I think we all agree that family game night has been a big hit. It’s rewarding to have a dedicated time each week for us as a family to get together and play fun games like Sorry!, Parcheesi, and Go Fish. We’ve also been playing a lot of Candy Land. Daddy’s got to admit that this game has been a little less fun. This may be hard for you to understand, but when you’re Daddy’s age… well, you can’t help but notice that Candy Land’s gameplay is really subpar. That’s why I’ve added some mechanics I think we can all enjoy. Don’t worry if you’re confused. I’m happy to repeat instructions as we go along.

First and foremost, we need to talk about the Chocolate Chip Cookie Card. It’s overpowered. Or, as we grown-ups like to say, “OP.” Can I be honest with you? It can be pretty frustrating at having victory snatched away with a lucky draw. Kyle, I love you, but your win last night was all luck.

So with that in mind, from now on we are not going to be using the spinner. To be frank, I don’t know what Hasbro was thinking when they instituted the spinner. The mechanical bias introduced in a wheel is not balanced and it’s not fair. Kids, you know how I said that in our household, we do things fairly? To do Candy Land fairly, we’ll be using the cards. Just no Cookie Card.

Next up, new starting player rules. You know what else isn’t fair? This “youngest player goes first” rule. I think almost all of us can agree about that. Bradyn, please don’t get upset. Daddy still loves you. Remember what we said about sharing? This is just like that, buddy; we’re sharing the clear advantage of going first. I think we should have a rule that’s both thematic and fair. How about the last person to buy candy? I like this, as it is thematic, and it has a lesson about spending your allowance responsibly.

I’ve also created a new draft mechanic/scoring scheme. Kids, this is fun. Each round, you’ll draft a set of three cards. You can put them in your Candy Box, or exchange them for Sweetie Points. Complete color sets in your Candy Box will be worth ten Victory Points at the end. Sweetie Points will also be worth Victory Points. Kids, you’ll want to start playing games with Victory Points now. The joy is in the journey, not the destination. The sooner you learn that, the better. Also, they are utilized in many Euro-style board games.

Licorice Spots are now Whip Spots. I’ve said it before, to both you and your mom: the two biggest flaws in Candy Land are lack of agency and zero player interaction. I believe I’ve come up with an elegant solution that addresses both while removing that pesky “lose a turn” mechanic that takes you out of the action. Now, when you land on a Licorice Spot, instead of losing a turn, you can use Licorice Power to grapple an opponent ahead of you. How do you do that? It’s a little complicated, but I know you’ll all get it because you’re smart and I love you lots. First, draw a card. If it’s a one-color card, roll one die, if it’s two-color, roll two dice, if it’s a picture card, roll three. Yes, daddy took the dice from Monopoly, it’s fine. We don’t play it anymore after the rules improvements we made didn’t go over well. So, pick a player ahead of you, roll the die or dice, and if you roll equal to or higher than the number of spaces they’re ahead you go to their spot. If you roll twice that number, they go back to your spot! Wow, what a turn! It’s also a great catchup mechanic.

Finally, we’re going to start using factions. I got this idea from Risk: Legacy. Yes, Emma, the game where Daddy won and everyone got upset and we don’t play games with Ted and Mike and Carol anymore. The point is it was really fun and interesting. So, at the start, you’ll choose a character, and that character will have special powers.

  • The Marshmallow can spend two VP to lay a trap that sticks players in their tracks. Talk about a sticky situation!
  • The Ice Cream Cone can re-roll dice on Licorice Whip Spots. I got the idea when Kyle kept dropping his ice cream scoop off the cone.
  • The Gumdrop can ignore a Licorice Whip attack once a game, because it’s, I dunno, bouncy? Look, it’s a boring power but gumdrops are a boring candy. I will not budge on this.
  • The Gingerbread Girl can spend a Sweetie Point to move one space forward before spending a card to move. It’s risky, but you can really make some solid moves with this power.
  • Lord Licorice. Okay, I know he’s a villain, but I keep thinking about the fifth player Robber Baron rules that one guy made for Settlers of Catan before the expansion existed and I’ve been wanting to try it out. So, he has no powers of his own, but when you use a Licorice Spot you roll a black die with it. Lord Licorice gets points equal to half the die roll, rounded up, and if you roll a six, Lord Licorice takes one of your collected color cards. Also, every successful Licorice Whip move you do adds a cavity card to your deck, worth -1VP, that represents the corruption of dark candy power-consuming your sweet nature. Oh no, Bradyn, don’t get upset again. Sorry. Let’s just say the licorice sticks in your teeth and your smile looks super silly!

I think these new rules will take both Candy Land and our family game night to new levels of fun. How about we play a test game right now? Daddy goes first.