Jelly Smash, a candy smashing game for Windows Phone and Windows 8

Lots of readers rely on Windows Phone Central to learn about new Windows Phone games, but how does our staff discover games to share with the folks at home? My favorite method is by checking the “Newly discovered games thread” in our forums. Dedicated readers like “John Lampard” and Mohamed Ashid post a never-ending stream of Store links for new games.

One of the games our forum boys recently shared actually surprised me quite a bit. Jelly Smash is a match-3 puzzle game from, makers of Angry Gran Run. At first glance, I pegged Jelly Smash as another Candy Crush Saga clone to throw on the pile. But the more I played this one, the more I realized how well it stands on its own. It also happens to be exclusive to Windows Phone and Windows 8 and RT, which adds a few extra cool points in my book.

Gran’s journey

Speaking of Angry Gran, the character pops up on Jelly Smash’s title screen, diving into a pile of candy… or jellies… or whatever. It’s cool to see her here, but she doesn’t seem to show up anywhere else in the game. If you’re going to bother splashing a character all over the title screen, you might as well stick her in the menus and other areas too. Just look at Frozen Free Fall. Games like this really benefit from a little personality.

Anyway, the concept of Jelly Smash is simple. Players progress through more than fifty unique levels, completing each level’s goal and trying to earn high star ratings. Jelly Smash outdoes the average mobile game by offering more than just three stars to earn. Levels in this game go to FOUR, Spinal Tap-style. Naturally you can connect to Facebook in order to compete against friends and family. Friends can also send lives to each other.

Smashing the candy in style

To start out with, the goal in Jelly Smash is just to reach a target score in a specific amount of moves. Fail to complete the goal and you lose a life. Naturally, lives are finite but slowly recharge over time.

What’s cool about Jelly Smash is how it gradually increases in complexity with each new level. Each of the early levels teaches a new mechanic that makes this more than just an average match-3 game. For instance: match four and you’ll get a glowing jelly that explodes horizontally or vertically when matched, taking out a whole line of pieces.

Make a t-shape of jellies and you get a special jelly that explodes diagonally, which really mixes things up. Or create a square out of four like-colored jellies to build a bomb that explodes radially. Finally, 5-in-a-row forms a rainbow jelly that destroys all jellies of one color.

The variety of special pieces you can make would be impressive enough, but the chain reactions make things even better. It’s not unusual to create huge cascades of jellies exploding in all directions. The chaos of combos looks so impressive; the developers should add an instant replay feature.

More mechanics

Jelly Smash doesn’t just rely on score goals to create a challenge. Levels often feature unique obstacles like snow and gates. Spaces with snow much have a match cleared within them before the snow will disappear. Since the number of moves you have per level is limited, it can take a little planning (or luck) to clear all the snow away.

Other levels have spaces containing red and green gates. You have to make matches next to a gate in order to unlock it. Successfully unlock all of the gates in a level and you switch to a completely different area within the level. It makes for a nicely varied experience.

In-App Purchases

Besides the obvious ability to buy extra lives when you run out, Jelly Smash also offers premium powers as in-app purchases. To start with, you can buy six extra moves within a stage for 99 cents. Eventually you’ll unlock the power to rewind time and take a move back; the ability to remove any one jelly on the board; and the power to swap any two jellies around.

I’m not crazy about premium powers and what they do to game balance. But they are pretty common in games like this. Players who don’t want to spend anything can either muscle through tough levels by retrying until they win, or walk away when the going gets too rough.

Overall Impression

Jelly Smash is one of the better match-3 games in the mobile Windows lineup. The clever mechanics and spectacular chain reactions it brings to the table definitely give it an edge. I do wish for a little more personality, and the music could be better. Still, the game is plenty of fun as-is.

It would be best for Microsoft and to reach an agreement and bring Candy Crush Saga over before Candy Crush passes from memory. But until that happens, at least puzzle fans have several strong alternatives like this to keep them busy.

  • Jelly Smash – Windows Phone 8 – 20 MB – Free – Store Link
  • Jelly Smash – Windows 8 and RT – 19 MB – Free – Store Link (opens in new tab)

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • Seems like a tasty version of Hexic!
  • More like Candy Crush actually.
  • Hey Paul what's your nationality? America?
  • Yep. I live in Texas. You?
  • I'm Indian mate,.hey are you on instagram?
  • Unfortunately I'm not. Feel free to connect via Twitter though - @PaulRAcevedo. Lemme know who you are if you do hit me up there. :)
  • Something about those graphics that keep me away from games like that. They don't look as appealing as Candy Mania on ios for example.
  • Do people really play these games? Without achievements? Don't know about you guys but I love to earn something I suffer for not just leaderboards. Only Xbox games are on my phone and surprisingly, never played an indie game give me a name :-)
  • +1
  • Most people play games for their entertainment value, not just "suffer" through it to get achievements. Don't get me wrong, I love earning achievements just as much as the next guy, but if I am given the choice between a great non-XLive game vs a mediocre XLive title, I will go with the better game.
  • First of all: You should play for fun.
    When earning achievements gives you the most fun, then it's cool man. Even when the game is not so enjoyable. I can understand that, getting something back for your time is always good.
    For me it's about time. I don't have that much time and I want my gaming to "matter" so I only play Xbox games. Other big reason: Friends list, so much fun to beat your good friends from all over the world. Facebook is not for me, hate it with a passion.
  • Wat is the status of candy crush saga?
  • Error 404
  • Cookie?
  • Talked to my cousins wife over the weekend. She may leave the platform because of candy crush. I think that is asinine, but...
  • Sweet Crush is kind of like candy crush. Couple others have similar gameplay.
  • Well good thing this came prepared with jelly for the possible lawsuit that could've happened if got the copyright to the word candy.
  • Speaking of Candy Crush, does anyone have any suggestions of alternatives to give a person that's new to WP, and is missing Candy Crush? I don't play these types of games and I have no clue what to suggest to these folks.
  • try sweet crush or sweet mania space quest
  • Sweet crush is similar to candy crush its a good game to be honest I haven't tried sweet mania space quest
  • Thank you both.
  • Bro play forzen free fall. That's better than candy crush
  • And I so agree to this!!! #LoveFrozenFreeFall but now, I'm really hooked in playing Nokia's Modern Mayor. Have you tried it?
  • Just give us candy crush already, King
  • not just rely... I'm addicted to wpc
  • Same here LOL
  • Frozen Free Fall is much much better than Candy Crush. It syncs with Win8 too.
  • Haha, thanks Paul :D (y) :)
  • We thank you! :)
  • You need to pay for the game after level 25 or 30... So uninstalled...
  • You're saying users have to pay to unlock the second half of the levels? How much?
  • Need to pay to play after finishing level 35 onwards. Pffftt..
  • How much?
  • Well Hello . I have one question. I have the lumia 920 and i cannot download this game or few otheres its says that this application its not avaible for me .. so what is that? 
  • Level 35 and up requires a micro-transaction of 0.99 cents to unlock. If not, you're stuck at 34.