Candy Land Castle Game
Your Price: $26.99
(Worth 2,699 Funagain Points!)
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Now you can share the joy of Candy Land with even your youngest preschooler. You'll encourage early learning with this simple matching game that children can play alone or with others. Oh no! The gingerbread kids' colorful decorations are missing! Can you go to King Kandy's Castle and help them find new ones?
Drop, pull, slide, match - lots of learning for your little shape explorers! Reach for the stars... and ovals and squares! Special gingerbread gameboards make it easy to recognize shapes and colors.
No assembly or batteries required. For 1-4 players.
I despise Candy Land, because it offers players zero choices, yet it is held up as the ultimate children's game by many. I'm possibly too hard on the game, as I do remember being fascinated by the gumdrop kingdom myself; but there are so many better kids' games out there with something I hold dear in a game - choice. Still, Candy Land Castle (Hasbro, 2007 - no designer credited) had a neat three-dimensional shape, and I couldn't resist snagging a copy for my children.
The game has a neat mechanical castle, into which players place plastic shapes and pull a lever - having a piece ejected from the bottom. This is a cool function, but just like the basic game, Candy Land Castle is complete randomness, once again with no choices. My older children thought the mechanic was neat, but quickly tired of the game. I would give this a sour review, except for one thing - my one year old played and understood the game! This is the ONLY game I have seen her grasp (well, figuratively - she has destroyed many a game piece), and I found that she and my four year old both found a good deal of enjoyment from the game. THAT is the target audience of the game.
Game play is very simple. Each player takes a gingerbread man with slight indentations and colors denoting different shapes. A pile of these plastic shapes is dumped into the top of a plastic castle. On a player's turn, they simply pull a lever (looks similar to those found on a slot machine), and a shape is pushed out the bottom. If that shape matches one of the ones on their little guy, then they place the shape there. Otherwise, they put the shape back into the top of the tower; passing the castle to the next player either way. The first player to completely fill up their gingerbread man is the winner!
I'll dispense with my usual bulleted list of comments, since the game is one of the most simple in existence.
Suffice it to say that the game really feels like a toy. It comes in disposable packaging - or a box with a huge hole in the front, so I'm not sure how it's supposed to be stored. The plastic shapes fit inside the castle, but you'll have to store the gingerbread men somewhere else. It's basically made to be stored on the toy shelf. This, of course, brings the danger of losing pieces, but the game was made to be played by wee children - why not let them at it!
There is not a single drop of strategy in the game; it's simply an exercise in pressing the lever, watching the shape come out, and then checking to see if it's in your gingerbread boy/girl. For an adult, this is going to be mind-numbingly boring, if not worse. Even for kids, once they get past the cool factor of the tower spitting out a plastic shape, they are going to realize that there is zero game here.
That being said, I'm pretty much ready to simply write the game off as a better looking game than the original Candy Land version (it actually looks like a Play-dough machine). But the fact remains that its' going to be immensely attractive to toddlers and pre-kindergarten children. My four year old and two year old are enamored by it and actually play the game with no supervision, which is something practically none of my other games can accomplish.
It's likely that the game leans towards being an educational toy rather than a game. And it's one that I will do my best to keep from having to play. But why don't you try to pry it out of my little ones' hands? That's not going to happen.
"Real men play board games"