The Lost Lighthouse Review: Loony Quest

It’s not often that you find a game that will please both newbies and veteran boardgamers but Laurent Escoffier & David Franck’s Loony Quest manages to do just that.

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Borrowed from the Esdevium Game website

I can, sadly, see this game getting over looked by people browsing their local games store because the box doesn’t give much of the game away but once you’re inside you’re in for a real treat.
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In the game you are all trying to navigate one of the 7 worlds, represented by 3 double sided tiles. Each tile has a legend that tells you what you need to do to score XP(points), while avoiding various traps and enemies, and secure victory. What ever mission you are on, one thing remains the same, you all have a transparent sheet, and there’s a tile in the middle of the table. You all have to draw on your transparent sheet, then one by one, place your sheet on the tile to see how well (badly) you have done! When explaining the rules, it seems one person will always voice “what? That’s easy!” Little do they know.

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I've got this in the bag!

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Bugger!

Each tile will be 1 of 4 mission types. Link: players must start and end at specified locations on the tile. Move: players must start in one location but may end anywhere on the tile. Ring: players must draw a ring around mission items on the tile. Mark: players must draw a dot on their screen that will hit mission items. Out of the 4 type Id say link is my favourite, it’s a lot of fun trying to look at the tile and translate that to your screen. Ring I’d say is the hardest, as no matter how big you think you’ve drawn the rings, they won’t be big enough. Which ever mission you play will have a lot of laughter Carrying you through it.

For me, the most fun comes from the bonuses and penalties. To unlock these, the line you have drawn must pass through them. They are both cleverly placed, the bonuses are near things that loss you XP and the penalties are near things you need to get to! These can range from having to balance a mosquito on your pen, to having to draw your next line with your arm locked at the elbow.

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Damn that Mossy!

You also get a sand timer included for certain missions. We actually decided to use it for every mission as adding the 30 seconds timer made it more fast paced and exciting.

Each set of tiles colourfully represent 1 of the 7 worlds. Paul Mafayons art is a real treat. As you pass through the worlds, they get harder and harder. The last boss is one of my favourites as it’s a gladiatorial battle with a theatre of chickens watching!

All games have a couple of issues, and I’m glad this games issue is not actually to do with the mechanics or games system. It’s the way you keep score! You place these little markers around the outside of the inlay and there’s numbers all along the box. Great idea, but when you move yours or if you’ve got the same score as someone else, they tend to all fall out which can be pretty annoying.

I’d definitely recommend this as it’s like nothing I’ve played before and has only 20 minutes playtime (something ever gamers shelves tend to be lacking), so great to bring out after dinner with friends and it’s not rules heavy so it’s easy to explain to any non gamers you may have at the table. But if you are a hardcore gamer, there’s still lots of fun to be found, it’s a really fun experience. It’s also a nice compact game game, so you don’t need a massive dinner table to play it.

Loony Quest retails at £19.99 which is amazing value, and why not pick it up from you local games store. Find yours with this link

Gary

The Lost Lighthouse Xmas Top 10 Board Games Part 1

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With Xmas quickly approaching, we decided to put together our top 10 board games, we think, that would make anyone’s Christmas a little brighter.

We’ve tried to keep the price point low, with a lot of the game hitting the £20 mark or lower .

So put away Cluedo and move aside Monopoly, Christmas has a new main event!

10) Escape. The Curse Of The Temple
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This was one of my intros into modern board gaming and it’s awesome! You play adventures seeking treasure in an crumbling temple. You can only move to rooms by rolling the right combo. But what makes this game great is you are restricted to a time limit! There’s a CD you play and if you don’t find enough treasure in time, you are locked in the temple for ever! Each game is only 10mins and you can have 1-5 players.

9) Loony Quest
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I’m not sure what I love more about Loony Quest, the art or the game mechanics! The game is based round imitating a computer game. You are all characters trying to compete in a famous game to crown the new king. As players you have a tile in the middle of the board and each of you have a transparent sheet and a marker. Depending on the mission you ether have to draw a route, place a dot, or circles objectives. Then you each, in turn, place your transparent sheet onto the centre tile to see if your lines mark a safe route, eliminate a target or gain extra bonuses while avoiding pitfalls and obstacles. Most likely you will hit everything other than what you were aiming for! This is normally followed by loud cheers and lots of laughing. An extra amazing thing in Loony Quest is you can unlock perks which help you in game, or traps that make the game harder for other players! Including banana peels and a pesky mosquitoe! With a game length of 20 mins and player count of 2-5, this will be a hit for sure!

8) Machi Koro
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Full review here

Machi Koro has been sweeping up awards since it’s release, even before it’s English translation. Machi Koro is as simple as it gets, with it’s roll & earn formula. You are all racing to build your own town, winner is who ever builds the 4 landmarks first. You roll a dice, see if it matches any of your buildings, if it does, you earn money. But that explanation does not do this game the credit it deserves. Since adding this to my collection I’ve played it constantly! With it’s 2-4 player count and 15min game time, you’ll be able to get a good few games of this in over Xmas!

7) Hey! That’s my fish
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Full review here

Want a great game, at a good price point that also has amazing penguins in it? Then look no further madam! Hey! That’s my fish has to be one of the simplistic, yet enjoyable games available. You simply have to collect as many fish as possible while trying to get isolated on a list ice berg. With an easy and quick to learn rules set and quick game length we highly recommend Hey! That’s my fish.

6) Sheriff of Nottingham
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Full review here

Fancy a bit of bluffing? What to try and sneak some contraband pepper past grandma? Then Sheriff of Nottingham is for you! Possibly the simplest rules set for a bluffing game, you play traders trying to get through customs, but each turn someone plays the Sheriff and gas to guess wether you are trying to sneak some illegal goods through. If he’s right, you pay him a fine, if he’s wrong, he pays you!

Well that’s our first 5! Please check out any of the links to learn more about the games. We happily recommend them all.

Turn in next weds for our top 5

Gary.