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Candy Land: Sweet Celebration Game

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Candyland Sweet Celebration
The Candy Land: Sweet Celebration Game is a Candy Land spin-off featuring 3-D versions of characters from the 2002 game.

The game features a modular board made up of dozens of pieces of various shape and size, each with one to four colored spaces. Using these pieces, parents create a track which will likely be different each play session. Included on the track are one to four 3-D bases to which players have to travel to collect a cardboard "sweet" token (ice cream, fudge, lollipop, and gingerbread man).

Each base is attached to the board by a "gumdrop" space of three colors. When a player reaches the gumdrop space, she performs a simple activity (such as moving the parrot on the pirate ship base or lifting the table cloth on the picnic table base) to earn a sweet. Depending on construction of the play area, a track can have loops, alternate paths, and dead ends which the players must navigate on their quest. Because different pieces feature different colored spaces, often a given path will stretch a very long distance without repeating a color. This means that a lucky player can sometimes make tremendous progress towards her next goal in a single turn.

Once a player has collected the required number of sweets, she can make her way to the Kandy Kastle gumdrop space. The first player to reach the castle with the necessary sweets wins the game.

Player tokens include King Kandy, Princess Frostine, Mr. Mint, and Lolly. In addition, the game includes a Lord Licorice token that blocks the path. Whenever a player collects a sweet, she can move Lord Licorice to any one of several spaces with his picture, thereby blocking her opponents' progress.

Player movement is governed by a spinner attached to the game's start space. The spinner has one section of each color and a pink "doubles" space. When a player hits the doubles space, she spins again and then moves two spaces in the resulting color. Because of the branching pathways, players typically have two, three, or even four choices about where they can land; when they spin doubles their options can increase even further.

Parents can roughly control the difficulty and length of the game by designing a more or less complicated track, by including more or fewer bases, or by varying the number of sweets needed to win. (For instance, parents desiring a mid-length game might include all four bases on the board but require the player to collect only three before heading to the castle.) Lord Licorice can also be excluded for younger players, as choosing a new space for him that blocks opponents without hurting one's own position can be a complex problem.

Critics of the game contend that it takes too long (both to play and especially to assemble) and is difficult to put together extemporaneously. Also, the cardboard tabs that hold pieces in place snap together reasonably well on a flat surface but have no stability on carpet. But because the board can be large, it is difficult to assemble it on a table.

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