Game: Loony Quest
Designer: Laurent Escoffier & David Franck
Loony quest is a 2-5 player drawing game in which you embark on a number of 30 second challenges in order to claim the most experience points and be the greatest hero in the land. It consists of multiple worlds, each of 6 maps which correspond to the difficulty level you want to play at. Seemingly inspired by a Mario game’s progression you’ll go from a grassland to volcanic islands, ancient ruins and frozen tundras, defeating a boss at the end of each world.
Each level within a world consists of a map tile which gets placed in the centre of the playing area, the box acts as a holder for this map and as a score track using lollypop stick style trackers for each player. Each player has a white mat and a clear sheet to draw on, a timer is flipped and everyone has 30 seconds to draw on their sheet, once the timer runs out each player places their sheet onto the game board and evaluates their score. That’s about it for how to play, the rules are simplicity themselves, draw as required for the map, place your sheet over the map, score points, win!
|If you can spot a Fairy (there's one on the level on the right) and then make sure your drawing touches it then you get a chance to go to the bonus level (left) for big point prizes!|
Of course each level is different and has one of several different drawing styles, some levels will have to try to connect things with lines, other levels want you to mark items with dots, others still require you to encircle certain targets. Each level has hazards too an if any of your lines intersect them you’ll lose points, or even score no points for the entire level, this is particularly common on the boss levels at the end of each world, while they have a lot of potential points available if you push yourself too hard you may score nothing and watch the scoreboard swing dramatically against you.
|There are a swathe of power ups and punishments, ranging from getting bonus exp to having to draw with your off-hand|
The game has a good difficulty curve, the first world is pretty welcoming to new players, but the later worlds add far more challenges, place hazards in more awkward areas and even had maps which you are only allowed to look at for 30 seconds and then have to draw blind! All of this gives a good level of replayability and you can tailor based on the skill level of your players, however as the game is somewhat laid out as a campaign of sorts, it does feel like the is a definite end, if you have 1 regular gaming group then you may get through it all quite quickly as each game is ~ 30 minutes, but if you have a variable group you may find yourself stuck on world 1 forever!
Overall Loony Quest is great fun, it’s an unashamed casual game, though it can be quite dastardly in the later worlds. This is the kind of game I’d suggest for non-gamers, simple to learn and sure to get some good laughs. The art is good fun, though often repeated between levels of 1 world, there are also powerups and punishments for doing well/badly which add some spice to the basic gameplay, particually eagle-eyes players may even catch a fairy and get to play the bonus levels! Loony quest isn’t a game you’ll be playing for years to come, but it sure is a blast to play, honestly even if you only play the 7 worlds once you’re still getting a good amount of gameplay out of it.