The Hardest Level of Candy Crush

Screenshot of Candy Crush

Screenshot of Candy Crush

The geek in me can’t just play Candy Crush. Instead of merely wasting my evening, lining up pieces of brightly colored candy on the iPad, I also spend an inordinate amount of time thinking through the construction of the different levels. What makes a level frustrating vs. challenging? Which is more dreaded: multiplying chocolate pieces or multi-layered jellies? I threw these questions out there to the vast Internet, trying to figure out what was the hardest level of Candy Crush.

Could we collectively create a grading system that could give players a heads up on the difficulty before they approach the board, much in the same way golf course holes tell the player the par? If a person knew that a level was going to be difficult, would they approach it in a different way than if they thought it was easy?

Eighteen percent of people answered that 65 was the most difficult level. Sure, there were other levels that were on the most dreaded list, but 65 bubbled up to the top as the most dreaded board. Which makes sense since it brings together many of the most frustrating elements: licorice, chocolate, and jellies. Other least favorite levels included 33, 70, 79, 97, 125, 147, 165, 252, and 410.

In terms of types of board, three challenges held the most frustration. Twenty-eight percent of people dislike the timed levels, stating that they make them too tense to enjoy the game. Twenty-six percent of people dislike bringing down the ingredients because sometimes it takes too long for the ingredients to make an appearance on the screen. And 18% of people dislike the ones that have the player clear the jelly because it’s redundant and often takes luck (rather than skill) to clear.

Even knowing that the game often makes me want to chuck the iPad against the wall, I’ve been encouraging my twins to play. When they pass a board, they feel great. But even when they don’t pass a board, it gives us an opportunity to apply ideas from school to this fairly bland game. Think of Candy Crush as the equivalent to gaming tofu: it takes on the flavor of whatever you need it to be.

I mean, for adults, it can be anything from a time-waster in line to a relax-before-bed ritual to a half-listening-in-a-meeting distraction. And for kids, we’ve used it to explain everything from essay writing techniques (lining up the three supports in order to create a cascade effect of ideas!) to order of operations. Truly, nothing drives home the point that everything from problem solving to programming requires a structured approach than handing them a board with multiplying chocolates, candy bombs, and jellies to clear and asking them in what order they’ll tackle the problem to solve it. They learn quickly that order really does matter, and going out of order brings about unintended results.

One annoying game: so many uses.

The boards worth playing — not the ones above that annoy the hell out of people because they rely more on luck than anything else — are the ones that require actual strategy. That bend the mind as you work to line up those candies. Because yes, it may come across as a frivolous game when you see the guy sitting next to you on the Metro spend a half hour sliding around colored pictures of candy. But don’t be fooled by the carnival music and falling candy clicks like bubble wrap popping: you can get hours of mind-stretching, strategy-building fun out of a single, well-constructed board.

The sort that make you smile with relief when the screen lights up with Sugar Crush.

Fess up: are you playing Candy Crush, and what has been your hardest board?

Melissa Ford

About Melissa Ford

Melissa Ford writes women's fiction, but she does it while wearing a Superman shirt. A geek to the core, she is also the author of the award-winning site, Stirrup Queens which the Wall Street Journal named one of the top ten motherhood blogs. You can find her in all sorts of places around the web including Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, Google+, and Amazon. She completed her MFA at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She lives outside of Washington, D.C. with her writer husband, Joshua, and their twins.

Melissa Ford

About Melissa Ford

Melissa Ford writes women's fiction, but she does it while wearing a Superman shirt. A geek to the core, she is also the author of the award-winning site, Stirrup Queens which the Wall Street Journal named one of the top ten motherhood blogs. You can find her in all sorts of places around the web including Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, Google+, and Amazon. She completed her MFA at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She lives outside of Washington, D.C. with her writer husband, Joshua, and their twins.

179 thoughts on “The Hardest Level of Candy Crush

    • if you’re playing it on your smartphone, go into the menu’s and disconnect from facebook. When you go back to the level change screen you’ll be given the option to “play quests” to get past the “lock” Beat the 3 quests (you have to wait a day between each, or adjust your phone to say it’s the next day your choice) And you’re good to move on.

