Ghosts love candy! Everyone knows that, but sadly, ghosts can’t eat candy… except on Halloween night! On the spookiest night of the year, ghosts can possess Trick-or-Treaters and eat their fill of candy! Now the competition is on between you and your fellow ghosts. Good thing you each have different cravings and can focus on getting the candy that you like the most. The winner is the ghost who has the highest valued collection of candy at the end of the night. But be careful, if you are the last ghost to possess a kid when he or she gets sick, you are responsible and lose points.
Ghosts Love Candy is a fun, light strategy game that will fit into a variety of game groups. While it’s visual appeal is definitely for the younger and more casual crowd, it has a strong layer of strategy with the Trick-or-Treaters’ abilities that shouldn’t be ignored.
The 6 C’s
Chance: Most of the game is completely random. This is definitely necessary for replayability. It also presents a challenge to the players, requiring them to adapt to the current situation. Everyone will have a different craving card, telling them which candy is valuable to them. The Trick-or-Treaters will be laid out in the line differently every time, which modifies how their abilities interact. Lastly, which candy is put on the kids is random, which affects player’s choices.
Choice: Which Trick-or-Treater you play your Ghost cards on is really what this game is about. You have 9 Ghost cards, numbered 1 through 9. In each round, the higher number will go first, but that number also contributes to making a kid sick. Too many high numbered cards will get a kid sick faster. Oftentimes, the candy you want is on kids you don’t want to activate, usually due to the kid being close to being sick. So you have to choose whether the candy is worth it or not. Maybe it’s better to go for a candy that is not as valuable to you, especially if you can avoid getting a kid sick. You also have to consider what the other players might go for. As the game progresses, you can get a good idea of what is valuable to other players and take that into consideration.
Character: The light-hearted story and artwork brings the theme to life, er afterlife. Each ghost is colorful and unique. Every kid is different in all aspects. I have to point out how wonderful it is that the designer created characters of both genders as well as ethnically diverse. There are 3 female ghosts and 3 male ghosts, and interestingly various ages. The Trick-or-Treaters are even more diverse as many different skin tones are presented. Besides the diverseness, the artwork is light and cartoony and just plain cute.
Conflict: This game definitely pits players against each other, but in a way that everyone laughs. While there will certainly be a lot of groans and curses when someone else takes a kid you want, there’s just no way to be too serious about it. And when a good play is made, everyone at the table will cheer. One kid that many will grow to hate is the Hobo because he travels around from one person’s stack to another and woe be the one who ends the game with him. But while the game is going on, it’s a race to get rid of him or make sure you don’t get him at all.
Clarity: The prototype rules were very clear and only had one point of uncertainty. I gave feedback to the publisher already so I am not worried about the rules at all. It is very clearly written and has good diagrams.
Concealment: Only your craving and ghost cards are kept secret. What candy you have and what ghost cards you have played are public along with the kids and candy in the line-up. Those who are colorblind should not have any trouble with reading the cards. Those with more serious vision disabilities will need to use some form of magnification to read the candy craving cards, but not as much for the ghost cards as the numbers are fairly large.
This is a fun, fun game that is very well designed and has some of the cutest art I’ve seen in a while. I really appreciate the diversity in the characters’ gender and ethnicity. This will be especially important when playing with children and having characters they can identify with. For hardcore gamers, you’ll really enjoy the emerging complexity the game has to offer. While the game starts out slow in the first few rounds, it ramps up pretty quickly and your choices get tougher as the game goes on.
The only problem I have with the game is when you play a two-player game, it is very easy to count cards. This can be upsetting when one player is playing more seriously than the other. On the flip side, I love playing it with 6 players because it is crazy chaotic with lots of laughing. With 6 players, no one really cared who won because everyone had fun!
Ghosts Love Candy will be launching June 2nd on Kickstarter. If the game sounds interesting, please check it out. If you decide to back, please let them know that @EuroGamerGirl sent you!
For more tabletop game reviews, check out my blog @EuroGamerGirl on Games.
Thanks for the review, Sarah! : D