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!