      As well on a smartphone/Tablet you can always move the date and time ahead and get more lives Etc… just jump into the settings. add the time, Jump back into the game to make sure the lives get registers. Then go back to the settings, and turn it back to the actual time.

  1. That’s really odd — level 20? There are gatekeeping levels, but they begin at 35. Your lives will regenerate every half hour. So to get back up to the full 5 lives (or 5 turns), just wait 2 1/2 hours.

  2. I’m on level 428! Once you get past the dreaded 35, 65, and 165 the levels get “easier”. Or is it that I’ve finally figured the levels out?

      • If you happen to get two stripes together right away-great. Otherwise it’s easier to get rid of the pies first. Otherwise any stripes that you’ve made will blow up once the pies are smashed. The four stripes in each corner are kind of worthless.

      • The four stripes in the corner are not worthless. Kill one pie without touching the corners on one side, and you are given a free stripe-stripe combo (provided the dropped pieces do not set off a stripe). One combo down. For the rest, getting rid of pies opens the level up, making it easier to find more stripe possibilities, BUT once all 4 pies are gone and both tornadoes return, this level becomes mostly luck based. Pies will give you a chance to reset the board if pieces are not falling your way, plus it gets rid of the pesky tornadoes allowing for some easier planning. Only target pies if you cannot see possibilities for stripe combos. Using this method, you can tip this level to more skill based (rather than luck), and pass it with relative ease (I have gone through this level twice now. The first time, I managed to get through it before exhausting a full set of lives. The second time, it took three full sets of lives. Bottom line, you can pass it).

  3. I have been stuck on 421 for a month. I don’t even see how buying boosters could help with this level. I’m pretty close to quitting.

  4. I’m on level 266… Holiday hut is a hard episode. The hardest levels for me have been 65, 181, and 213. Other than that nbd.

  5. Levels 425, 311, and 213 have been the most aggravating for me (the whole soda swamp episode was a pain since it was 90% luck, levels 411 – 425). Helping other people pass some of the earlier “difficult” levels, they seem a lot easier now.

    • Level 425 has had me stuck for over a month—apparently it was a little easier previously. Now you need 230 blues and the bombs start at 9. I’ve seen some forums where the bombs used to be at 10 or 14. I have gotten all five stripe/wrap combos once without running out of moves, bombs exploding, or tornadoes taking out my next move—only to not get enough blues!!! Way too much luck needed for this one—it might just do me in unless an update changes it. I refuse to purchase any boosters

    • passed this level yesterday and it is one of the hardest as have to make 10 wrapper bombs, not easy task, would suggest to pay attention to make bomb candies, chocolate balls are no problem :-)

    • I agree. 347 was bad. One reason I suspect few complain – it’s different on Facebook vs. iPhone app. Try it on both platforms. You might find one easier than the other.

    • I agree about 347. Been stuck there for seemingly months now. Never took more than a week at most to get past any other supposedly difficult level, the rest often in one or two tries. 347, the closest I’ve gotten is both bombs and 8 wrapped candies. I’m thinking now my error has been only using the phone app. Haven’t tried this level on the computer…. hmmm…. going to try, try again….

      • That was the ticket. Only took 3-4 tries and I was finally past 347 so if you can’t get it on the phone app, try the PC version and you’ll probably knock it out fairly quickly. Totally different play on the two versions. Good luck!

    • I’m at the max, so there are no new levels. So now I’m going back and getting 3 stars on each. I’m at 2 on 117.. but can’t get three :(

  6. Levels that are hard for me may be easier for others. Choosing your opening board carefully, reading the hints from others and getting lucky help.

