Wednesday 27 April 2016

Loony Quest - the board game that thinks it's a video game (age 8+ review).

The description for Loony Quest was the most intriguing game description I've heard. Suitable for 2-5 players aged 8+, a physical game with cards and other equipment, but which behaves as a video game, requiring you to gain points and progress through a series of levels in order to reach an end target. It's a very different and quite bold concept, and does it work?

Well actually it does, and it works very well. In fact we've played this game several times now, and we haven't used even 1/3 of the cards, nor have we had any chance of learning them - but we have got better at playing, and we've laughed a lot.

The premise of the game is that, just like a standard platform video game (Streetfighter, Ratchet and Clank, Mario, Little Big Planet), you must survive as long as possible, avoiding dangers and collecting bonuses. There are 7 worlds, each with 6 levels and it's own Level Boss.

Each level is depicted on a card. Players attempt to draw a safe path, or bomb enemies or both, on a piece of transparent plastic - a 'screen' - which is then placed over the card to see how accurate you were. It's much harder than it looks!

If you stray from safe areas then you may hit obstacles and lose points or gain forfeits. Likewise it can be worth trying to pick up bonuses, plus keys and locks. You also gain points for completing paths.

The bonuses can give you an advantage over other players in the next round, including protecting you from damage or allowing you to pass on a forfeit. Forfeits include 'bananas' on your 'screen' where you can't draw, drawing with the wrong hand and having to balance the forfeit card on your pen as you draw...

As you progress through the levels they get harder and more complicated, but no less fun. It's hilarious to find your carefully drawn line goes nowhere near any points and hits every wall!

Points are counted by moving a counter around the edges of the box, which also has an indentation for the cards and 'screens'. It's a very neat package and works very well - you can even move the card underneath your screen by about 2mm if you are very close to getting a point!

Loony Quest is excellent fun for everyone. You don't have to like video games, but if you do you'll find it even more hilarious. The adults, teenagers and the 7 year old all loved this game, and frankly had an equal chance of winning. The recommended age is 8+, and I think that's right because our 6 year old really struggled trying to transfer the image over and didn't want to play. 

We've played multiple times and still only used the first 2 worlds. Each level took about 5-10 minutes with 4-5 players, obviously it'll be quicker with less people, so each world would take about half an hour. We didn't rush though and took our time to fully appreciate each other's efforts, mainly by laughing and pointing.

Loony Quest is available now and has a recommended price of £19.99. It's an excellent game and one that'll be played a lot in our house - by all age groups. Loony Quest is made by Libellud and distributed in the UK by Esdevium Games. To find your nearest stockist see their Store Locator.

We were sent our copy of Loony Quest to review.


  1. this sounds like a great fun game and something a little bit different which is good. :)

    1. It is, it's really different, and we all really liked it. I think it'll be a very regular choice for games night :)


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