Designers: Thomas O’Halloren
Publisher: Noirtoony Labs
Minimum Pledge: $49
Play Time: 60+ min
Rules Available Online: No
The world of Sugarplum has fallen upon dark times. The Frosted Throne lies empty, awaiting a new ruler to sit upon it. Powerful Dream Mages embark on a quest through the 4 realms of Sugarplum in a race to claim the right to rule. Along the way, they’ll encounter cursed candy villains, equip themselves with edible weapons and armor, and cast powerful dream magic. The road to rule is a difficult one and the Frosted Throne isn’t the end of the journey. Whoever sits upon the throne must then get rid of any opposition to their rules.
Sugarplum Chronicles is an epic boardgame of candy-coated nightmares coming to Kickstarter on October 2nd.
At its core, Sugarplum Chronicles is a roll & move game. Players roll a d6 to move along the path, in any direction, the number of pips they roll, each color square on the board having a different action associated with it:
Draw an Event Card from one of the Realm Decks corresponding to the realm you’re currently in. Level modifiers are added if necessary by checking how far along the board you are in the current realm. Combat is resolved through d20 rolls. Items and Lemon Drops are earned through victory
Draw an Event Card from the Realm Deck you’re in, plus the ability to purchase a Gingerbrute that’s can be placed in any unoccupied space. Gingerbrutes are basically simplistic combat obstacles other players need to defeat in order to pass on the board.
Yellow: Gain a Lemon Drop
Lemon Drops are the currency of Sugarplum Chronicles. They’re used to purchase items from the Candy Shop, cast spells, and purchase Gingerbrutes.
Blue: Candy Shop (May choose to stop movement early to end turn here)
Candy Shops are where players can purchase new items and spells from a set of 6 face up cards. Every time a player lands on a blue space the Shop is restocked, or there are details in the rules on how to spend Lemon Drops to force refresh the shop.
Purple: Landmark exploration (May choose to stop movement early to end turn here)
When landing on a Landmark players make a d6 rolls and follow the results laid out in the rulebook.
Black: Draw and resolve a Slumber Card
Slumber Cards are powerful spells and curses available to sleeping Dream Mages. When a player lands on a black space a Slumber Card is flipped over and resolved. Most dreams are spells a player can hold on to, but nightmares usually resolve instantly, hurting one or all of the players.
Players race to the end space to become the ruler of Sugarplum, but the game doesn’t end there. Once a player is crowned Ruler they must then dispose of the other players. The ruling player also get the benefit of being able to ignore events and also gets paid 2 Lemon Drops at the start of their turn from the Lemon Drop pool.The last player standing wins.
The last player standing wins.
The copy of Sugarplum Chronicles I received was a prototype printed through The Game Crafter, so I can’t comment much on the actual production quality until I get my hands on the final version of the game. That being said the artwork in the game is something spectacular, particularly the board. It’s all hand drawn, highly detailed, and full of candy themed goodness. If the production ends up matching the artwork then I’m pretty sure Sugarplum Chronicles will be something to behold when it goes to print.
Sugarplum Chronicles is a fun time. The race to the end of the board and the PvP play that follows can be exciting, full of excellent loot, and contains enough player interaction where it doesn’t feel like everyone is playing their own game. That being said, the roll & move nature of the game can quickly become redundant and I found myself wishing the game had a different set of mechanics to handle movement.
Combat, while simple, is satisfying, especially since each monster has an “Instant Kill” number that when rolled…instantly kills the monster. It’s not a common occurrence, but it makes you feel great when you instantly take out a pretty nasty foe. For those times when you can’t KO an enemy, you’ll be relying on a set of items and equipment highly varied and flexible, allowing you to customize your character in hundreds of different ways. Spells add another layer of depth, each with several different effects that can be triggered by spending your hard-earned Lemon Drops. Some of these spells can be purchased at the Candy Shop, but the real winners are drawn from the Slumber Deck. Unfortunately, there are also nightmares tossed in there that can be pretty painful when drawn.
In the end, even though it’s a roll & move game, Sugarplum Chronicles offers a lot of depth of choices during each player’s turn. The rules and mechanics are fairly light, making the game easy to play with younger players, though with its theme I wouldn’t quite call it a family game. There’s nothing outright gruesome or offensive, but younger players may be a bit creeped out by some of the artwork and overall dark theme of the game.
Sugarplum Chronicles hits Kickstarter on October 2nd with a minimum pledge of $49 required to secure yourself a copy of the game. If anything it’s worth backing just to replace Candyland on your game shelf.
A prototype of Sugarplum Chronicles was provided free for review by Noirtoony Labs
Media personality Rob “Devar-TTY” Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of Devar-TTY’s Pawns Perspective, Dev now focuses mostly on video games and TTRPGs. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.