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Candy Land

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Imagine that the Brothers Grimm invented a board game. Now take out the witches. Welcome to Candy Land.

Eleanor Abbott was recovering from polio when she decided to create a board game for similarly-afflicted youngsters forced to spend time in a cold, boring hospital. The fruits of her work came to life in 1949 as Candy Land.

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Instead of numbers, directions, or other confusing rules and regulations, Candy Land simplified gameplay by moving its little Gingerbread Man characters with colour-coded cards. Each space came in one of six colors – red, purple, yellow, blue, orange or green – and the deck of cards had small squares of the same colors.

Draw a purple card, move your Gingerbread Man to the next purple square, and so on to the top of the board and the oh-so-tasty candy house (later replaced by a candy castle).

Also shuffled into the deck were skip-ahead cards that sent you instantly to one of the map’s tasty sights along the way – Candy Hearts, Peppermint Stick Forest, Gingerbread Plum Tree, Gumdrop Mountains, Crooked Old Peanut Brittle House, Lollipop Woods and Ice Cream Floats – but be careful! One bad card could land you in the sticky Molasses Swamp or get you stuck on one of a few other squares, where you’d have to wait until you drew the right colour card.

With its simple rules and eye-catching gameboard, Candy Land was many a child’s first board game. An instant success, it spawned offshoots like Candy Land Bingo, a hand-held Candy Land game and even a Candy Land Adventure CD-ROM.

The original remains a kiddie favourite today, proof that (surprise, surprise) kids still like candy.

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