Loonacy

  • Designer: Andrew Looney
  • Publisher: Looney Labs
  • Plays 25
  • Ages 8+ (in reality, more like 4+)
  • Playing Time: 510 minutes
  • Initial Release: 2014
  • Elevator Pitch: simple, high-speed game of matching pictures
  • Roar Score: 5/5

From the folks who brought your Fluxx and its many variations. Loonacy is a new, fast-paced, quick-playing card game that’s aimed at the younger set but is great fun for everyone. Games take 5–10 minutes, and the rules can be learned in about 30 seconds. This is my kind of game to explain!

From the publisher: “Loonacy is a rapid fire game where players race to be the first to empty their hand of 7 cards by matching one of two images with the images on the open piles in front of them. Speed of the hand and luck of the draw determine the winner in this frenzied free-for-all!”

In layman’s terms, it’s a spin on Uno but much more frenetic.

How does it play with kids? The publisher claims the appropriate age range is 8+. Well…yes and no. Younger kids can most definitely play. I played with Zoey (5), and she certainly understood the rules clearly enough. The “problem” with playing with younger kids is that the speed of play is significantly reduced.

Kids invariably take longer to identify the images on the discard pile(s), scan through the cards in their hand, find a match, and try to throw a matching card. This puts them at a disadvantage if playing against older siblings or adults.

Therefore, it’s important to note that this game isn’t exactly friendly to groups with mixed ages. Ideal play seems to be with people of similar age and ability.

How does it play with adults? I played with a group of five adults, and it was almost an instant hit. We had just come off a long, deep game with a much darker theme, and everyone was pretty much taxed. Loonacy came out, and so did the fun. Almost immediately, the entire group was laughing, shouting, and having a great time.

This is ostensibly a kids game with exceedingly simple rules, but those things are in its favor! Loonacy is a fantastic ice breaker at the beginning of a game night, a wonderful filler between longer games, and a perfect way to end any night of gaming on a high note.

And with kids, it’s still great fun, albeit a bit slower and less chaotic. It’s a great matching game with a lot of fun pictures that kids can identify and giggle about. It’s also really appealing that it’s a game with seemingly “no rules.” Kids love that there are no turns and play is a bit crazy, and the fact that games are so short means that it’s easy to play multiple games in a row. You didn’t win this one? You might win the next one!

The biggest complaint we have with the game is with the quality of the cards. For such a chaotic and fast-paced game, it would’ve been nice if the cards were a bit more durable. Don’t get me wrong; they’re not poor quality. Think of a standard deck of playing cards. That’s pretty much what these are. However, this is a game where speed is key, and people are slamming down their cards as quickly as possible. Cards get bent, scuffed, and mangled—even more so if you’re playing with kids. I can see these cards becoming pretty wrecked after relatively few games.

(Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of this game. All opinions are my own.)

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