1949 Original Candyland

Candy Land Wars

Note: I intended to playtest these rules before posting, but have not really had a chance yet. So this is all theory and no practice. I can’t tell you how fun it is. After I playtest it I will remove this notice and update the rules if neccessary.

This is my first post in a series called the No Added Pieces Project, or NAPP. This project creates new rules for familiar games using only the pieces found in the standard box. The first game getting this treatment is Candy Land.

Candy Land, for those who don’t know, is a simple children’s game that requires no particular skill to play. It generally teaches children about colors, counting, and rules-oriented games.

1949 Original Candyland

Candy Land Basic Rules

Out of the box, the rules are simple:

  • Each player begins at the beginning of a linear sequence of colored squares.
  • The goal is to be the first to reach the end of the sequence.
  • The players’ turns consist of drawing a single card, and moving their game piece according to the following rules:
    • Color card, single: Move to the next square matching the color
    • Color card, double: Advance to the second square matching the color
    • Picture card: Move piece to the square with the matching icon (forward or backwards)
  • Special spaces on the board allow players to skip parts of the journey or force them to lose a turn. They are rare.

Those rules work great when you’re playing with young children who have not learned how to make reasoned decisions in their games, because you’re required to make none. The game merely unfolds according to the order of the cards. If no errors are made while drawing the cards, how the game unfolds is set at the moment the game starts.

My alternate set of rules not only provides meaningful choices to each turn, it provides a means of players working to advance their own piece while hampering the advancement of their adversaries.

Current Edition of Candy Land

Candy Land Wars

The Chocolate Mountains and Lollipop Forests have been quiet for the entire history of Candy Land. Now King Kandy, blind and legless, lies dying in the Candy Castle. Prince Swirl is lost somewhere in the depths of the Ice Cream Slopes and presumed dead. With no successor, chaos roils in the court. (more)

Candy Land Wars introduces an array of options on how to use cards, when cards are played, and player interaction.

New Rules

Setup

  • The cards are shuffled, and each player is dealt three cards.
  • Each player chooses a color gingerbread man and places it at the beginning space.
    • The four colors in the base game are red, blue, yellow, and green.
    • There are no purple or orange gingerbread men.
  • The youngest player goes first. Play continues clockwise.

Order of Play on a Turn

  • Draw two cards.
  • Play one card and follow the results in Card Rules below.
  • Discard until the player has three cards.

Card Rules

Movement

A non-pink card may be played to advance your own piece or to move an enemy piece in reverse according to the color rules. Pink cards may be played on any player to send the player to the indicated space.

Colors

Played to advance themselves, players treat single-square cards that match their own color as double-square cards. When used to advance a player along the track, double-square cards that match the player color allow the player to play an orange or purple card on an opponent as a free play.

Players are immune to being sent backwards by their matching color.

Special Spaces

Players that land on a bypass space must travel along the path, whether it is forward or backwards.

A player that begins their turn in a licorice trap and was not trapped in the same space the previous turn must forfeit their turn.

Winning

When a player uses a color card to advance to the Candy Castle, that card is placed on the castle in that player’s victory stack. Players in the castle may play a color card not already played on their victory stack as their turn.

The game is won when a player has advanced to the Candy Castle and played one of each non-pink color card on their victory stack.

If a player is reversed out of the castle, their victory stack remains. They must advance back to the Candy Castle in order to add to it and win the game.

 
 

Comments

  1. A small potential problem: whatever player matches the color of the far end of the two bridges would have a slight advantage in being immune to being forced backward across the bridge. Possible fix: explicit exception that immunity does not count for those 2 cases, although that becomes a miniscule disadvantage for those colors (more bad cards that can affect them)

    Similarly, a slight disadvantage to whichever color matches the start of the bridge, especially the first one, as that player gets a double move out of a single of their own color. Possible fix: allow move-2 cards to traverse bridge after 1, or allow turning a move 2 (natural or color-match) into move 1 (although in what other situation would you want to do that?)

    Ideas for other mechanics: blocker cards – a color-match card can be played out-of-turn to block any other card played. A single can block a (non-color-matched) single, a double can block a color-matched single, a non-color-matched double or a pink. color-matched doubles are unblockable, including the free move.

    Board power zones the pink squares divide the board into overlapping zones, with each zone going from the previous pink to the next (i.e., the pepermint stick zone goes from imediately after the candy hearts square to immediately before the gingerbread man square). A pink card can be played with another card to create an effect on all players in the zone – play with an orange card to create a sticky zone (all movement reduced by 1), with a purple card to create a rich zone (draw an extra card on your turn while in that zone), a green card to create a peace zone (everyone in zone is immune to other cards and cannot play cards on others), red to create a forbidden zone (everyone in zone is immediately moved away from the zone control space to the edge of the zone, and no one may enter the zone in any way until the effect is lifted), etc. Zone powers stay in effect for one turn, plus one turn for each square played (i.e., a 1-spot card makes the effect last 2 turns, a 2-spot lasts 3 turns) and extra cards including of other colors can be used also to extend the effect.