When I was a young girl, I has a great imagination, and I was very creative. With some scrap fabrics and recyclables, I could create furniture for my Barbie dolls. Or give me some leftover wood and I’d create a fort in my backyard.
At 10 years old, I had fun creating things, but never in a million years would I have thought a 10-year old could create a board game that is now enjoyed by families across the country. That is what happened to 10-year old Cybele McKenzie. Thanks to Cybele’s creation, families from coast to coast are enjoying a cool new game for Family Game Night.
This young entrepreneur already passed her first test – competing in the annual Young Inventor Challenge presented by People of Play!
During the summer of 2020, when most people were going stir crazy being at home under quarantine.
Cybele McKenzie is a spunky big sister to two young brothers. She created a board game called Candy Collections! ($24.99). In a period of 15-20 minutes, the whole family can move one of six tokens around the board enough times to collect 20 or more points by adding the numbers on Candy cards in their hand. In this game, as only conceived from a kid’s perspective, beware of the green “veggie” cards where players lose points!
Cybele designed and illustrated all of the games elements, including the rules (of course they are easy rules for kids to understand and have fun with). She even tests the games with her younger brothers to make sure children of all ages can have fun with this family friendly game.
Here is some additional information about Candy Collections!
Board game fans will appreciate the simple strategies of landing on a space and being able to steal or trade cards in the race to win the Candy Competition! Lucky players who land on the corner spot named Win The Candy From The Jar will feel nostalgic for landing on Free Parking in the game of Monopoly and scooping accumulated money. In this game players scoop up Candy cards that get them closer to the win.
This beginners board game entices kids to roll the dice, move their token a space or two at a time and aim for the chance to be declared the winner. Basic reading and math can be supported by a parent or older sibling.
I was sent the game to check out for myself.
First and foremost, the box is very “kid-friendly.” The illustrations are absolutely adorable. The cheery faces make me smile.
The first time I looked at the box I thought about the game Candyland that I used to play as a kid. It’s very colorful and “happy” looking (if that makes sense).
Inside the box you’ll find;
- 6-character tokens
- 35-Candy cards
- 21-Mystery cards
- 21-Super cards
- Sturdy board game
Each player needs to choose their character card. The characters have fun names like Silly Sarah, Kool Kyle, Nice Noah, Shy Steve, Happy Hannah and Excited Emma.
I love that the characters are free standing. You don’t have to attach a plastic base or anything like that to them.
You do have to separate the token cards before you play, but that was easy enough to do.
Since my kids are older (sadly we haven’t had Family Game Night in ages), I brought this game to where I work. I work with children aged 5-11. Most of them are in the 6-8 age range.
My “work kids,” as I call them, were super excited for a new game (they played with all the games we had at our site already).
The rules were easy enough for them to understand. We did have to play it a couple of times before it fully “sunk in,” but once they knew the rules and how to win at the game, it was easy enough for them to play on their own.
I found that even the kindergarteners (5 year olds) seemed to understand the game, they just needed help understanding the cards as far as what to do. The older kids were happy to help them out (thankfully). They also need help understanding the numbers as far as what are the low point cards and which ones are the high point cards. That’s OK. It’s all a learning process for them, but they are getting it.
There is a 10 point candy card in the token deck. That is the one you really want to get.
Since the youngest is suppose to go first, we had to have the youngest ones take turns since we have several that are five years old.
Both the girls and the boys liked this game, but I do find that that girls tend to play with this game more than the boys do. The boys tend to play more with the toys. That’s OK. At least I know the kids are enjoying the game.
As a parent, and someone who works with kids with a variety of ages, I can see a lot of value in this game. First and foremost, it’s a game. A game has rules, so this game is a great way for children to learn and understand that things have to be followed a certain way in order to win.
I like that there is a math element to this (and not common core math!). It’s simple math, but math none the less. It’s a great way for children to learn to add and subtract. Kids don’t even realize they are utilizing math while playing this game.
I like that this game does not take too long for someone to win. It’s not a game like Monopoly that can take a very long time to have a winner. I haven’t clocked how long this game takes, but I would say defiantly around 15 minutes. I have seen the kids play the game again after someone wins.
I was surprised how big the game board is. It doesn’t look like it from the small box (it folds open).
I like that all the pieces fit in the box perfectly. There are no loose pieces all over the place.
Overall this is a really fun game for kids. I have even played it myself a few times (we try to get all the characters on the board). My “work kids” really enjoy this, and it makes me happy knowing they are having a great time and secretly learning too.
If you would like to learn more about this game, or to make a purchase, visit CybelsGames.com. You can also check out the game on social media. All of those links are on the top right of the brand’s website. The official hashtags are #CybelesGames and #CandyCollections.
*I received a free sample product in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.