  7. I was stuck on level 350 for a long time…craziest level yet…finally had to cave in and use a power-up…not too proud but made it to level 460 now :D

  8. I thought level 65 was hard until I hit 125! Took me 3 days to beat it but 12 days on 65! On 125 many tries shut me down as no matches for those two bombs! The way I beat it after clearing the bombs was 2 striped with a speckled ball horizontal and cleared the board! Luck- as I do not understand how to create blasters! This game is so frustrating at times! Also at times there is a glitch and before even nearing target score up pops Sugar Crush and a few pieces start to fall then BAM- game ends?! It is like the board gets confused! I could clearly see target not reached during the 3 times this has happened. Then told I failed – which I was aware of! Wondering if others have experienced this.

  9. im waiting for a new update as im at the end and whilst im waiting for an update im going back and getting 3 stars on every level im currently on level 182 i WILL complete the game

    • Agreed! On 275 which is the pits and those 3 chance bombs are killing me. Even with fish matched with stripes, colour bombs and stripes I still ignite the bombs…It’s a luck one for sure. Think I’ll be here awhile.

  10. In case anyone here is unaware if you’re playing on your phone (Iphone or android) and you run out of lives, you can go in your settings and set the phone time to tommorow and you get 5 more lives!! Then go back and set your time correctly.

    If you set your time correctly after you are back to 0 lives it will say you have 1000+ hours til your next life lol

  11. yup free lives by adjusting (manually) your time forward for another 3 hours, go back into candy crush for full lives, then jump back out to settings and set your time back to automatic to get the correct time, go back in candy crush and the full lives will still be there.

  12. I really liked the game but the luck based nature of it kind of frustrated me at times. I decided to make a more skill based variant as a result. In my game, you can see all the blocks from the beginning of the level (no random blocks fall down) and in every level there is a way of clearing all the blocks (no arbitrary score targets). It’s called Block Zero and it’s available for Android. Try it out.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cocotrap.blockzero

  13. well iam up to level 500 been here for a few weeks and waiting on candy crush to come up with more levels..wish they would hurry up.

  14. Stuck on a supposedly easy level but my luck ran out at 140. All but one candy to go and failed. Since then nowhere close. No boards with combos possible for me. So I guess my saga has ended here. Congrats to those who made it to the higher levels! Hard to think I made it this far without paying for help but failed at what should be a no brainer!

    • I was really frustrated with level 140, it was hard and I found it very boring. I finally passed and cruised through to level 147….I have been stuck there for at least 2 months and and ready to give up. I even gave my iPhone to a friend one day for a couple of hours to try and get me through since he is somewhere in the 180s…..I am starting to HATE this game!!!!

  15. Hah- I guess I had to admit failure as I just passed 140 after 3 days of failing -gave it another try. The combos I needed fell into place. I still do not understand how to make some combos so this win was sheer luck!

  16. Eve- thank YOU! Sometimes I feel alone in my struggles. I am a 73 year old retired RN so I am not a dunderhead but this game at times makes me feel like one ESP when I see others way ahead. I know my reflexes are a bit slower and I freeze on timed levels. I have played some old levels waiting for next quest and unable to pass some of them again. Since I am back in the game will hope I too breeze thru the next several levels! :)

  17. I should have added I am dreading 147! Out of the frying pan into the fire! Yikes- let me know when you make it out of there, Sounds like a lot of luck needed on that level too! So- Good Luck! That is all that got me thru many levels- the right moves just falling into the right place and many were on my last move!

  18. I am currently suck on level 410…I’ve been here for a couple of days now…can’t seem to get all this jelly cleared. My absolute hardest level was 350. I was stuck their for over two months. I just really wanna beat this game!

  19. After a week on 125 I finally crushed it. No I only have option of paying or inviting guests. No quest. What gives? My goal was to pay no money. Any advice?

  20. Level 410 before they updated it was EVIL, IMPOSSIBLE, THE WORST! Once they updated it and added and extra column on both sides still hard but not as bad. But I’d have to say that 350 and 453 were extremely difficult for me. I have never bought a single booster so that could be why, but I refuse to buy them. Right now I am just waiting for the next update for android devices so I can move on to 456…

    • Thank you! Been stuck on 350 for over 1 month, about to toss in the game. I refuse to buy boosters so I think that’s it for me. 350 is hell

  21. To do this correctly, exit the game, change your date on your device, open the game and click Play. Then exit the game completely, change your date/time back to current, and once again launch the game. You will have your 5 lives and your date/time will be current. It’s a pain in the backside, but so is waiting 2.5 hours for more lives.

