Chutes and Ladders wasn’t the only classic Milton Bradley game to get a 1980s-modern makeover. In 1986, they took the classic game of finding King Kandy, gave it a videocassette, and made it into a new version. That game, you ask? Why, the Candy Land VCR Board Game!
Wait, doesn’t a VCR Board Game sound like something I’ve already covered?
Previously, on Retroist…
Climb the tallest ladders, descend the most twisted chutes, and identify sounds and numbers while listening to four fun stories.
Sounds familiar, right?
Last time on Retroist, I looked at 1986’s twist on the classic concept of Chutes and Ladders, complete with a videocassette. Not content to rest on the laurels of creating such a fun and innovative twist, Milton Bradley created a counterpart-type game for another childhood favorite, Candy Land!
They called it…Candy Land VCR Board Game!
Because, you know, creativity!
Candy Land VCR Board Game
Welcome to Candy Land! Meet the Candy Land Kids!
Aren’t they cute?
They don’t have names, so just refer to them as Candy Girl and Candy Boy. That always works!
Among somewhat familiar-sounding voices throughout, I’m convinced the girl is the same voice as the Cricket talking doll.
Like Chutes and Ladders before it (or at the same time, rather) Candy Land had separate games that relied on players knowing a certain aspect (numbers and sounds) of the game. A card was removed from the board each time a certain sound or number was revealed in one of four different stories.
In Candy Land, players remove cards based on colors and pictures.
Are you ready?
Let’s venture into Candy Land!
Game 1: Who’s Been Eating My House?
This game relies on players removing cards from the board based on colors mentioned during the game (yellow sun, blue sky, purple plum, and green gum drop, among others). Players help the Candy Kids (and Grandma Nutt) find out who has been consuming pieces of Nutt’s house.
Also in this game? Overuse of “royal,” music that sounds vaguely like the Muppet Babies scene music, and voices you’ve probably heard in other cartoons.
Game 2: Lonely Old King Kandy!
“Lonely Old King Kandy!” relies on picture cues. Players place all picture cards face-up on the board, and remove them when prompted by the tone and the picture card.
In this story, King Kandy is lonely, and upon looking at his calendar, realizes it is his birthday (how did he forget this?!). King Kandy composes a royal decree using a plucked feather from his messenger’s cap to summon the people of Candy Land with the promise of a reward should someone be able to cheer him up.
You know, whatever it takes to win over friends!
Game 3: Lord Licorice’s Surprise!
“Lord Licorice’s Surprise” relies on color cues, with the same gameplay seen in “Who’s Been Eating My House.”
In this game, Plumpy and Jolly venture off with licorice for Queen Frosteen. It’s an adventure fraught with sinking in mud, rain, and the Orange Soda Sea.
I kid you not. It all sounds like a hallucinogenic nightmare!
And if that’s not bad enough, Lord Licorice has a nefarious reason for sending off Plumpy and Jolly with his licorice.
Well, as nefarious as Candy Land knows how. (Refer back to Game 1 to see what Lord Licorice did there!)
Game 4: Don’t Say “Fluffypuffer!”
What, you’ve never heard such a ridiculous word?
The final game relies on picture cues. In this story, Mr. Mint spots a visitor floating in on balloons. The visitor’s name is “Fluffypuffer,” and he sounds like Mickey Mouse. I’m not making this up.
Why should one not say “Fluffypuffer,” you ask? If you’ve seen Gremlins, it makes perfect sense.
Between games, players are given an opportunity to set up the board for the next game via transitions. In Candy Land, the transition after game one is Grandma Nutt playing with a Jack-in-the-Box (which made me jump!). After game two, Mr. Mint lighting a giant Roman Candle (which became tradition after the events of “Lonely Old King Kandy!”). At the conclusion of game three, the Candy Clock is set to count down to the final game.
Milton Bradley (via then-new owner, Hasbro) released the game in 1986, the first revamp since the 1984 and 1985 versions, and the last until 1998. A 2005 feature film, Candy Land: The Great Lollipop Adventure, gave way to a mid-2000s twist on the video format version, this time with a DVD!
I did not own this version, or any other version of Candy Land. To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever played it either.
Well, played in the sense. I don’t actually own a copy of the VCR game, so I’m “playing” by watching the video.
Would you like to play?
Let’s Watch/”Play” The Candy Land VCR Game!
Upload via VCR Board Games
The animation style of Candy Land VCR Board Game is more colorful (and not as limited in its animation style) than Chutes and Ladders, but the quality is on par with its VCR Board Game counterpart. The voices are equally colorful, and I think the Candy Kid Girl sounds an awful lot like talking doll Cricket.
Then again, I did spot “Mickey Mouse” among the Candy Land regulars.
His name here is “He Who Shall Not Be Named,” which sounds like a threat by the Walt Disney Company for using their character’s name is any article.
As VCR Board Games go, especially in the spirit of the Chutes and Ladders game, this game is a different twist on the classic concept. Since I’ve never played either classic version (I owned Chutes and Ladders VCR Board Game, but not Candy Land VCR Board Game), I only have what I’ve seen here to go on. And call me crazy, but I think I would have enjoyed this better than the classic version. I know I liked the Chutes and Ladders game, and that still was appealing based on watching the video.
In a world of VCR Board Games, I’m glad there were games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders, which really worked well for younger kids being able to play independently. I know that no player wins or loses, but still, this is a creative way to play.
Be sure to check out YouTube user VCR Board Games to see their amazing collection!
So as we leave behind Candy Land and the Candy Kids, see you next time!