Thursday, December 18, 2008

Candy Land

photo by Kevin Russ
By Amy Platon

To My Dearest Friend,

Game Play for Candy Land:

It’s a race (aren’t they all!), woven around a simple story line about finding the lost king (or Queen ☺) of Candy Land. The board consists of a winding, linear track made of 134 spaces, most of which are red, green, blue, yellow, orange or violet. (Ooh pretty colors…) The remaining few spaces are named locations such as Candy Cane Forest and Gum Drop Mountain (yummy).

There are three colored spaces marked with a dot. A player that lands on such a space is stuck, all cards are ignored, until a card is drawn of the same color as the square. (Ahh, the mirror.)

The game is won by landing on or passing the final square.

The classic game takes longer to complete than one might expect (tell me about it), because the location cards can send players backwards. Also, the dot spaces could force players to exhaust several turns without moving (sound familiar?).

There is no optimal strategy, or indeed any decision-making, involved in Candy Land. The moves are wholly determined by the cards, which are drawn in order. (Hmm.)

Game History:

The game was designed in the 1940s by Eleanor Abbott (a woman, of course it was), while she was recovering from polio in San Diego, California – (I mean Polio! What the hell? Now it all makes sense. Keep reading….)

Why You Should Care:

Your life, it's complicated now, but really it’s just a game of Candy Land. One day you’re moving along just fine, dancing with the candy hearts, until suddenly you’re stuck on a dot. You’re totally stuck on a dot. But remember, you’ll always have your next turn. You’re the one who draws the card, and you’re the one who moves your game piece. If you’re patient, you’ll draw the card you need to get unstuck and you’ll be on your way again.

No matter what, whether you’re lost in Candy Cane Forrest, or stuck on Gumdrop Mountain it’s only a matter of time before you’re sucking on lollipops and floating on ice cream. You’ll find your home again and it will be a sweet victory-one that’s all your own.

Do something amazing with yourself. Live your dream. Make your kids proud to have a mom like you. When you’ve lost it all and start again, failure is one less thing you fear. And when you make that last turn, and you're face to face with Molasses Swamp, it won’t look so scary. In fact, if I know you, you’ll probably dip a few jars in and sell them at market, so you can redecorate the house - or something like that. (Smile)

At least you have the cool game. Mine’s Chutes and Ladders. I’m just praying I land on 28. See you at the winner’s circle.

For your reference-
Candy Land board picture.
Chutes and Ladder's board picture.

Related Articles:
Tales from the Sidelines
Confessions of a Housewife


  1. I hope you submitted this to the Sentinel because it would make a fantastic new year's piece about "starting anew",or "what to do with all these new toys we have now", or "yikes my spouse lost his/her job, we are looking at foreclosure,etc...". I loved it!

  2. Hmm, didn't think of that. Thanks for mentioning it. I wasn't sure if anyone would even connect with it, it takes a dedicated reader.