How to beat Level 173 in Candy Crush
As you make your way up the board in Candy Crush, levels that require you to "collect all the orders" become so much more difficult that they often seem impossible to beat. When they were first introduced, orders levels were so easy that you probably passed them on your first try. Then they started getting ridiculously hard. There are dozens of levels that fit that description, and Level 173 is one of them.
The goal sounds simple enough: make and use 30 striped candies and hit a target score of 80,000 points. But you need to do it all in 40 moves or less. And there are candy bombs counting down from 20. And those bombs are barricaded by layered meringue/whipped cream/frosting blocks that each need to be hit 4 times to clear. And there are 22 of those blocks crowding the board.
You honestly won't be able to conquer this without a generous helping of luck, but here are some tips to help you beat Level 173 anyway.
Kill the candy bombs. If you have some time to kill, I'd recommend restarting the level until both bombs are the same color. This would allow you to take them both out at the same time if you're lucky enough to be able to make a Color Bomb early on.
If not, you can try to make vertically striped candies in the same columns as the bombs. This is tricky since there's not a lot of room to work with above the meringue blocks, though, so a better approach would be to clear at least one corner of the square of meringue surrounding each bomb.
Don't worry about clearing all the meringue. Although it's always easier to work with a nice open board, "clear all the meringue" isn't an objective of this level. You should clear as much as you can, sure, but don't waste too many moves trying to get rid of all of them. The 6 at the bottom in particular aren't really that big of a deal.
Make a Color Bomb + Striped Candy combination. This combination is the key to beating this level. Look at the screenshots below.
With 17 remaining moves, I have 26 striped candies left to make. Under most circumstances, this would be impossible to accomplish at this point and I'd be better off quitting the level and starting over.
But because I have a Color Bomb sitting beside an orange Striped Candy—which in itself is sometimes impossible to manufacture—I mixed them together and as you can see, the combination created and then slashed nearly 20 striped candies from the order.
Now with 16 remaining moves, I have just 8 striped candies left to make. This isn't a shoo-in, but it's less daunting and much more doable.
The beauty of this special candy combination is that it fulfills orders, clears most of the board (including multi-layered meringues), and brings in lots of new candy with great potential of cascades that could automatically create even more striped candies.
The Color Bomb + Striped Candy is one of the most difficult combos to make, but it can really make or break this level. Just make sure there are a lot of the right color of regular candy on the board before you mix the two special candies. In other words, if you're mixing a red stripe with a Color Bomb, make sure there's a good amount of red candies in play. Otherwise, you'll tear your hair out.
40 moves isn't going to be enough to make 30 individual striped candies on your own unless you can make one in almost every turn. And that's more unlikely than a Color Bomb + Striped Candy combination!