Candyland – Sugar Rush Edition

Okay, so any boardgaming parent who has tried to play Candyland with their preschooler knows how frustrating it is. That’s because the winner of the game is determined as soon as the cards are shuffled. No choices, no free-will. I guess it’s the perfect game for 7-point Calvinists (har har, I love you, Presbyterians).

But can it be fixed? Yes. The Sugar Rush rule set allows for a little push-your-luck, some decision-making, and a touch of player interaction. Interested? Here it is:

(Requires the card-based Candyland to play. Not compatible with the spinner-based version)

Set Up:

Each player selects a colored gingerbread guy and places him at the start.

Shuffle the cards, place them all face down. Deal out three cards to each player.


The youngest player goes first.

Players take turns playing one of the three cards in their hand. Players may play any card to move their gingerbread man to the next matching color. Specialty “pink” cards (Mr. Mint, Gramma Nut, etc.) can be played to advance yourself to the matching location, OR they can be played on an opponent to send him back to the matching location. At the end of the player’s turn, the player draws a card to bring their hand’s card count back to three. Play then proceeds to the left.

Discarded cards are put in a pile, face up. When the draw pile runs out, the discard pile is shuffled and reused as the new draw pile.

If a player possesses three cards of the same color (of any combination of single or double move cards), the player may play all of them at once and move their piece all of the indicated spaces. This is called a SUGAR RUSH, and it allows players to move great distances (up to six spaces of the same color). After this is done, the player draws a new hand of three cards and his turn is over.


The first to get his gingerbread guy to the rainbow space at Candy Castle wins.

Super Sugar Rush Option:

If a player possesses three “pink” cards (Lolly, Frostine, etc.), he wins on his turn.

Tie option:

If a player wins, each player has exactly one more turn. If any player also reaches Candy Castle (or has a Super Sugar Rush), he ties with the winner.