes, the smallest being 2 squares by 1 square. If you find part of a gummy bear, you know where more of it is.
  • The other is the “shower glass” method. When frosting only has one match left, you can see the gummy bear underneath, if there is one. It turns the square a vaguely blueish/greenish tint that squares without bears don’t get.

Candy Crush Soda Saga: Frosting Types

From left to right, we have:

  • a red candy on top of a frosting square with NO gummy bear
  • an orange candy on top of a frosting square that is too thick to see if there’s a gummy or not
  • A yellow candy on top of a frosting square WITH a gummy bear
  • A red candy on top of a gummy bear, with no frosting

See the difference?

The other bear-related level is one where you must get the bears above the candy necklace line(s) on the level. Here, the soda level comes into play. Speaking of soda…

Cola Chameleon

Another important new feature of Candy Crush Soda Saga is the titular soda. The soda only comes into play on certain levels, but it fundamentally changes the way candies move on the level.

The soda level only increases whenever soda bottles are broken. On some levels, the soda bottles are fixed and no new ones will ever appear, and on other levels they are mixed in with other candies. Soda bottles have to be matched and broken just like candies do. They otherwise behave like candies of the same color.

Candy Crush Soda Saga Tips: Soda Level

Wherever the soda level is, that’s where the candy will rise or fall to. Candy will move up from the bottom of the screen to just under where the soda is, and candy will likewise fall from the top to just above where the soda is.

This can cause some weird effects on some levels. If there’s something blocking candy from moving down on a level, increasing the soda will cause candies to float up from the bottom. This can be important as some levels really need to be attacked from the bottom.


How’d we do? Was this the best guide to Candy Crush Soda Saga you’ve ever read? If so, share it with your Facebook friends, it really means a lot to us! If not, tell us how to improve or share your own pro tips for Candy Crush Soda Saga in the comments!

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Candy Crush Soda Saga: Tips, Tricks, and Guide! (Part 1) http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-soda-saga-tips-tricks-guide/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-soda-saga-tips-tricks-guide/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 23:39:12 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5891 Candy Crush Soda Saga is King’s second entry in the Candy Crush series. Released for iPhones and Android only recently, it’s nonetheless taken the mobile gaming world by storm. In this guide, I’ll share my favorite Candy Crush Soda Saga tricks. With these tips on your side, you’ll be a Candy Crush Soda Saga guru without breaking the bank for boosts!

Playing the Game

This always seems to trip people up, but we don’t actually make the game, guys.

If you want to play Candy Crush Soda Saga, go check it out on Facebook, Google Play, or Apple iTunes

Candy Crush Soda Saga is free! Don’t get fooled by scams or imitators. The links above take you directly to the official download for the free version of Candy Crush Soda Saga.

The Facebook version is great for playing on laptop or desktop PCs that run Windows or Mac OS, while the Google Play version works great on Android devices like Samsung phones. The iTunes version is for those of you who have iPhones or iPads.

Stuck on a Level?

We have a variety of level guides available, you can start at the beginning with level 1 or use the search box to see if we have a guide for that level.

If you’re still stuck, visit our Facebook page and perhaps we (or another Without the Sarcasm community member) can help out!

Match 3 And Lose

The fastest way to lose at Candy Crush Soda Saga is… matching 3 candies together. I just blew your mind there, didn’t I? “But… but… the whole game is match 3!” Yeah, but it doesn’t really help.

The bottom line is that on most levels, it’s mathematically impossible to clear the objective with match 3 moves. On most of the really tricky levels, you’re going to need to clear out so much candy that matching 3 just isn’t going to cut it. Every 3-in-a-row you make brings you one move closer to losing.

What do you do, then? Master making and using the special candies, and get used to losing. :(

Know Your Special Candies

The special candies in Candy Crush Soda Saga are super important. As we just found out, there’s no way to clear enough candy in each level without using them. Thus, the game is all about positioning candies to make special candy matches.

Special candy matches require four or more candies to be matched, either in a line, a L or T shape, or in a square.

Candy Crush Soda Saga Guide: Special Candies

But even special candies aren’t enough. Special candy combos can be created by matching pairs of special candies together, regardless of their color or type. Each different combination of candy produces a different effect.

