Monday, January 16, 2012

Candy Land: The Game of Candy and Torture

It's been quite awhile since I've wrote anything that I put any effort into. So this week will have two blogs. This one about Candy Land and the next one about the long awaited and highly anticipated Email Quotes!

My 2,800th game played since I began logging games back in March 2006 was Candyland. This is only the 2nd time I’ve played it in that span, but I’m sure it won’t be the last, though I personally wouldn’t mind if it was. So here is what I think about it.

First off, the components in Candyland aren’t that great. The board is just fine, with lots of bright colors, crazy looking characters, and a really curvy road. I found though that my 2.5 year old, had some difficulty knowing which way the road was going, because of its curviness. The player’s pieces are big plastic gingerbread men, which I think serve their purpose very well. The cards are basically business cards, with colored squares. Nothing on the back of them, no art, nothing. But for $5.88 I’m not complaining.

Game Play (aka the Torture)
The game play for Candyland is about as boring as it gets. You flip a card, go to that next colored square or the special icon on a pink square. That is it. So for a gamer like myself, who likes meaningful decisions, this game is torture. However, there is a reason I bought it and there is a place in the life of daddy gamers for Candy Land.

What It Does Do
Candyland does a couple things very well, which will help your young kids grow into the gamers you hope them to be. First, it teaches them turns in a formatted way, unlike playing with toys, where each kids “turn” is undefined. This is going to be important later on in games, as most games do have individual player turns. Second, it teaches them how to win and to lose. Eventually, we all pray and implore, Candyland will end and there will be a winner. Teaching them to win and lose graciously will go a long way in future gaming. Of course, Candyland can teach other non-gaming related things about life like colors, being nice in general, and that the goal in life is to get into a big candy castle.

My Final Thoughts
So if I’m rating Candyland, it’ll likely be a 1 or 2 out of 10, that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful for what it is. A stepping stone for my daughter to play bigger and better games later on and also a good tool for me to spend time with her.


  1. I suggest using Candyland as a way to learn how to stack a deck. See if you can "shuffle" cards in such a way that the right colors come up so the game ends quickly.

    Also, if you are looking for toddler friendly games we have found a couple. Go Away Monster is good. Because Connor loves Thomas the train we have had great success with Race Around Sodor. Finally, Farben & Formen is a great game because it works on colors and shapes.

  2. Thanks for the suggestions Sean. One rule we've played with in Candy Land is to not have to go back should you pull a special card that is behind you. That has helped some.