Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dear Candyland,

First, I'd like to thank you for being the perfect preschooler game. You've got it down. You are the gold standard: You are simple, require no reading, and have a short and sweet playing time. You are a classic. You have taught generations of children how to take turns and the true meaning of the phrase "You win some - you lose some". Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing. That being said I have, respectfully, a few notes:

1. What is up with the 4 pages of instructions, front and back? It is the simplest game in the history of games, except for maybe tic-tac-toe. Ok, I guess the back is the instructions again in Spanish, but still. You know the cards you put the colors on to play? You could put the entire rules to Candyland on one of those cards and save a tree.

2. On that cardboard box insert thing that holds the game board up and the pieces and cards go underneath....we don't really need that. It tells "The Legend of the Lost Candy Castle". My kids don't care. Another tree saved. You are welcome future generations!

3. I was going to comment on the Candyland movie here but I couldn't bring myself to watch it. Sorry. (Eddited to Add: There is a Candyland video but the movie I was thinking of apparently hasn't even been made yet. I just remember hearing about it (maybe I saw a trailer?) and thinking, "No. Just no.")

4. Why do Queen Frostine and (to a lesser degree) Princess Lolly have breasts? Really?

(On a side note: You get some weird stuff googling Queen Frostine. I'm just saying).

5. You know those shortcuts...Rainbow Trail and Gumdrop Pass? My kids love those. They get more excited about those than anything else on the board. Good job with that.

6. The spots with the black dots where they lose a turn? Also good. They get excited about those too. Not sure why they so gleefully remind eveyone to "Skip me! I'm on a dot!" but they do. Kids are weird.

7. Thank you for not having dice. Seriously. This makes the game much easier to lose on purpose. I'm not saying I make it a habit to throw the game, but there are times when getting him done with the game and into bed fast and happy are more important than winning. A quick glance and shuffle of the cards while he is busy moving his own piece can usually seal the deal. "Oh! I got Plumpy! And you got Double Blue! You win! Time for bed!" Excellent.

8. Thanks for teaching my preschooler the word "double". When both he and his brother had school one day my son called it a "double day." It was adorable.

9. For some reason (Nostalgia? The Candy? Maybe it is Queen Frostine's chest, in which case I will have to rethink point #4...) the older boys are willing to indulge their brother in a game once in awhile. This is very helpful, especially when it happens at about 5:30 in the afternoon.

10. You would be an excellent theme for a birthday pary. Or a themed family Halloween costume. I just haven't gotten to it yet. No one is going to want to be Plumpy, though...and I doubt I could talk the older kids into it at this point. Oh well.

11. As long as I am here I would like to suggest 5 playing pieces instead of 4. There are 5 people in my family, you see, and that way we could all play without someone being a penny or a lego piece or something. The consensus around our dinner table is that there should be an orange gingerbread boy added to the red, blue, green and yellow already there. I mean, your own slogan is "The best part of playing is playing together." We would LIKE to PLAY TOGETHER. Thank you. (Note: This could just be a problem here....not for other families...although while you are at it you could throw in a purple piece as well in case we have a friend over or something...but more than 6 would probably be too many to play, so you should stop there.)

Again, I would like to thank you for all the good times you have brought to children for generations. You are the perfect first game and we have enjoyed having you around. You have taught my kids to both win and lose gracefully (well, it's a work in progress but it started with you) and I'm sure my kids will have many fond memories of playing Candyland with thier own kids someday...and I'll be playing it with my grandkids! Maybe by then I won't have to lose on purpose since getting small grumpy children to bed on time will no longer be my problem. I look forward to it.