Candy Crush Soda Saga Tip Different levels benefit from different special candies and special candy combos. A level where you need to clear all the frosting will probably benefit from matches like wrapped + striped, which clears a large plus-shaped region of candy. On a “raise the soda” level, matching two fish together will release 3 fish candy that break soda bottles and remove other small obstructions.

If you don’t know the special candies, how to make them, and what their combos do, check out our special candies guide for Candy Crush Soda Saga!

Luck, Not Skill

Let’s get this one out of the way. Many people think that Candy Crush games are games of skill. They are not. If you learn one thing from this guide, let it be that Candy Crush Soda Saga is a game of chance.

While the game itself is technically “free to play,” King makes its money off of people who pay for boosts, lives, and other stuff like that. They are heavily incented to make each level difficult enough to frustrate you into doing things that make them money.

As I said above, it’s mathematically impossible to win without special candy combos. Most levels are designed with too few moves to make them slightly more difficult. Much of the time, special candy combinations are at the whim of whatever candies the level gives you.

Take this all together, and you’ll see that no matter how much you know, the deck is stacked against you. You are going to either pay or spend a lot of time losing.

Candy Crush Soda Saga Guide: Losing is no fun!

What can you do with this information? Try to keep this in mind as you play. Know that you’re going to get stuck and that the levels aren’t fair. Don’t get frustrated, it’s not you, it’s Candy Crush Soda Saga trying to get you to pay. Don’t give up! Don’t surrender! You CAN get past the tough levels!

Juicy! Let’s keep the tips rolling in part 2!

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Candy Crush Soda Saga Diaries: Level 1 to 10 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-soda-saga-diaries-level-1-to-10/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-soda-saga-diaries-level-1-to-10/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 01:35:35 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5877 Candy Crush Soda Saga is a new entry in a new Candy Crush series. In this article series, I’ll play the game and try to help you guys by explaining how I cleared particular levels. Let’s get down to crushing some soda!

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 1

The first level’s always super easy, and the game more or less plays itself. I just made the recommended matches and enjoyed the easy win.

Do note that Candy Crush Soda Saga is attempting to teach you how to play the game here – match 3 to make progress, match the soda bottles to raise the soda level. They also introduce (but don’t explain) the Swedish Fish candy.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 2

Already here the game seems to assume you’ve played Candy Crush Saga. See those black wires around some of the soda? Those are licorice cages. They stop you from moving the candy in a square, and they also will “absorb” the first match made. This means if you want to break the candy or soda inside one, you’ve got to match it twice.

This is probably the first time you’ll be able to match a block of 4 candies and make a Swedish Fish yourself – this is a new move for Candy Crush Soda Saga!

Here again the goal is to match the soda bottles to raise the soda level, so focus on those to win.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 3

This level is all about the fish. See how you can make a match of 4 candies in a block? That produces a Swedish Fish special candy, which can be matched to seek out important candies to destroy.

Related Guide Having trouble with special candies? Check out our special candy guide!

The first couple of fish will take care of popping the first few soda bottles, and then it will be up to you to finish up the rest by matching and making your own fish.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 4

Ah, the color bomb. The most coveted of special candies. On this level, we’re just going to play with the color bomb + Swedish fish special candy combo.

The rest of the level should be fairly easy after that, just focus on the soda and win!

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 5


This crazy “plus sign” setup is intended to show you how to make the other special candy called the “coloring candy.” Coloring candy is weird, and kind of hard to make. Again, I’ll refer to the special candy guide for more info.

Once you’ve done that and matched it with another candy, this whole level will break apart spectacularly, and then you’re back to the same ol’ match soda and win.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 6

Level 6 introduces frosting, (although the game also calls it ‘ice’) which is like jelly in Candy Crush Saga. This time, though, the goal isn’t always to clear all of the frosting. Most of the time, what you want to do is clear specific tiles of frosting in order to expose the gummy bears.

