Players take turns removing the top card from a randomized stack, most of which show one of six colors, and then moving their marker ahead to the next space of that color. Some cards have two marks of a color, in which case the player moves his or her marker ahead to the second-next space of that color. The deck also contains one card for each named location, and drawing such a card moves a player directly to that location's space on the board. This move can be either forward or backward in the classic game; backward moves can be ignored for younger players in the 2004 version of the game.
Before the 2004 version of the current game, there were three colored spaces marked with a dot. A player that lands on such a space is stuck (all cards are ignored) until a card is drawn of the same color as the square. As of the 2004 version of the current game, dot spaces have been replaced with licorice spaces which prompt the player landing on it to simply lose his or her next turn.
The game is won by landing on or passing the final square - the official rules explicitly specify that any card that would cause the player to advance past the last square wins the game, but many play so that one must land exactly on the last square to win. The 2004 version of the current game changed the last space to a rainbow space, meaning it applies to any color drawn by a player, thus clarifying any remaining controversy about how one exactly wins the game.
The classic game takes longer to complete than one might expect, because the location cards can send players backwards. Also, the dot spaces could force players to exhaust several turns without moving.
The game was bought by Milton Bradley Company (now owned by Hasbro) and first published in 1949. Hasbro produces several versions of the game and treats it as a brand. For example, they market Candyland puzzles, a travel version, a PC game, and a handheld electronic version.
A VCR board game version of the game was made in 1986, although distribution of the game appears to have been limited. An animated 2005 feature Candy Land: The Great Lollipop Adventure was produced and later spawned a DVD game version of Candyland.
The Give Kids the World: Village edition of Candyland was produced by Hasbro especially for the Give Kids the World Village. The GKTW Village is a nonprofit resort in Kissimmee, Florida for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. In this version, traditional Candyland characters and locations were replaced with the venues and characters of the Village. Characters like Mayor Clayton, Ms. Merry, and others are represented on the board.
|Candyland (1949 edition)|
|Candyland (1950s edition)|
|Candyland (1962 edition)|
|Candyland (1967 edition)|
|Candyland (1985 edition)|
|Candyland: VCR Board Game (1986)|
|MB1001||Candyland: 50th Anniversary Collector’s Tin (1999)|
|04700||Candyland (2002 edition)|
|41051||Candyland: Winnie-the-Pooh Edition|
|41605||Candyland: Collector’s Series Game Tin|
|42588||Candyland: Dora the Explorer|
|42743||Candyland: Deluxe (only at Toys R Us)|
|42328||Candyland: DVD Game|
|53678||Candyland: Dora the Explorer with Memory Game Tin|
|Candyland Castle Game|
|114866||Candyland: Fun of the Run (portable)|
|Candyland: Give Kids the World: Village Edition|
There is no optimal strategy, or indeed any decision making, involved in Candyland. The moves are wholly determined by the cards, which are drawn in order. The only random chance element comes from each shuffling of the deck. Every time the deck is shuffled, one of n + 1 outcomes is pre-determined, where n is the number of players: one of the players wins, or the deck will need to be shuffled again after it is used.