Retro Loonacy – a fast paced nostalgic matching game.

For Christmas I was given a short subscription to Board Games Crate. Retro Loonacy was one of the games we received. I’m not sure I would have picked it up myself so I’m glad it was chosen for us because it is great for young kids. Our edition is ‘Retro’, cue lots of ‘what’s that?’ questions from N who has never seen a video tape or record player. Oh how the next generation lives! The original Loonacy cards have more recogniseable images for younger players but I prefer the overall look of Retro (the full coloured backgrounds make matching images easier to spot) and N has no problem playing it.

So how do you play?

Loonacy is a simple picture matching game. Everyone is dealt 7 cards. Every card has two images on it. Players try to put down all the cards in their hand by matching one of the images on their card to a picture on one of the card stacks on the table. The number of stacks on the table is determined by how many players there are. Three players = three stacks. When players can’t put down a card they draw one until they can. There is no turn taking, players just race to get down all their cards as fast as they can.

What we like about the game:

Ok, so there’s not much strategy involved but Retro Loonacy is a great fast paced matching game that requires no set up. It’s perfect for a quick couple of rounds while waiting for dinner and great for travelling with. It’s officially ages 8+ but it’s totally fine for 5+. N took to the game straight away because it’s similar to Wig Out (reviewed here) which he was already familiar with.

We (adults) probably prefer how Retro Loonacy plays compared to Wig Out because the restricted number of stacks and dual images means greater focus is required to spot matches. When combined with the degree of chance involved in drawing cards, the playing field is evened out enough to genuinely compete with eachother when playing together as a family. I suspect there will be greater longevity in Retro Loonacy as a game because of this, but there’s no getting away from the images not being that appealing for kids. We all prefer the pictures on Wig Out, so when N is choosing he will tend to pick Wig Out.

There is an Uglydoll Loonacy, but we’re not familiar with the characters and I’m not a fan of the white background as the cards and matching images don’t stand out so well. Given how fun the game is to play, we’d love Looney Labs to do a reboot of the Loonacy artwork for kids and families, with bold, fun images on contrasting, bright coloured backgrounds. Until then, a few hands of Retro it is!


4 thoughts on “Retro Loonacy – a fast paced nostalgic matching game.

    1. We’ve had three now. It’s an interesting mix of the more familiar with one I’ve not heard much about. Usually one big game and a smaller one in each crate. For example we got Kingdomino and Azul in two crates which are really excellent choices. The only issue is it was not obvious how to specify if you wanted more adult or kids games as they use your existing games to make selections and ours are kids orientated. An email to them would sort it I’m sure. I like the look of some of their Kickstarter opt ins too. Overall great for being introduced to a wider range of games I would not necessarily have come across. Definitely worth it when looking for a change.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks – that’s really interesting, and those are some good games. Azul, I believe, has just done well as the runner up in the BGG Golden Geek awards in several categories. Thanks for the rundown!

        Liked by 1 person

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