Run for Your Life, Candyman! Review
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Players: 2-6 (ages 12+)
Playing Time: 15-30 minutes

When I was a kid, I loved playing Candy Land. It was such a pretty game about a pretty fantasy land filled with sugary candy—and what kid doesn’t love sugary candy? Once my parents realized that I didn’t like to lose—and they finally took out all the cards that could make me move backwards on the board—it was the best game ever. It was a sweet and pretty game that was so very easy to play—and I never, ever lost.

The board game parody Run for Your Life, Candyman!, on the other hand, may look like that sugary-sweet game that I loved as a child, but it’s a whole lot more bitter and vengeful—not to mention downright nasty. And that’s what makes it such twisted fun for grown-up players.

The goal of Run for Your Life, Candyman! is much like the goal of Candy Land: just be the first player to get your gingerbread man across the finish line, and you win. But there’s more to it than just drawing cards, matching the candy icons on the cards to the candy icons on the board, and making your way to the end. Along the way, you have to battle it out with your opponents—and you may lose a few limbs in the process. After all, it’s a cookie-eat-cookie world out there—and there can be only one winner.

When you begin the game, each player gets a Gingerbread Status Sheet, which is divided into six different body parts. When you pass an opponent on the board, you can attack. Just draw a card, and your opponent takes a hit to the body part that correlates to the icon(s) on the card. With each attack, you slowly chip away at your opponents’ arms and legs (and even their tasty gingerbread head) until there’s nothing left. And once a player loses all six body parts, he or she is out of the game.

Run for Your Life, Candyman! is like Candy Land on crack. Like the classic children’s board game, you can learn the rules in a matter of minutes, and it’s ridiculously simple to play. There isn’t a whole lot of skill involved, either—which means that, unlike games that take thought and concentration, this one mixes especially well with alcohol.

This definitely ain’t your preschooler’s board game. From its irreverent game board illustrations (like the menacing Bad JuJu and the Grisly Gummies) to its delightfully savage gameplay, Run for Your Life, Candyman! is a whole lot of mean-spirited, grown-up fun. I highly recommend picking up a copy, putting the kids to bed early, hauling out the vodka, and settling in for a rowdy evening of Candy Cage Matches.

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