Candy Crush makes the leap from the super small screen of mobile devices to the actual small screen when it debuts Sunday, July 9 on CBS. How easy is it to crush all the candy in this new game show? It’s harder than you might think, as EW found out on a recent visit to the Los Angeles set for some gameplay and to chat with host Mario Lopez for a little sneak peek.
While the dozens of games contestants will play are “highly entertaining” and “a lot of fun,” the self-described gamer says it’s also “high stakes and intense” thanks to the $100,000 prize. “[The games are] all competitive and the people are all very intense about it and they’re real close. There’s a lot of emotion involved — a lot of hugs, a lot of tears,” Lopez tells EW. “People have these great stories about what they want to do with the money. It’s really life-changing for a lot of them, so it’s something they definitely appreciate.”
In the 360-degree Candy Crush arena, four teams will compete against each other in each hour-long episode, swinging, sliding, and swiping to match candies and defeat obstacles while scaling a giant vertical virtual game board, and even dangling over a horizontal screen for a game called Yankkity-yank, which EW played.
“The most important thing is, you’ve got to communicate well and it’s all about the teamwork,” Lopez advises, “and you’ve got to stay focused because you’re working against a clock. So it’s a lot of pressure, and it gets loud in here.”
See how EW fared when we tried to match the candy on the big board, and tune in to Candy Crush when it premieres Sunday, July 9 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.