Updated: Apr 19
With a theme that's perfectly timed for Halloween, Best Candy on the Block: Rewrapped puts the trick-taking into Trick or Treat! As you'll infer from the 'Rewrapped', this edition of Best Candy on the Block is a revised reworking of a card game that Baron Jon Games first published in 2018.
You start off by setting your winning points target for the game: 13 points for a short game rising to 31 points for longer. The 2-4 players (2-5 if you include the King cards suit) each have a hand of 13 cards. These mostly show varieties of candy with a numerical value and two or more suit icons. You win tricks by playing the highest value but following suit differs from most other card games because cards have more than one suit. If you play using the King cards, they can follow any suit. They only win if theirs is the highest number played but they also have a special effect. At the end of each hand, players score a point for each trick they've won.
There are other cards that don't need to follow suit. Non-candy cards have zero value; prank cards have a value of -1. If you win a trick that includes a prank card, then for that card you deduct a point from your end-round score, so the prank cards add more of a 'take that' element.
With this edition, designer Jon Barron has introduced several optional rules to help spice up the game. In keeping with the theme of kids collecting candy by going Trick or Treating, the 'tummy ache' variant penalises the player who has greedily consumed the most candy (ie: won the most tricks). That player scores nothing for the hand. If you play using this variant it completely alters the dynamics of play because players want to win tricks but they desperately want to avoid winning more than anyone else. The dynamics also change if you incorporate the Favourite Flavour rules. These involve each player having a (secret) card that shows one of the 10 individual suits. You score a point for every card you end up with that matches that suit.
The Board's Eye View team have had a lot of fun playing Best Candy on the Block: Rewrapped, even tho' it's not yet Halloween. It's similar enough to other trick-taking card games that it's easy for anyone to pick up and play but its dynamics are different enough to make it stand out from the crowd. It's a real Treat! And for an extra sugar rush, follow our example and award real candy to record the points for each hand. Of course if anyone munches through any of their candy, they'll be consuming points. It's the Marshmallow Test writ large.