Roll For Your Life, Candyman – Let’s Get Ready to Crumble!
Four cookies enter.
One cookie leaves.
A fast-rolling, dice chucking game
of gingerbread cookie carnage.
Roll For Your Life, Candyman brings Thunderdome to the tabletop with an arena-style dice game for two to four players ages eight and up. Take on the role of a Gingerbread cookie gladiator armed with candy canes, rock candy maces or orange slice battle axes to clash for the coveted Candy Crown in 30 minutes or less. Andy Geremia designed the game, with artwork from Curt Covert; it’s published by Smirk & Dagger Games.
Give each player four dice of the same color along with the Gingerbread man whose buttons and hair match the given dice color. Players lay out their cookie fighter in front of them and leave enough space for a scoring pile. Mix up the Special Treat tokens, then place some (number of players plus one) face down to the center of the play area. Keep the leftover tokens for future rounds. Lastly, place the Candy Cane within reach of all.
Roll For Your Life, Candy Man is played in real-time, over the course of three rounds, with no individual player turns. The grudge match starts off with a player saying “Go,” then everyone begins frantically rolling dice. Combatants can set aside dice and continue rerolling until they get four matching icons. When that occurs, grab the Candy Cane and yell “STOP!”
Everyone ceases rolling and the player in control of the Candy Cane (the Attacker) performs the action corresponding to their die roll.
4 Arms – remove an arm from a Foe’s cookie.
4 Legs – remove a leg from a Foe’s cookie.
4 Peppermint Swirls – A player who rolls swirls has three options available: Take a special treat token from the center, steal a special treat token from a Foe, or remove a head or torso from any Foe’s cookie. If a Foe has a special treat token, it must be removed before other parts can be stolen.
When a Special Treat is stolen, flip it over and reveal its bonus (if any). Bonuses vary and could allow the owner to steal a cookie part, take a new treat, or do nothing at all. The former owner of the Treat activates the bonus immediately, then the Attacker adds the Treat to their score pile.
Sweet – If a player rolls a four-of-a-kind on their first roll, they treat the result as a WILD. They yell “SWEET,” play stops, and they take their action.
Foul – occurs when a player mistakenly calls “STOP” but their die roll doesn’t allow an action to take place. E.g. a player has protection, or a limb isn’t available for the taking. Unfortunately, when you a foul happens, you lose a cookie part and return it to the box!
Roll for Your Life!
Once the action is resolved, the stolen Cookie piece is placed in the attacker’s scoring pile and the Candy Cane is returned. Then players pick up all their dice, and gameplay resumes with the shout of “Go!”
A player is considered “Crumbed” once their Cookie has been completely dismantled; they are out until round’s end.
A round ends when a single warrior remains amidst the cookie crumbs.
Then players write down their total points for the round. Acquired cookie parts are each 1 point and Special Treats grant 0-2 points. Return gingerbread pieces to their owners, put your men back together, deal out new Special Treats, and begin the next round.
Winning the Game
At the end of the three rounds, the player with the highest score wins the coveted Candy Crown. If any players tie, conduct a final showdown; the first player to roll Peppermint Swirls and grab the Candy Cane emerges victorious.
Dice games are always huge hit with our family game nights because they’re quick to play, easy to learn, and are accessible for a wide range of players. Roll For Your Life, Candyman doesn’t fall short in delivering chaotic zaniness. The key to victory is frenetically rolling dice and stealing limbs while avoiding the proverbial cookie crumble. Personally, I always try to roll peppermints before anything else.
Gaining protection early in the round makes you less of a target and allows you to pick off others limb by limb. Having protection stolen isn’t always a bad thing though. When stolen, that Sweet token flips, and the activation bonus often benefits you.
Player interaction in Candyman is extremely high; you’re trying to break other cookies apart for points after all. Keep this in mind when playing with children who might be sensitive to this, although we found it’s a great way to teach good sportsmanship.
Half the game’s fun comes from the ruckus players will make being one die roll short or razzing their brother: “Come on dude, steal from Dad instead me.” Everyone gets a good laugh and some friendly trash talking always ensues.
The game also includes extra parts like speech bubbles and candy-corn daggers that could be used to create your own additional rules (as the rulebook mentions). My daughter always wants to come up with new rules like rolling a Sweet then giving a speech bubble to another player as “trash talk” that will subtract points during scoring.
I do wish Candyman included female artwork on the flip side of the Gingerbread pieces. Girl cookies can battle too, just sayin’.
Roll For Your Life, Candyman has been a big hit at game nights. So much that it always travels with us in our go-to game bag. It’s the first game my kids ask to play and everyone is always up for it. Pick it up at your local game store or on Amazon.
- Rounds last no more than 10 minutes
- Family friendly
- Competitive take-that and player elimination
- Great components and chunky dice
The Family Gamers received a promotional copy of Roll For Your Life, Candyman from Smirk & Dagger Games for this review.
Roll For Your Life, Candyman
Age Range: 8+ (we say younger)
Number of Players: 2-4
Playtime: 10-30 minutes