So, let’s get something straight: Cookie Jam is essentially Candy Crush Saga, with a French panda for a chef. Seriously, this game could not possibly be a more egregious rip off. But, should that trouble us? Probably not. Here’s why: a) More Candy Crush can’t be a bad thing (unless you like being able to get work done and/or spending time with family) and b) Candy Crush was itself a blatant copycat of the 2001 classic, Bejeweled.
Cookie Jam is a match three game. For those of you unfamiliar with the genre, the game involves swapping adjacent pieces in order to line up three or more of the same colored cookies to make a match. Three in a row is a basic match that will cause those pieces to disappear. Four and five in a row also cause the tiles to vanish, but leave a bonus treat in their place. These bonus pieces have enhanced cookie-crunching power and are the key to completing levels and achieving high scores.
Each level has a different objective. In some you will simply have to “follow the recipe” by matching a certain number of each of the colors. Other levels have special goals, like eliminating gingerbread men of a particular color before they can reach the top of the board. If you fail to reach the objective in the allotted number of moves, you lose a life. You’ll start out with five lives and will get one free life every half hour. If you run out you can wait until they regenerate automatically, ask friends for lives on Facebook, or pay real money for extra lives if you just can’t take the thought of not playing right away. There’s one more sneaky way to get lives, which we’ll go over in detail below.
OK, now that you have the basics, here are some tips, tricks, and strategy to keep you going in the right direction:
Focus on getting as many special cookies as possible.
Don’t let yourself become too laser-focused on the specific task for each level. The best way to win almost any level is to concentrate on accumulating special cookies and using them to do massive cookie damage. Special cookies can be used to clear entire rows and columns, as well as all cookies of the same color. In general, getting as many of these as possible, and using them wisely, tends to be a much better strategy than going after matches of three just to fill the order.
The special cookies and how they work.
There are several different types of special cookies and each one presents a unique means of obliterating cookies.
Swipe left or right to create a column of four cookies and you’ll receive a cookie with a horizontal stripe through it. When you combine this cookie with two others of its color, you’ll eliminate the entire row. The same thing happens when you swipe up or down to make a four cookie match, except you’ll get a cookie with a vertical stripe that can be used to eliminate a column instead of a row.
Combining five cookies in an “L” shape gives you an ice cream sandwich. When you combine the sandwich with two others of its color, the sandwich will explode, taking along all other cookies in its vicinity.
Combining five cookies to make a “T” shape yields you a cookie with an “X” through it. Combining this cookie with two more of its color clears all the cookies in the path of the X’s diagonal lines.
The Rainbow cake is the best special cookie in the game and is gotten by matching five cookies in a row. When you combine the rainbow cake with another cookie, it will remove all the cookies of that color from the board.
Combining special cookies is really where the money is.
Of course, special cookies are themselves a good way to clear the board, but you can maximize their impact by using them in combination with one another. The rainbow cake with a striped cookie, for example, turns all cookies of the striped cookie’s color into striped cookies as well. This has a major impact, especially if there is a large number of the striped cookie’s color on the board.
Power-ups can really help you past a challenging level if you find yourself stuck. After completing certain levels, new power-ups will become available. You’ll receive a limited number for free when you unlock a new one, but if you want any more beyond that, you’ll have to pay. Here are the power-ups and what they do:
Oven Mitt: The oven mitt allows you to swap two non-matching cookies.’
Rolling pin: Clears an entire row of cookies. To use it, tap the pin and then tap the row you want to clear.
Piping bag: Does the same thing as the rolling pin, but for columns instead of rows.
+5: Use +5 before starting a level if you need five extra moves to get past a tough level.
Whipped Cream: You can use the whipped cream to smash any five adjacent cookies.
Wooden Spoon: Removes any one cookie.
Gobstopper: Removes all cookies of a single color.
The clock trick
Like most games of its kind, Cookie Jam can be tricked into giving you extra lives by adjusting your phone’s date and time settings forward by a half hour for every extra life you need, maxing out at 5 lives. Do this and then go back to the app, where you should see your extra lives. You can immediately return to date and time to change the settings back to normal without worrying about losing your lives. Rinse and repeat as often as you please. This isn’t exactly the most convenient hack, but it works.
There are dozens of sites out there that claim to offer free software that will enable you to hack the game and plug in your own values for lives and coins. Unfortunately, we haven’t found one that doesn’t insist on your taking some “survey” and providing your email address and all sorts of other personal information to some unknown third party. If you’re OK with this and you want to risk downloading a bunch of malware, be our guest.
If you get stuck on a particular level, follow this link to Gamopolis’s YouTube page for detailed video guides through each of the game’s first 220 levels.
Gamers Unite! and Supercheats also have a couple of forums where you can ask for help in getting past a particular level. This will be helpful if you need additional insight on a level Gamopolis’s videos cover, or if you get past the 220, where their videos currently stop.
Photo via lexicon10055805/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)