Candy Land was invented in 1948 by Eleanor Abbott who, in her late 30’s, was suffering from polio and recovering in a San Diego, California hospital. While recovering, she wanted to create a game that would give children the opportunity to pass the time in a fun and creative way. She then created Candy Land. She used colors instead of words to allow any child regardless of their reading skills the opportunity to play. She tested the game out around the hospital with the various children who were there getting treated for polio and other diseases. The game was an overall success and the children loved the game so much they suggested that Abbott pitch
the game to Milton Bradley. When Abbott took their advice, Milton Bradley not only purchased the game, but it became their best selling game to date putting them on the map as a major distributor of board games rivaling their competition Parker Brothers. Abbott provided the illustrations
for the original game; however, the name of the actual artist was never revealed. Up until today, Candy Land is still played by children and adults alike giving it the ability entertain any age group.
How To Play
Candy Land may very well be the easiest game to play, which was the intention of its creator. Candy Land can be played by two to four players. All you have to do to play Candy Land is to pick a gingerbread man from the four colors provided of yellow, red, green, and blue and place them at the start. After choosing who goes first, the first player draws a card. On the card
is going to be one of three things. You are either going to draw a colored square, a double colored square, or a candy symbol. If you draw the colored square you move your piece to that color. If you draw
a double colored square, you move your piece to the second square of that color, and if you draw the candy symbol, you move your piece to that symbol on the board. It’s that easy. Play continues this way through all the realms of Candy Land until you reach the end of the board and find King Kandy and restore him to the Candy Castle.
Along with colored cards of yellow, orange, red, green, blue, and purple there are also symbol cards that are found in the deck. When drawn, these particular cards allow for you to jump to that symbol on the board. The symbols are found throughout the board, so with one card you can jump nearly to the end. Each symbol card represents one of the realms of the Kandy Kingdom and the corresponding character who resides there. The symbol cards encompass all of the following: the linzer torte cookie for Cookie Commons, the triple scoop ice cream cone for the Ice Cream
Slopes where the Duke of Swirl resides, the gummy star for the Gummy Hills, the cup
of dulce de leche for the Dulce de Leche Falls, the lollipop for the Lollipop Woods where Princess Lolly lives, the double ice pop for the Ice Palace where you will find Princess Frostine, and the chocolate candy for the Chocolate Mountains where Grandma Gooey is the final character you meet before reaching the Candy Castle and finding King Kandy. There is also another symbol on the Candy Land board and this the licorice swirl. There are two licorice swirls on the board that are on either side of the Licorice Lagoon where the Candy Land villain Lord Licorice lives. If you land on the color that has the licorice swirl on it, you lose your turn.
There has been some backlash to the updated designs of the Candy Land game. Since its inception in 1948, the Candy Land illustrations have undergone several changes. Some of the most beloved characters have been either removed or changed and the board has become very busy. When originally created in the late 1940’s there was no Kandy Kingdom. The object of the game was to simply get through the land of candy and reach home safely. It wasn’t until 1984 that the Kandy Kingdom was created and the beloved characters that remain on the board today. Although some of the original characters are no longer part of the game, the newer editions have retained the most famous ones and updated their drawings. In the 2000’s, the characters of Jolly and Plumpy were removed as was Mr. Mint. The Ginger Plum Tree was replaced with Cookie
Commons and Mr. Mint’s Peppermint Forest was replaced with the Ice Cream Slopes. Gooey was taken out of the Chocolate Mountains and replaced with Gramma Gooey, and Queen Frostine became Princess Frostine. Although the design is a far cry from the game of the 1980’s that most kids have come to know Candy Land as, the spirit of the game is still the same. Many buyers did not like the fact that the 2010 game has different characters, and they also felt that the board was too busy and overwhelming. Some have even gone as far as saying the female characters are drawn too sexy, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for the 2010 edition.
One of the most notable changes to the board is that the last square is multicolored allowing for any card draw to be allowed to land on that space. In the original game up until the 2000’s, you had to draw the last color to be able to win.
Most parents love Candy Land because it is a great way to introduce toddlers and young children to playing games together while learning. The main purpose of Candy Land is that it relies on colors
and not words to play. Anyone can play this game whether they can read, write, or have even stepped foot in a classroom. The first lesson that Candy Land teaches is color recognition. Color recognition is the first thing taught when children enter preschool and kindergarten. Candy Land helps children prepare for their education. Knowing and repeating colors helps with the learning process as children get older. Once a child begins to know the colors on their own, they will start to play the game independently, which will help them build self-confidence in being able to know the color, move their gingerbread man to the correct spot, and successfully play a game without help from an adult. They will also recognize the characters on the board, which helps with storytelling as they move through the realms of the Kandy Kingdom. The names of the character are written on the board, which will introduces children to bigger words and reading in general.
Because Candy Land can be played by anyone regardless of age or reading skill, it is open to be played by all members and generations of a family. Whether you are a toddler, teenager, parent, or grandparent, everyone can sit around the table and play Candy Land. Candy Land is usually the first board game purchased for young children and subsequently the first time they will participate in a family game night. Any kind of family gathering always promotes conversation and bonding between members of the family. It is also a time
to have quality moments with your loved ones. Most parents usually want their children away from the screens of their electronics and more involved in what is happening in their environment. This also gets parents and children to feel more comfortable with each other and that opens communication. It is essential for parents to know what is going on in the worlds of their children, and a family game night usually helps strengthen that bond.
Candy Land, like most board games, helps promote play time with friends. Toddlers and young children can have a way to be entertained and play indoors when they are not at the park or playing outside. Candy
Land, with adult supervision, will help kids learn how to play with others and how to play fairly. Because there are so many little tricks and paths like the Peppermint Pass and the Gumdrop Pass, kids will learn that others sometimes gain an advantage and win. They will also learn that they too can have that advantage and win and they will get a lesson in being a humble winner and a gracious loser.
Quality Of the Game
Most parents and grandparents who have purchased Candy Land have found very little to worry about design-wise. Some of said that the cards that you draw to move along the board tend to get bent and ripped because they are not made of high quality, thick cardboard, but on the same token, many of those parents are glad the game is getting use. Bent cards, however, do pose the threat of cheating. The board itself is made out of a durable cardboard and many parents have been very satisfied with the durability of the board
. The game has gone through many redesigns and some feel the drawings of some of the princesses is too provocative for younger children, but the 2010 redesign does not show any signs of this being an issue.
Candy Land is a very low priced game since it doesn’t contain many parts and is fairly easy to play. The game comes with 44 cards the playing board and four colored gingerbread men. Other than that, there is an instruction manual. This game is easily affordable for any budget, and the game is so well loved that there are many opportunities to find used and secondhand sets that are still in good condition and contain all of their parts.
Candy Land simply must be a part of every child’s game collection. It promotes so much in the way of playing fair and learning colors and bringing together families for quality time
that it becomes a priceless game no matter your budget. It is not expensive to buy and can be found virtually
anywhere. Candy Land has become so popular, in fact, that there have been electronic video games created after this beloved game that was created to entertain children who were sick and recuperating in the hospital. If you do not own Candy Land already, go out and buy it and share the joy of the game with your children just as you and your parents found joy playing it when you were young.