The new smartphone and tablet free-to-play iOS game is aimed at “making everyone finally quit crushing candies,” according to Seattle-based Big Fish Games, which is clearly a little jealous at the success of King’s Candy Crush Saga, which generated 79 percent of King’s $1.8 billion in revenue in 2013. It has 40 hand-crafted puzzles to solve, and it has the same kind of gem-matching mechanic popularized in hits like Candy Crush Saga — but without “friend gates,” “pay walls” or anything else that leads you to spending money.
The twist is that Cascade has a slot machine mechanic where you can spin a wheel to give you new matching options. That enables players to take advantage of both strategy and luck.
In Cascade, you journey alongside Jasper, a mole participating in the Great Cascade Gem Rush. You can accompany him through 10 hand-painted lands and meet wildlife friends like bears, arctic foxes, and a kayaking otter. It also has a daily challenge puzzle and it will have regular updates. That’s the same kind of formula that King has used to snare hundreds of millions of gamers — but with microtransactions.
Big Fish Games is publishing and distributing Cascade. The developer is Funkitron, a 13-year-old casual game studio headed by David Walls.