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Candy Grab

October 7th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

I suppose it’s fitting that this game fell into my lap when it did, what with Halloween right around the corner.  It may still be a few weeks away at the time of this posting, but it’ll be here faster than you can say, “Candy Grab”.  Granted, “Candy Grab” has nothing to do with Halloween, but it sure does involve PLENTY of candy!  In this 2-6 player game, your job is simple: be the last player standing by taking the other players’ candy…and eating it, of course!  Before we start chugging the Pepto Bismol to stave off the inevitable stomach cramps that are sure to follow (from being old and eating anything other than fruits and vegetables), I’d like to thank Game Creator Matthew Williamson for reaching out and providing me with a press copy for review purposes.

 

Candy Grab

Candy Grab: 2-6 Players, Ages 12+, Average Play Time = 15-30 Minutes

 

Components

The game includes 90 cards which comprises of two decks.  Deck one contains 60 cards, has “Candy Grab” written on the backs, and are used for taking actions and defending yourself.  Deck two contains 30 cards, has pictures of candy wrappers on the backs, and are used as counters (I prefer to think of them as a player’s “life points”).

Setup & Gameplay

The oldest deals first.  Each player receives five candy cards (from deck two), which are placed face-up (wrapper-side down) in front of all players.  Then, the playing cards deck (from deck one) is shuffled and each player receives five cards to form their starting hand.  This shuffled deck becomes the draw pile and is placed in the middle of the table within easy reach of all players.  The person to the left of the dealer goes first.

On a player’s turn, they’ll:

1. Draw back up to five cards.

2. Play an action card if they have one (mandatory).  If they don’t have one, then they’ll discard one card into the discard pile and end their turn.

Once these actions are performed, the next player clockwise takes their turn.

The object of the game is to hold onto your candy pile for as long as you can and ultimately, be the last one standing.  To do that, you’ll be playing a variety of different action and defense cards.  The “I’ll Take That” card, for example, allows you to choose a piece of candy from anyone’s pile.  If said person is unable to block you with a defense card like “Not Me, Him” or “I Don’t Think So”, then you’ll take a candy card from their pile, flip it over to the wrapper side, and place it in a separate victory pile for endgame scoring.

This continues until one player is left standing, in which case they win the game!  Alternatively, you can play the game over the long haul and play to 200 points…a wrapper is worth 10 points and any candy card you still have at the end of a round is worth 20 points.  You can also play with real candy too, though you may want to think about a group exercise regimen afterward if you play the long game.

Editor’s Note: The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played.

The Review

Firstly, I have to comment on how colorful the cards are.  The color scheme is all over the place and makes me feel like I took a time machine back to the 1960s.  To be fair, this is exactly what a typical candy store looks like (at least the ones I’ve walked into)…colorful and somewhat trippy.  If the developer of this game was going for authenticity in terms of color scheme and theme, then mission accomplished.

The learning curve is incredibly light.  I believe the game could be taught to smaller children is less than five minutes, as there aren’t many card types to begin with.  The action and defense cards that ARE present aren’t all that complicated and are self-explanatory.  This means you won’t have to go hunting in the manual for a translation on a particular term or effect.

While the game is indeed family-friendly, the game adopts an “attack anyone” mindset.  In other words, it’s open season on anyone that pisses you off.  As an *ahem* mature adult, it’s easier for me to keep my personal feelings at bay and not be a jerkface when playing a game with someone else.  Kids, on the other hand, are a bit less reserved.  Kids could play this game on their own, but parents should know that you CAN gang up on other players resulting in some pretty hard feelings or even some fighting.

The price of $16.99 on The Game Crafter (link below) is a few bucks higher than I would have expected, compared to the average retail price of $10.00 that UNO and other card games sell for.  I have no experience selling games and as I’m often told by other developers who sell their games on The Game Crafter, “the price has to be this way in order for me to see any return”.  Perhaps larger companies are able to develop their product in bulk thereby reducing the costs to print it.  As a consumer we normally don’t care about such things, which is why I tend to lower my review score when I see games that I feel are overpriced (which is what I did here).

Pricing issues aside, “Candy Grab” succeeds at exactly what it’s designed to be: an easy to play family game with some “in-your-face” mechanics.  Before you scoff at that, keep in mind that games like “UNO” have been doing this for years…I can’t tell you how many times someone made me “Draw Two” just as I was about to go out.  If your family is easily offended, then you may want to pass on this for something less aggressive.  Otherwise, stock up on your favorite candy miniatures and have at it!

Final Verdict: 7/10

Candy Grab on The Game Crafter:

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/candy-grab

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