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Card Game Review: ‘Loonacy’

Looney Labs, well known for its line of Fluxx card games, is famous for games that are quick and zany. Each Fluxx comes with a series of images for their Keeper cards, and all of those spaceships, monsters, cookies, pyramids, and the moon are back for Loonacy, a reflex matching game that will make heads spin. The mechanics behind the game are something of a blend of the classic card game Speed, where players attempt to shed their hand by lining up numbers, and Dominoes with its double-sided pieces. Each card in Loonacy has two images (players of the Fluxx…

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Looney Labs, well known for its line of Fluxx card games, is famous for games that are quick and zany. Each Fluxx comes with a series of images for their Keeper cards, and all of those spaceships, monsters, cookies, pyramids, and the moon are back for Loonacy, a reflex matching game that will make heads spin.

loonacyThe mechanics behind the game are something of a blend of the classic card game Speed, where players attempt to shed their hand by lining up numbers, and Dominoes with its double-sided pieces. Each card in Loonacy has two images (players of the Fluxx games will be delighted to see old favorites and new). If any image on the card in hand matches any image on the face-up play piles, the player may set it down on the pile. First player to shed all of his or her cards is the winner.

With easy rules, anyone may pick up Loonacy in seconds. The real trick of Loonacy is having the symbol-recognition and reflexes to keep up as the face-up cards quickly change. A strategic mind may line up the cards with shared images, creating a string of plays. Each card must be laid down with one hand one at a time; however, meaning another player’s quick moves could interrupt those well laid plans. In the event that no players can play, all players draw a new card, and the game begins anew until someone is victorious in empting his or her hand.

Games of Loonacy are very different with a different number of players. With fewer players, there are more face-up play piles, but the potential to match individual images is smaller. In these games, Loonacy is much more about strategy of organizing cards and maximizing the payout for matching a single image. For games with more players, Loonacy is a madhouse. There is little, if any, time for strategy, and reflexes are the key to matching symbols as soon as they appear. In a five-player game, all players share a single face-up play pile, which means total insanity as they all vie to match the same images, which are constantly changing and prompting players to scream in excitement or delighted frustration.

Loonacy is a card game for two to five players aged eight and up. Younger players may enjoy the symbol-matching aspect of the game, but being outpaced by older players would be frustrating. Games are usually very quick, taking between five and ten minutes, though it may be longer with fewer players. Having as many players as possible brings out the best in the fast, crazy fun of Loonacy.

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About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.