How a Little Girl Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Chuzzle

Welcome to a new feature on the BlogRide wherein I have the pleasure of sharing some of my favorite questions we’ve received over the years here at PopCap. As you can probably guess, in recent years, they’ve been as zombie-filled as an episode of Walking Dead, but I’d like to take us back a ways, to a time when I was asked to help a little girl get back to her once-favorite game that had suddenly become traumatic to her… a game called Chuzzle.

Her mother explained that the girl had been happily playing Chuzzle for quite some time, but then she started looking more objectively at the cute, fuzzy creatures on the screen and what seemed to be happening to them when she made matches. The girl realized that she appeared to be killing cute fuzzy creatures and collecting their eyeballs in a jar. She was, understandably, horrified.

I was impressed, as I hadn’t given it that much thought myself… it’s a game, and I’m a grown-up, and they’re Chuzzles, not kittens. But it’s one of those things that once it’s pointed out, it’s kind of in your head. So I put some thought into it as I played the game again, this time with an eye toward explaining the events of the game in a way that might help a child sleep at night. And here’s what I came up with:

Yes, I really didn't think about the eyeballs until this was pointed out to me. Man, adults are jaded, simple-minded creatures at times.

The grid on which you find the Chuzzles is a prison. These cute, fuzzy creatures are being imprisoned by an evil overlord who hates all things adorable (like Gargamel or Sauron).  When you match Chuzzles, you are reuniting them with their comrades and giving them the strength to escape, because these are magical creatures, but they’re so small that they can only muster the energy for teleportation (that’s what makes the “popping” sound!) when they are in a group of three or more.

And the eyeballs? Those aren’t their eyeballs at all! Those are contact lenses they need to protect their eyes, because the atmosphere is highly toxic in the alternate dimension where the prison is located. Once they return to their home dimension, they won’t need protective lenses anymore. What you’re collecting in the jar are mementos of your good deeds, when you freed a bunch of helpless little Chuzzles from their captor and sent them home to their families.

I hope this story helps anyone out there who ever worried about the fate of Chuzzles.

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