I know we have a few parents and a few soon to be parents. My thought was, hey, I know it's all about the iPad and 3DS these days, but there's a case to be made for board games. So with that thought in mind I'll approach this as, "What can you get from a board game? What makes it a better choice than playing alone on a phone? What developmental group is this good for?"
Candyland is a game that most of us were introduced to as kids. The goal is to get to the King's castle, ostensibly because you will win, but actually because you want to imagine yourself eating that castle. Players begin at the start of a long path and move by choosing a card from a deck and moving to that color. Along the way are shortcuts and spaces which have you lose a turn. The first to arrive at the King's castle is the winner.
Why it's good
Candyland teaches a number of skills that you typically won't learn playing iPhone games:
Cooperation/Turn taking/patience: Most kids are not well versed in waiting for what they want. Here, they have to wait, but the wait is a bearable one. They can't just pick twenty cards and win the game, they have to pick, wait, pick. In order for the game to be fun, they have to learn to work together with you, taking turns in order to move their piece further along the board.
Winning/Losing: The greatest asset that Candyland has to offer is it teaches kids how to lose at an early age. Winning is 100% random which means that even though their skillset is very limited, they still have a chance to win. Games are typically brief such that many games can be played with everyone getting a chance to win, and importantly, lose as well.
Imagination: The board is colorful and there's no real story given to the game, so parents are free to raise questions such as, "Why are we going to the King's castle?" Or to investigate why Lord licorice is such a grump.....or why Queen Frostine became demoted to the Bratz Doll Princess.......
Typical stuff: Color/pattern recognition, basic counting
Why it's not so good
N/A: There's really not much to complain about in Candyland. If I had one complaint it's the model for Princess Frostine. Seriously, it's pretty bad. She looks like Joan Rivers.
Developmental prerequisites: Color Matching, Be able to understand very basic rules.
Parents can enjoy: Making up stories about their pieces, being able to model effective "losing" and "winning" behavior
Possible rules modifications: I haven't done any rules modifications on this one. If you know of any let me know in the comments sections.
Verdict: Highly recommended. If you can find a version without the latest iteration of Princess Frostine, even better!