Matchery: The best thing to do with Candyland since throwing away Candyland.

Oops, I accidentally bought Candyland!

My son said he wanted to play a game with me before he went to bed, and because he behaved well that evening I agreed. When he reached for Candyland, I began to remember moments of bad behavior and quickly considered revoking my offer. Before I could put this into words, he drew out only the cards and put the rest aside. He had come up with his own game. Generally when a five year old comes up with something it is terrible. I know you might say this is harsh, but ask a 5 year old to make up a Knock Knock joke. You will understand, and then instantly regret it. That being said, I’d rather a half an hour of incoherent Knock Knock jokes or CalvinBall-esque gameplay than 30 minutes of North American Rules Candyland.

He dealt out a three by three grid and turned it into a matching game. It worked out alright. I tweaked the gameplay a bit and the result was something enjoyable. We played several rounds. He asked me to share the game with the world. Thanks to the Internet, I can fulfill that promise with little to no effort. ┬áThe Game is Called “Matchery”.




Candyland Card Deck

Two Players


Shuffle deck and deal out a 4X4 grid, 16 cards total.


Select a player to go first. On a player’s turn he may either try to make a match, or say “No Matches”.

Making A Match

A player turns over two cards for all players to see. If they match, he takes both cards and may restart his turn. If the cards do not match, they are returned to their original positions.

Things that Match and Examples:

  • Doubles Match Doubles (Double Blue Square and Double Red Square)
  • Colors Match Colors (Two single blue squares, or a Single and a Double Blue Square)
  • Picture Cards (A picture card plus any other card including other picture cards.)

Calling “No Matches”

At the beginning of a player’s turn, or after making a match, a player may state “No Matches”. All cards left face down are overturned. If no cards can match each other, then he is awarded all the cards. If a match can be made, the cards are given to his opponent.


When all cards have been taken out of play, the player with the most cards wins.


So that’s it. Some variations you might consider.

  • Play along WITH candyland, moving pieces when you get a match.
  • Allowing people to call more than “No matches”, perhaps “One Match” or “Two Matches”.
  • Larger Grids
  • Multiple Players (Though you’d have to work out how the “No matches” payout would work if the caller didn’t win.)

Enjoy! I’d love to hear what you try out!


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