Time: 5 – 8 minutes
Times Played: 30+
Not every game needs a great depth of theme to be worth playing. It’s nice to be able to just shut off your brain sometimes and just play a game. I made a mention of this when reviewing Blokus and I’m doubling down on it with my review of Loonacy.
Loonacy is a matching, real-time card game for two to five players. We have played upwards of seven with the same deck and twelve when combining two decks. There is no underlying theme but that does not impact Loonacy at all. This game is still a blast.
The game can be played by anyone as long as they can see and recognize pictures. A game of Loonacy typically lasts under ten minutes. We’ve had games end in the first “round” before anyone drew a new card. We also had one game last twenty minutes. If I had to average everything, I would put a guess that games sit comfortably in the five minute range regardless of player count.
So what do you do in Loonacy? Each player is dealt seven cards, face down. From this hand of cards, which it is important to note that these cards cannot be looked at prior to the game beginning, players will match pictures on their cards with those on the table. Only one of the two pictures have to match.
This is happening in real time so if you are not fast enough, someone else might lay a card on the spot you were gunning for. Whoever runs out of cards first, wins. If no player can place a card, then everyone draws a new card and looks at it at the same time. The game dictates pointing towards the draw deck when you need a new card but we prefer to place a finger up to signify that we are ready. It doesn’t really matter; whatever works for your group. Once everyone has drawn a card, there is a “One, two, three!” before being able to view the new card and resume playing. If the deck ever runs out, you reshuffle all the matches.
During down times of drawing new cards, we will do some clean up and typically take all the matches and discard them, leaving only the top card of each pile. When placing cards, players must use the same hand for each placement. No placing a card with your right hand and then quickly laying a second with your left.
How does this differ from other picture-matching games? Loonacy has two pictures on each card and either can be used to match. Also, depending on the amount of players dictates the amount of piles that players can use to place their matches. With two players, there are four stacks whereas with five players there is only one stack to place cards.
I personally love this game at all player counts and we typically play until there is a clear ranking from first to last place since the game is so fast. It’s an easy game to customize as well. Too easy playing two players with four piles? Make it two piles. Have a group of seven but still want to play? Deal them in!
Everything is clean and easy to see from any seat (which is incredibly important in a real-time matching game) and most importantly, everything is unique. No one image looks like another so there’s never any confusion.
Loonacy is a rare game that we don’t mind having multiple copies of. The game can fit easily in a pocket, purse, or bag and is a perfect game to just whip out and play during a lull. We’ll take it to gatherings or parties as well as it’s just another activity that can be done relatively easily.
Loonacy is best used when you want to kill time.
Waiting for an Uber? Loonacy.
Waiting for the dogs eggs to cook? Loonacy.
Waiting for the convention to open? Loonacy.
Is there anything wrong with Loonacy? Nope. You know exactly what you are getting from this game. No one picks this up and thinks to themselves “I hope this compares to the complexity of The Gallerist!” This is a quick, fun, filler game that is an excellent change of pace to any other game in our collection. There are so many different versions available that you can find one (or more!) suited to your group and honestly, for the price point, if this even sounds remotely like something you would be interested in I would recommend buying a copy.