On this level, though, all the frosting is covering bears, so all of it needs to go. Mass-clearing frosting usually means special candy combos – anything involving a color bomb is good, or a striped + wrapped combo. The new fish candy isn’t the greatest at clearing large amounts of frosting, but it can be useful for those corner bits that are hard to clear any other way.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 7

Now we’ve got frosting plus those licorice cages plus finding the bears, all together now. Note that you don’t have to match ALL the frosting on this level – just the frosting that is blocking the bears. It’s kind of hard to tell which frosting squares cover the bears, but when they’re down to just one match worth of frosting left, you can see the greenish tint of the gummy bear behind the frosting.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 8

Wow, that’s a lot of cake blocking squares. Here again on Candy Crush Soda Saga level 8, the objective is to find the bears, but that’s going to have to wait until the board is a bit more clear. It takes two nearby matches to clear out this cake and its wrapper, and before this is done making special candy matches is nearly impossible.


After clearing a sizeable chunk of the level, it’s down to making and breaking special candy combos. The wrapped + striped is a good one to do, if you can manage. Color bombs are a bit harder here because of the limited space, but if you can manage it, it’s worth it. One of those plus a wrapped or a striped and you’re in business.

This is probably the first level where you can get really stuck – it can be difficult to do so much clearing on so few moves. It’s probably going to take a few lives to get the luck you need to proceed. Get used to this – this sort of luck-based gameplay is heavily featured in King games and Candy Crush Soda Saga is no exception.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 9

Oooh, another new game mode. In this mode, you’ve got to move the gummi bear in the bubble above the candy string.

The first two screens are gimmes – they’re fixed patterns of candy and it’s just a matter of making the moves. The gloves come off on the final area, although it’s still pretty easy.

Don’t forget that you can match the candy above the candy string as well as below. The candy string is just an arbitrary line – candy matching works as if it wasn’t there.

Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Level 10

Well, that escalated quickly. This is another “floating bear” level, but now there’s some cake and a cage blocking the bear.


This one looks tricky, but it’s really a test of your fish candy knowledge. Matching the fish candies will home in on the squares and licorice cage blocking the bear.

Candy Crush Soda Saga level 10 can take a few tries, mainly because you might not have the candy combinations you need to break the fish free. It takes a bit of luck, but it’s doable.

Next up on Candy Crush Soda Diaries: Levels 11 to 15!

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Candy Crush Soda Saga: Special Candies Guide http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-soda-saga-special-candies-guide/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-soda-saga-special-candies-guide/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2014 01:32:52 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5875 Candy Crush Soda Saga stays close to the Candy Crush Saga formula in many ways. However, Candy Crush Soda Saga introduces new special candies and shakes up existing special candy combos. Becoming a Candy Crush Soda Saga special candies expert is practically required to win the more challenging levels. In this guide, I’ll explain all the special candies, how to make them, and what sorts of combos you can build with them.

Candy Crush Soda Saga: Striped Candy

Striped candy in Candy Crush Soda Saga is identical to the striped candy from Candy Crush Saga. You make it the same way – any four-in-a-row match. When matched, a striped candy will clear an entire row or column, depending on the direction of the stripes on the candy.

The direction of the match determines the direction of the stripes. If you move a candy horizontally to make the striped candy, it will clear a row when matched. Similarly, when you move a candy vertically to make the striped candy, it will clear a column.

Candy Crush Soda Saga: Wrapped Candy

Wrapped candy is also identical in Candy Crush Soda Saga to wrapped candy from Candy Crush Saga. You can make wrapped candy by making an “L” or “T” shape out of 5 candies of the same color. When matched, a wrapped candy explodes and destroys the candies surrounding it, then when the candy settles it explodes again.

Candy Crush Soda Saga: Color Bomb

The color bomb is another returning special candy in Candy Crush Soda Saga. You’ve got to match 5 candies in a straight line in order to make one of these. It does not require a 3-in-a-row to be matched – it will match with any other candy on the board. When matched, it clears all of the same color candy off the board.

Many times a 4-of-a-kind can be nudged into a color bomb. If you can move candies around a 4-of-a-kind, it’s usually worth it to try and make it a 5-of-a-kind to get a color bomb. Color bombs are very useful, doubly so because they enable many special candy combos that we’ll talk about later.

