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FaceApp - despite the controversy there's a reason it is popular!

FaceApp is high in the ranks of then Google Play store at the moment, and despite the controversies of white-washing, there's a reason. In short, it's really fun, simple to use and an all round well-designed app that has some great filters and effects.
The purpose of the app is simple - simply load it up, take a photo, play with a few dials and then before you know it there's your desired outcome - whether it be a new gender, a younger self, an older self - etc. You name it - FaceApp can do it.
Check it out today, it's one of those apps well worth downloading and spending a few minutes with!

Review: Candy Cookie Shop

8/10

Today's android review is for a relatively new game called Candy Cookie Shop by developer, Time for Awesome Game. Having only been released on the Google Play store in early November, there is no better time to jump in and try it out!



Put simply, Candy Cookie Shop is yet another gem matching, bejewelled-like game. There's no two ways around it, and the game doesn't try to hide this fact. Realistically, there are probably thousands of games in this style on the Google Play store, though this is not necessarily a bad thing - as the core gameplay is tried and tested, and at the end of the day, good fun.


Now, this may be a strange way to start the review, particularly when you can see that I really liked the app, giving it 8 stars. However there’s no denying that the game-play in Candy Cookie is a very familiar take on the classic match-3 game design.  However, just because something has been done before, doesn’t mean it still can’t be a great app. In short,  if you like Candy Crush or  Bejewelled then Candy Cookie Shop is for you.
I don’t feel I need to spend too long talking about the technical side of gameplay. The core loop revolves around connecting three or more coloured candies of the same type in a row, by swapping one candy with another. There are a variety of different tasks to complete depending on the level, whether it be to simply clear a certain number of each coloured candies, to clear ‘solid’ blocks or spider webs, to collect items as they fall off the screen, etc. Connecting more than three blocks in row will reward with special powerful blocks, and at the end of each level, depending on your score, you will be rewarded with 1 to 3 stars and coins. If you take too many moves you will fail the level and need to start again.


Familiar right? As I said though, this isn’t a bad thing. The game that obviously provided the most inspiration for Candy Cookie Shop is Candy Crush, and it is when comparing the two that I found myself wanting to more regularly play Candy Cookie Shop. Why? Well there are a number of reasons.

For starters, I hate load times on my android phone. When I play a mobile game I want it to be quick and efficient. I don’t want to spend 45 seconds scrolling through flash screens, load screens, prolonged animations and in-app store demonstrations. In this regard, Candy Cookie Shop is fast. I honestly think I could have booted it up and been half way before a level by the time I am even at the main menu of Candy Crush.

The second reason, and somewhat related to the first, is simplicity. Sometimes, games of this nature have the tendency to go over the top with everything, be it the sound or the animations or the complexity of the store system. I hate nothing more than pressing a button and having to watch a few seconds of animations to achieve the desired result. This is not the case with Candy Cookie Shop. It still looks good and sounds great, but it is blazingly fast, with smooth but efficient animations. This is a snappy, responsible app which is exactly what I think more mobile apps need to spend greater time focusing on. If you want to spend more time playing and less time watching load screens, you won't be disappointed. 

Next up is the progression system and the sense of challenge. This game has plenty of variety but it doesn't hold your hand like some similar games. Each level starts with a simple instruction, and if a new gameplay mechanic is introduced, it is done so efficiently, allowing you to get back to playing. I can't say it enough, but in playing Candy Cookie Shop I really got the feeling that the developer respected me as gamer, and respected my time - not wasting it with painful demonstrations or tutorials and unnecessary clicks. 

Finally is the longevity of the game. There are no lives so you can play for as long as you want, with the only thing limiting your progression and forcing you into a store being you own capability. If you have a bit of skill, and don’t mind a few simple ads, then you can get hours of entertainment from Candy Cookie Crush for free. 

There are over 250 levels, which in my few hours of play I obviously got no where near reaching, so there is plenty here to keep users  occupied. On the ad front -  don't be dismayed if you want to remove them - for only a few dollars the developer has included an in-app purchase to banish them from your screen, but I played for a quite a while and found them to be completely painless - nothing like the entire screen takeovers or mandatory videos which plague similar competitor apps. 

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this app. It never tries to reinvent the wheel, but it does put a little more air in the tires and really allow it to fly along at pace, not bogged down like many similar apps. The developer has obviously put a lot of effort into making the entire package fast, simple and fun - and for that I strongly recommend this app. Check it out today!


In the words of the developer:

Help a raccoon in his match 3 adventure. Get ready to make an exciting journey through a variety of tasks.
Features:
- 250 unique challenging levels and you can skip one if you get stuck
- non-stop play! (no lives)
- attractive lovely graphics
- awards and bonuses
Download it and get a lot of fun!
P.S. Do not forget to recommend us to your friends.:-)

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