May 8, 2013 10:14 PM | Staff
Over the last week, the Twitter feeds of game creators and fans alike began to fill with a peculiar wave of notices about candy. Things like: "I've maxed out at 100 lollipops a second," and "I've now thrown 1000 candies on the ground, why am I throwing candies on the ground," and people answering frog riddles and upgrading their swords into better swords. It looked a lot like a Facebook game.
Except Aniwey's Candy Box, the source of the craze, isn't a Facebook game, or even a "social game," per se. It's a tiny, free, ASCII stat-based grind played in a browser tab, and for a hot second there, it was all the rage.
This in spite of the fact that it has the same kind of "empty" grind mechanics players have derided in social games for years now: Your resource counts increase simply with time spent, which means scores of people bragging about how they left the game open all weekend at the office in eagerness to return to a candy bounty.
When you spend resources on an upgrade, you have to wait to interact with the upgrade system again. You can undertake a quest, but need to wait about two minutes until you can do another. There's even a dual currency system (though no real money is ever involved).