Candy Crush Soda Saga: Swedish Fish

Candy Crush Soda Saga: Fish Candy

You may remember the Swedish fish from Candy Crush Saga, but now it’s created in a totally new way – by putting four candies in a square. This makes it much easier to get, and you’ll find that Swedish Fish play a much bigger role in CCS Soda strategies. The Swedish fish will also bring in surrounding candies if it can, so sometimes it will match 5 candies instead of just 4, for example.

The Swedish fish can be extremely powerful because it seeks out important matches for you. For instance, it will break cola bottles, jelly, licorice cages, and other obstacles in your way. It doesn’t just hit candies around it or in a straight line. This makes it an extremely powerful addition to the special candy roster.

Candy Crush Soda Saga: Coloring Candy


The coloring candy is the other new special candy in Candy Crush Soda Saga. To make one of these, you’ve got to match 8 candies in a T shape. 5 of them have to be in a row, so this is kind of a cross between the color bomb and the wrapped candy.

When matched with any other candy, a coloring candy will turn all of that color candy into a new color. This candy is harder to make than the color bomb, but it doesn’t seem that much better than the color bomb, honestly.

Candy Crush Soda Saga: Candy Combos

The game doesn’t really call this out, but any two special candies can be matched together to do something special, even if they’re different colors. This is very, very important to clearing the harder levels.

StripedWrappedColor BombSwedish FishColoring Candy
StripedClear a row and column centered on the current square Clear 3 rows and 3 columns centered around the current square Turn all of the same color candies into striped candies and break them Seek out an important square and clear a row/column from there?
Wrapped Clear 3 rows and 3 columns centered around the current square Detonate in an extra large area and let the candy settle before detonating a smaller area Turn all of the same color candies into wrapped candies and break them Seek out an important square and detonate in that square?
Color Bomb Turn all of the same color candies into striped candies and break them Turn all of the same color candies into wrapped candies and break them Clear the entire board Turn all of the same color candies in to Swedish Fish and seek out important squares to breakClear the entire board
Swedish Fish Seek out an important square and clear a row/column from there Seek out an important square and detonate in that square Turn all of the same color candies in to Swedish Fish and seek out important squares to break Releases 3 Fish to attack important squares.Turn all of the fish’s color candy to fish
Coloring Candy??Clear the entire boardTurn all of the fish’s color candy to fish?

Right now I haven’t played enough with the coloring candy to see what all the combos are. I think they’re similar to the color bomb. However, if you know them, shout out in the comments!

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Special candy combos are way better than normal special candies, so it pays to get them and match them together! Sometimes, it’s the only way to win with a limited number of moves.
  • The “important squares” that the fish chase aren’t foolproof. In particular, they don’t always hit squares of frosting that there are bears behind. They work okay, but they’re not going to solve all your problems all the time.
  • Notice that the color bomb + wrapped combo has changed from Candy Crush Saga – it used to just clear two colors, but now it will turn all of that same color to bombs. I think this is much better, personally.


Candy Crush Soda Saga keeps some of the old candies from Candy Crush Saga, but it also introduces a couple of new ones. There are a lot of the special candy combos that haven’t changed from the original, but there are some important changes to note. Mastering special candies and special candy combos is essential! Hopefully this guide has helped you understand them!

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Candy Crush Diaries: Level 149 to 155 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-diaries-level-149-155/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-diaries-level-149-155/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 02:06:16 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5861 The first half of Gingerbread Glade was no walk in the park, so what will the second half bring? Let’s get to crushing candy and clearing meringue to find out.

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 149

Man, whenever there’s chocolate I dread the level. This one’s got some chocolate stuck at the top, but it’s blocking any replacement candies from falling. Pretty much the only solution is vertically striped candy, stat.


I did find it useful to make a few matches near the top of the screen right from the start, so that the vertically striped candy matches punch through the chocolate and the meringue right away. Otherwise, this is a slog.

After clearing that stuff out, there’s still the order to fill. A TON of striped candy, plus a wrapped + wrapped combo, and a bunch of a particular color to work with as well. It’s a painful combo, but a few lives down and I made it through!

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 150

Level 150’s got a lot of that chocolate meringue to content with, and it’s protecting a big area of jelly covered in licorice swirls to boot. The only options are to match down the sides or carefully along the bottom of the big meringue cage.


