LOONACY is a card matching game from the dynamic duo of Kristin and Andrew Looney. I know that Andrew is given designer credit but I'm pretty sure Kristin added a thought or two into the mix.
Anyhow, this game is for 2-5 players and as long as they are old enough to recognise pictures their age doesn't matter. Games last as long as they last, which isn't much more than 10-15 minutes, sometimes less.
The mechanic of the game is to play cards where one of the pictures matches a picture on a previously played card. The first player to run out of cards from their hand is the winner, so as you may have guessed this isn't played in turns.
The main differences between LOONACY and other picture-matching card games is that there are two illustrations on each card and, depending on the number of players, there are multiple stacks of cards to match pictures on. For example,
with 4 players there are 2 stacks, 3 players have 3 stacks to choose from and 2 players have 4 stacks. Only if you have a full compliment of 5 players is there only one stack.
The illustrations are typical of LooneyLabs, clean, colourful and immediately recognisable, nothing obscure that look the same, though having said that there are a few, totally different pictures I hasten to add, that are circular and these may make
you stutter enough on your move to allow someone else to jump in front of you. Basically the game play is: Each player has a hand of 7 cards which they may look at - ie hold them like a regular hand of cards. There are a number of face up cards
taken from the top of the deck and placed within easy reach of all players. It is on these cards that the players are to play the cards from their hands; you may play any number of cards, one at a time, but the main rule is that you may only use one
hand when playing a card.
Of course there are going to be times when all players are holding cards but none of them match the face up target cards. In these cases each player is dealt another card from the deck. The way we play this is to deal the card face down onto the table
in front of each player and on the count of 3 (we don't mind if you go 1, 2, 3 or 3, 2, 1 - we are good like that) each player can pick up and look at their new card, adding it to their hand or playing it out.
The main thing to remember is that you are virtually playing snap (except you don't take the cards if you match up) and that only one of the pictures has to match (only one can match actually because of the design of the cards) which sounds easy but
for the first game makes you think. It is not a hard game to learn or play but it is amusing, it is fast and from our experiences children and adults enjoy playing it. It is not as complex as FLUXX, it isn't as complex as HAPPY FAMILIES to be honest,
but it does ring all the bells when it comes to enjoyable, entertaining amusement.
LOONACY comes in a small box that contains 100 cards and the rules sheet. Therefore it is ideal to take with you wherever you go. It can be played anywhere you have space to put the card stacks out comfortably. It is thus playable on a long train ride
(as long as you can get seats with a mini table in-between) or between 2- 3 players in the back of a car (please don't involve the driver) even on a bus. It is best played on a table and even better if you are having a fun night in with friends as it is a very
good game to introduce new players to the world of Looney games.
When reviewing games I try to look for negatives as well as positives but in the case of LOONACY there aren't any negatives. It is a fun game, pure and simple.