  22. You can also finish your quests all in one day (on a tablet). Finish the first quest successfully, exit out of the game, change the date on your device to the next day, then launch the game again. Your second quest will now be available and you can complete that one. Then rinse and repeat for the third quest. Be sure that you are finished with the quests AND have your full 5 lives before you set your date and time back, however, or you’ll have to wait those 2+ days for your lives to regenerate.

  23. I am on level 490 and to me the hardest level was 417..i crossed it but I know it was just luck…it was almost impossible for me to do it…

  24. 410 should be played through facebook. It’s actually a completely different board on facebook. There are several levels that if you don’t get on your phone you should try on facebook. The programming is different and sometimes it is easier to pass on there. Sometimes the opposite is true as well.

  25. Levels 347 and 350 are deadly, my worst yet. Currently playing for under 3months and im @362 as we speak. Started in October, 2013.

    • Me too, but I am glad they updated and made level easier with icing that needs just 3 hits for breaking instead of 5 and adding a new coconut wheel on the left side of the board. The previous one was impossible for a lot of expert players.
      Though I am still stuck but I know I can pass it now, you will too :)

  26. I’ve been stuck on level 125 for what feels like ages…it at first looks deceivingly easy since you have all those moves …but that licorice is a pain that can waste good moves!

  27. Just venting- it took me 12 days to get past level 65 so when I reached 147 that was like my evil 65 again but with bombs – 147 is hateful! I thot well maybe it would take twice as long to pass it- sure enough in 24 days I did it! Now playing Odus in Dream world which is fun while waiting for quests! At least this new King game is not causing blood pressure spikes but is a candy crush addition and not without challenges! The Odus Owl game option popped up as I passed level 155.

  28. I am stuck on 350 hardest levels for me

    65 (Old version) 97(Now find easy) 147, 165, 169,

    197: ME AND MY FRIEND WAS STUCK ON THIS FOR LIKE 2 MONTHS

    215, 245, 254, 275, 305, 315, HARDEST LEVEL IN GAME? 350. I had 3 jelly with 20 moves left and stupid BOMB EXPLODED!. I got like 5 colour bombs and was so lucky.

    Favourite levels ever: 236, 252. 252 I got 23,573,965 point. And 236 is easy I did in 1 move and still haven’t got DreamWorld

  29. I spent $$ on level 245. Including $3.99 for 15 extra moves and still only got 4 combos. Done with this. I hated to send the money, but I figured to clear this level and move on to a Strategy Level, it’s worth it. This is a snake level, mainly based on chance not so much strategy. I think it’s aimed to get lots $$ from you, I spent $10.95 on it. I deleted Candy Crush from my iPad. Good Bye, Good riddance. Ciao, etc. :o)

  30. I have to disagree. Candy Crush is the worst kind of game. The levels are randomly generated based on a seed that maps to a given difficult level or levels. In some cases it is impossible to defeat a level – it is completely up to the roll of the “die.” This to me ruins the entire conceit. Why bother with a game that may not even be winnable? If each level were crafted to be beatable, always, with skill, that would be one thing. But Candy Crush is constructed to get you to purchase extras. And this random factor makes it in my mind of questionable ethics. When it says “buy more moves to help you finish the board” it implies you can finish the board. But that may be impossible!

    Finally, I suspect the game is damaging to the intellect in the long term. It is luck more than skill, and the brief bursts of endorphins from clearing a board are akin to constantly checking email: you feel good, but in the long term you may be damaging your concentration.

    My two year old is reading, learning the good ol’ fashioned way.

