Will you be the first to collect your candles and light your Menorah? A lively strategy game for family play.
Will you be the first to collect your candles and light your Menorah? A lively strategy game for family play. Read more
About this project
Thank you for your interest in the Candle Quest board game. For current information on where you can get the game, please visit the Gilead Games website.
You and your fellow players each need to find 8 different colored candles to light your special menorah. Some you can buy. For others, you can’t afford to pay full price; you may have to sell or bargain for them. Be on the lookout for the highly-valued magical dancing candles, but watch out in case one of your candles burns out! Will you be the first to collect your candles and light your menorah?
Candle Quest is a strategy board game for 2 to 5 players, ages 5 to 120 that takes 30-45 minutes to play. Strategically, you want to make sure you have enough money to buy the cards you need, while trying not to auction cards that your opponents need to complete their set. There is a Basic and Advanced version of the game, as well as a simplified version for 5 and 6-year-olds.
"The other aspect we noticed is that this felt very much like a Reiner Knizia design. The variety of choices, the quick play, the tough decisions" (Larry Levy of OpinionatedGamers)
"I prefer shorter games and this was a perfect length for me. I bought this game because I know it is going to go over big in my group but mainly because I had a blast playing it and want to play it again. I am also the game explainer in my group so a game that is easy to learn makes my job easier."
"Rating: Excellent gameplay; components and art still in development. Candle Quest is a light strategy game that is year-round fun for any
family, whether you celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas or Festivus."
— Jonathan H. Liu, Wired Magazine GeekDad
Tom Vasel hosts The Dice Tower, which has been reviewing board games since 2005: “This is a fast little auction game that plays easily. Players have quick, simple choices to make, keeping the game moving at a nice clip.”
The game includes 60 cards; 6 each of eight candles in different colors, 6 wild card dancing candles and 6 unlit candles; each with a numerical value. 5 player screens with player aid information, 5 player mats with 8 spaces for cards, money and a rule book. The box is a compact 9"x 6"x 1 1/2" in size. The game is accessible to colorblind players, the candle variations will be more pronounced in the print edition.
In the Basic game, on your turn, you pick a card, and then choose whether to buy it from the bank for the cost on the card, sell it to the bank for half the value rounded down, or put it up for auction. The auction is once-around, you bid first, followed by each player in turn. If you win the auction, you keep the card and pay the bank. If another player wins, they get the card and pay you the money. There are wild dancing candle cards which can be used in place of any of the candles you need. The sad candle cards which require an extra payment, but you get another turn.
In the Advanced version of the game, you get a bonus for being the first player to collect the eight candles. But the player with the most points wins – you add up the points on your cards and your money, up to half the value of your board. In the simplified version for five and six-year-olds changes include no auction mechanic.
“Easily one of the best games I own. It's fun, easy to teach, and accessible to even my casual-gaming friends.”
“Very enjoyable. Except for the fact that my 5 year-old daughter creamed us all during our first game.”
"Overall this game is really fun. I think the advanced version is must more fun than the easy version. With the advanced version you really need to think about how much money the opponent has and what cards he still needs."
Game designer Yehuda Berlinger developed The Menorah Game as a prototype in 2005. Jackson Pope of Reiver Games changed the theme to monster building and published the game as It’s Alive!, coming out with a limited edition in 2007, followed by a second edition in 2008 which is available on Amazon. An IOS version by Jeremiah Maher went on the market in 2011.
It’s Alive! is an established game with multiple reviews and testimonials. It’s ranked 1288 out of 61397 strategy games on the respected Board Game Geek website. For this new version of The Menorah Game, re-named Candle Quest, we’re redoing all the art, but the gameplay is the same. The monster body parts have been changed to friendly candles, the angry villagers are now an unlit candle, and the wild card coffin is a dancing candle.
“It's fun, easy to teach, and accessible to even my casual-gaming friends.”
“Superb game - very cool auction process and excellent for filling 30 minutes or so.”
“Sounds very simple ... and actually is quite deep. It is the 'single chance' bit which leads to a lot of careful thinking, bluffing, and double bluffing.”
"I have had the very same experience, where newbies and non-gamers practically begged me to play another round of "It's Alive!". Fantastic gateway game and very cool for all groups."
The gameplay and monster-building theme both contribute to the popularity of It’s Alive! The reversion to the prototype’s candle theme is in response to players who prefer to collect something friendlier than body parts.
“Quick little filler - mechanics would be suitable to play with my kids, but alas the (body parts) art means the theme isn't.”
“Always a hit. A great auction game for the whole family as long as they don't mind building monsters out of body parts.”
"I would've given a ten if it weren't for the gory theme and body pieces"
Yehuda Berlinger founded the Jerusalem Strategy Gaming Club and now co-organizes the Raanana gaming club. He founded and wrote for two top board game sites: the Purple Pawn game industry website, which grew to 80,000 monthly readers under his stewardship, and his own site Yehuda, which was recommended by the Wall Street Journal. Yehuda’s game It’s Alive!, first published by Reiver Games, is now republished as Candle Quest – Light Your Menorah. Yehuda was one of The Dice Tower’s five nominees for Best New Game Designer of 2008 for It’s Alive!
Artist Darrell Mordecai is a cartoonist and caricaturist who has worked on books, comics, ads, murals, greeting cards and retail premiums. He has a Fine Arts degree from Witwatersrand Tech, and attended the National School of the Arts, both in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Gilead Games is a game development and marketing studio.
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We will update the project FAQ below as you send in your questions.
Risks and challenges
We are a new game development studio. For our first project, we will be producing a limited number of Candle Quest games, including the games that are pre-ordered on Kickstarter.
This is the first family strategy game with a Jewish theme. The target market is not established, and less familiar with Kickstarter and pre-ordering games prior to production. For experienced board gamers, this is a family-oriented casual game, a smaller market than for longer games.
Game Salute is assisting us with the Kickstarter campaign, and will be doing our fulfillment. This is our first experience working with Game Salute; they are well-known in the gaming industry.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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