Really, I only have to break through one side or the other in order to get to the middle. However, the randomness of Candy Crush means that I’m probably going to waste effort on both sides regardless.

Wrapped candy is kind of worthless, what with the jelly being towards the top of the level. It’s only really good when comboed with striped. This one takes a few tries and a bunch of special candy, but eventually I emerge victorious!

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 151

The unique parts about this level are that it is timed, plus there’s a figure-8 swirl of chocolate meringue through the middle. There’s not a lot else going on here to cause difficulty. I managed to blast through it pretty quickly, a welcome respite from the difficulty of the previous level.

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 152

Man, what is with all the heart shaped levels in this episode? The game is so brutal it’s almost sadistic, but then the level design is constantly telling you how much it loves you. This whole game screams “abusive relationship.”

Heart-shaped meta-commentary aside, this is a standard ingredients level with some chocolate meringue in the way. It can be tricky to chip the meringue away, but that’s what special candies and special candy combos are for.

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 153

This bell-shaped level eschews the chocolate meringue in favor of normal meringue, and at first it seems pretty straightforward. However, (and this is a big ‘ol however) the order is asking for a color bomb + color bomb match. Ugh.

Normally that wouldn’t be so bad, but the shape of the level is kind of designed to make it very difficult to get 5 in a row. Plus, the color bombs can’t be moved laterally once they’re made, so you’ve got a very small area to work with. I found it best to try to make my 5-in-a-row matches down the center three columns. It’s tricky, but doable.

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 154

Upon first loading 154, the game tells you to clear the jelly. However, there’s no jelly to be seen! Insidiously, the jelly is hiding behind the three squares of chocolate at the bottom.


At first the chocolate is blocked by the empty tiles, but quickly I found it spreading outward once I’d cleared some of the meringue.

The chocolate makes this level super punishing, since it’s likely to get out and spread before you can really get a foothold on clearing it. It’s down to making special candy combo matches again, which is difficult to do without clearing a lot of the meringue.

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 155

The last level of this episode is finally here! This time there’s a diamond of meringue, covering some jelly. The far edges of the meringue are one-match only, so that’s definitely a priority to clear fast. That opens attacking the diamond from the bottom, but there’s still so few moves on this level that clearing it took me a lot of special candy and special candy combos.

Like on level 150, clearing a big area to make big matches is definitely a priority. Focusing on one side of the board gave me the leg up I needed to finish this level and wrap up the episode!

Next up on Candy Crush Diaries: To be continued…!

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Candy Crush Diaries: Level 141 to 148 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-diaries-level-141-to-148/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/candy-crush-diaries-level-141-to-148/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 01:59:23 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5838 Candy Crush Saga Level 141 starts the Gingerbread Glade and introduces chocolate covered meringue, which is like regular meringue but more… chocolatey. No doubt this is going to cause some heartache, but let’s see if we can power through it nonetheless.

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 141

Well, looks like the new mechanic for this episode is… chocolate covered meringue. At least it doesn’t spread like chocolate, although it requires another match to clear.

Level 141 goes down pretty easy, once some of that meringue out of the way. As it often goes, the first level is just a warm up for things to come.

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 142

Level 142 ups the ante a bit, by adding some ingredients and using the new chocolate meringue to block them from reaching the bottom. However, I didn’t find it that challenging. Just making a bunch of vertical striped candy is enough to make this one a piece of cake.

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 143

Okay, sheesh. Those last two were a bit easy, but this one looks downright tricky. A bomb right in the middle, surrounded by tons of chocolate meringue.


Oh what? There’s jelly too? Holy cow. All of the jelly is under that chocolate meringue.

Despite these challenges, I only took two attempts – the first one was aborted due to the bomb going off, but the second worked better than I expected. A couple of striped candy + color bomb matches made short work of all that meringue, once I’d cleared the bomb.

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 144

Bombs behind meringue, and a strict move limit. Fun times. There’s so few moves and so much to clear that just exposing the bombs took me all my moves the first time through.

I did somewhat better on the second try, and lucked completely out in that the two bombs on the right just sort of randomly cleared themselves while I was making other matches. Go random luck!