  31. IN DESPERATE NEED OF HELP!!! I haven’t slept in 7 days now!!!! Can anyone, and I repeat, anyone help me with level 23?!?! I have been stuck forever it seems impossible I’m about to give up on life thanks

  32. I will have to agree with Karl and say that level 23 is the bane of my existence. I’ve beaten candy crush 3 times and every time I dread coming across level 23…. I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown everytime I do. If anyone has any tips on how to beat it with ease, please let me know. I don’t know how much more of it I can take but I just don’t want to give up my love for candy crush because of 1 level. Thanks peace and love

  33. Most annoying set of levels are in the 400s ( 460-475? maybe!) when there are lots of randomly moving whirlwinds that make spaces unavailable for a couple of the moves. There is absolutely no logic or skill to these levels at all. Was stuck on one particular level for a couple of months that had 6 or 8 of them. After that set it is not too bad, and did the last set of levels 501-515 in about half a day last week.

  34. Level 65 was pretty tough, 125 also but now stuck on 147 and really is impossible. Clearing jellies without the bother of the bombs is hard enough! A real tester in the boredom stakes. Why? Because it is very difficult to play tactically so it is down to luck and luck games I cannot abide.

  35. Ugh – I hate level 165! I used a blue with a speckle ball and many combos but still stuck! Those never ending bombs often stop me right out of the gate because many of my starting boards may have one blue candy and a bomb with no way to difuse it! I went back to playing with Odus in Dream World. Those levels were fun to play and I got thru all of them quickly! At this point I may have to wait for this game to be continued because level 165 is giving me a headache and I will never pay to complete a level!

  36. Once again after posting my failure on 165 I passed it. I only needed one blue but had only one move to do it. Luck put a blue in a Column with two reds with a red stripe and doubting that would work I hit it and blew it out of there! Sailed thru 166 on the first try and I hate timed levels and then reached 167 – ugh! But since it took me 11 days to pass level 165 once I saw the 167 board I found myself going after blue candies and had to debrief! Candy Crush can play with our minds! While 167 will be tough I am just relieved to not have to focus on those blasted blue candies!

  37. 350 is a frickin nightmare… been stuck on it since early December.
    Only upside is you still kind of get your candy crush fix because it’s a 60 move level.

  38. I just finished the final level, 515. I need to stay away if they ever come out with new levels. Although my niece has asked me to help her pass some of the difficult levels.

  39. I just finished level 350! This level is one of the hardest level I have ever faced. Remained 2 jellies 2 times, 1 jelly 3 times with lots of moves remaining but the bomb explodes every time. This time I did it.

  40. Started in July of 2013 (IIRC), and finished 515 this week. (Only up to 76 in dreamworld at the moment, but at least I’m past the dreaded level 70 there).

    I remember 350 being particularly hard. The second Hell’s Cluster (460-470) was also a bear.

  41. I agree with level 417. I can’t stand it. It’s so annoying. Everytime you think you have the fruits lined up to drop you realize you have few plays left. I realize that this game is pure luck……….

  42. I cleared Level 65, then clicked on doing the Quests to advance–I did the first Quest a couple times, didn’t win, then closed C.Crush to go do something – when I opened it again, it had me back on Level 65 ??!! plus I can’t find the Quests anymore. Why should I have to REDO 65 when I already “won” it??? Thank you.

  43. I’m on 529 and I remember 23 and 147 as being my hardest. Though if 421 is the one I think it is, that one was awful for me too.

  44. I have completed level 350. After that 2nd mystery quest is very difficult. It’s same as level 323 but target is very high. Give me some tips.

  45. Hi I just cleared level 350 after one month and I think its the hardest level so for and you just need lots of luck to clear

  46. Level 350 was the worst for me – stuck there for almost 2 months. Currently stuck on Level 425. How does anyone clear this one unless you’re just extremely lucky???

    • 425 was crazy—I focused on making the combos and the blocks at the bottom. Try to ignore the tornados and bombs. Eventually, with luck, you will get the combos in enough moves without the bombs or tornados destroying your plans. I finally used the 5 more moves booster when I had only one move left to win. That is the first booster I have ever needed…….

  47. I do very poorly on timed boards. 147 was a piece of cake!. I do better on boards that I can stop and plan the best moves. Level 151 is only 90 seconds and the board is small so there is not much to choose from.

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