It’s been more than 5 years since the release of the original Ghosts Love Candy from Steve Jackson Games. Ghosts Love Candy Too is a complete remake of the game from the original designer Danny Devine, now published by 25th Century Games. So what makes this our “go-to” family game for the Halloween season? I’m glad you asked!
Full Transparency: Ryan was part of playtesting this game during its development. Take this information for what its worth.
Players take on the role of ghosts that are trying to scare kids trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Kids will drop their precious candy as you frighten them during the round. You don’t want to scare them too bad, otherwise you’ll gather negative points at the end of the game.
Each player is given a player aid card that has point values for each of the 6 candies in the game on the back of the card. For instance, one player will score 5 victory points for lollypops while another player will only score 3 for this same candy type. This info is kept secret so players can’t other players points during the game.
Six to eight (based on player count) kids walk the streets in their costumes. Treat tokens are drawn from jack-o-lantern bag and placed above each of the large, beautifully illustrated cards. Players simultaneously pick a ghost from their hand to play during the round. Everyone has ghosts that are numbered 1 through 9. The player who played the highest ghost card goes first.
Players assign their chosen ghost in descending numerical order, stealing candy from the kid they assign their ghost to. Each kid has a “courage” number on their card. When the numbers on the ghosts assigned to a kid reach or exceed that courage number, that kid is frightened and the card is taken by the last ghost to scare the kid.
Once all 9 ghost cards are played, the game is over and it’s time to count those treats!
I Got a Rock
One of the changes in Ghosts Love Candy that I love is the addition of “treats”. These are non-candy tokens that come in the form of a spider ring, tooth brush, ketchup packet, a penny and even a rock. By default these items are all worth -1 victory point at the end of the game. Throughout the night, you may see kids that actually want these non-candy items. For instance, the kid dressed as a dentist wants to collect tooth brushes. By collecting this kid, any tooth brushes you have at the end of the game are worth 3 victory points instead of -1.
All kids have abilities on their cards, some which trigger during the end of the game, at the end of a round or immediately. Ghosts Love Candy Too has 100 different kids and the variety of these abilities are excellent. There are opportunities to be slightly mean to other players or swap out candy for something that you actually want in your collection.
A Box Filled with Treats
The original game was an unsung hero of the Halloween game table. Not enough people knew about this game and it was honestly sad. At least half a dozen of our friends bought the game because of our annual Halloween game nights at the house.
Ghosts Love Candy Too is a top-tier family game based on my favorite holiday. With over 100 trick-or-treaters, loads of new kid abilities and a little ‘take that’, it’s a game that will hit the table throughout the year. Everything about this game has been upgraded and made better in this release. Candy is now represented by round tokens (not cards) and size of the kid cards now show off the fantastic illustrations.
In my review of the original, I shared a little house rule that made the game more accessible for young players. That suggestion has actually made it into the rulebook of Ghosts Love Candy Too! By ignoring the kids card abilities, the game is purely about set collection and simple math. This means that even players as young as 5 and 6 years old can enjoy the game with the rest of the family.
I can’t think of a better addition to a family game shelf for anyone who loves the Halloween season.
You can purchase Ghosts Love Candy Too from the 25th Century Games webstore.
- Hilarious kid illustrations rooted in nerd culture
- Cards have been re-balanced with lots of new abilities
- Candy/treat tokens with jack-o-lantern bag is fantastic
- Supports up to 6-players
- Some kid abilities can feel confusing the first couple games