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 145

Ugh, I really hate these timed levels. There’s a chocolate cache at the bottom here that takes over whenever the meringue starts to go. The first time out, I failed miserably, partly because I wasn’t paying attention to the timed aspect. On the second try, though, I managed to make a few good candy combos and I blew the chocolate away!

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 146

Whaaaat? 13 striped candies and a massive regular candy order… with just a single match to start from? Crazytown.


The center area opens up pretty quickly, though, and once everything is out of the way the board is just wide open for more matches. Again here I managed to clear it on my first try, and the cascading Sugar Crush lasted a good minute or so before it finally died down. Wheeeeee!

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 147

Level 147 has a bunch of jelly surrounded by a bunch of meringue. No chocolate meringue this time, though… Usually the levels from an episode feature that episode’s new mechanic. Odd. Whatever, this is a pretty standard level, just match candies together, make the special combos, and boom, we’re outta here.

There’s the occasional bomb to contend with, but I came SO CLOSE the first time through – just two squares of jelly left on my last move. :(


Then I got stuck, wasting life after life here. Those top corners can hide bombs until it’s too late, and the bottom area is just not big enough to reliably make large matches. Additionally, there’s a lot of jelly in the corners and edges that resist matching.

This is the sad truth: there’s no real amount of knowing that can get you past this level. It’s just a matter of throwing lives at it until the randomness works out. It’s levels like this that peel back the veneer of Candy Crush Saga and expose it for what it really is, a candy-themed slot machine.

Candy Crush Diaries: Level 148

Well, with that depressing life-sucking level out of the way, let’s move on. Level 148 features some ingredients, and a checkerboard of meringue to go with it. Luckily this one’s not as bad as the prior one – just gotta clear out a big area to make the big matches in, and it’s easytown.

Next up on Candy Crush Diaries: Levels 149 to 155!

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Four Tools to Enhance Your Favorite Websites (part 2) http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/four-tools-enhance-favorite-websites-part-2/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/four-tools-enhance-favorite-websites-part-2/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 02:43:59 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5842 start with part 1?]]> Welcome back to our countdown of four tools to enhance your favorite websites! If you’re joining us in the middle, why not start with part 1?


So how many of you out there use Pinterest? If you are anything like me, you use it too much. I save ideas for my kids’ birthday parties, recipes, you name it! It can be such a pain, though, looking for the pin button on a page that you want to save. Luckily there is a way to get around that as well. You can add a button to your browser much like the one for Amazon that I mentioned above. It’s a little more complicated but definitely doable:


There are buttons for the web, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Each option has step-by-step instructions for how to install. It even allows you to pin pages that don’t have a pin button already, as long as the page has a picture.

Sometimes the sheer number of things I have pinned gets overwhelming. I knew I needed to organize my boards to be able to find anything but I dreaded trying to manually sort through the 600+ desserts that I want to try. Then I found:



It does require an install and it currently only works on Firefox but it’s really helpful. It allows you to select a lot of pins at the same time and do bulk operations like moving them to a different board, finding duplicates, or deleting them. Now my desserts board has been broken into cookies, pies, cakes, etc. This is probably the first time that talking about a tool has made me hungry. This is just scratching the surface of what the tool can do.


So now we come to eBay. Now there are tons of apps for eBay but I’m focusing on just the computer right now. Have you ever been on your computer near the end of an auction, gotten distracted, and missed out on a great deal? I have done that tons of times. In fact, many times when I sit down at my computer I end up not doing the one thing I really meant to do. In any case, eBay has a tool that will send you an instant message if you have been outbid or if a listing ends. That way, even if you forget to switch tabs and check on an auction, you will be informed if something important happens. Instructions for that can be found here:


There’s no need to install anything; you just turn on IM alerts in your communication preferences. It does require that you have an account with either AOL Instant Messenger, Windows Live, or Yahoo! Messenger though.


So, have you learned anything new? I really hope so. I know that my life is a little easier thanks to these time-saving online tools. Do you know anyone that shops or Amazon or uses Pinterest? Why not share this article with them? I’m sure they’ll thank you.

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