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Suika Game is free for the next week on Nintendo Switch Online

Try it; you won’t regret it

A box full of cute fruit with faces filling in the games in Suika Game, with a honeydew melon in the center with peaches and asian pears surrounding it. Image: popIn via Polygon
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

More than 4 million people have downloaded Suika Game on Nintendo Switch — the only place it’s available — since it was released in 2021. It gained massive popularity when it was released in the United States in October. Now, it’s available for a free trial period from Dec. 14 to Dec. 20 for no extra cost to Nintendo Switch Online members. It’s part of Nintendo’s Game Trials program, accessible with a Nintendo Switch Online membership.

Suika Game (also known as Watermelon Game) is a fruit drop game that’s a mix of Tetris and 2048, where you strategically drop fruit. Two of the same fruit will change into a different fruit, up a chain that I think ends at a watermelon — all contained in a tall, narrow box. For example, if you drop two cherries that touch, they become one strawberry. Add a strawberry to that and it becomes a grape. Two grapes become an orange, and two oranges become an apple... and so on, until you get to the watermelon.

Suika Game is easy to understand, but awfully hard. I’ve played more than 40 hours of the game since I first downloaded it, and I haven’t been able to breach 2,600 points. My partner got over 3,000 once, and I haven’t forgiven him. I’ve glanced at the worldwide leaderboards for Suika Game and I’m stunned by what I see — high scores in the tens of thousands. I don’t understand how it’s possible.

One of the reasons Suika Game is so hard is because of its physics. Fruits bounce off each other, creating scenarios you can’t always account for. Sometimes this leads to wildly satisfying chain reactions of fruit combining down into each other to free up desperately needed box space, and other times it means a rogue cherry will shoot up and over the box’s limits, ending the game prematurely. My colleague Julia Lee described this emotion perfectly: “Never in my life have I played a game where I flipped between Oh, it’s so over, to WE’RE SO BACK, BABY! so many times.”

Suika Game has such a hold on me that I’ve abandoned every other video game. I play it while watching Vanderpump Rules, while eating breakfast, and always right before bed. So do I think you should play it? Of course. If you end up loving the game the way I do, the investment from free to paid isn’t much — Suika Game costs a mere $2.99 on the Nintendo Switch eShop.

The next level of puzzles.

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