Sunday, October 16, 2005

Review: Lucky Loop

Lucky Loop is a dice throwing game for ages 8 and up by Queen games. This is a rather luck-heavy game themed around aerobatic displays. It's probably best suited for youngsters or people with a high luck tolerance.

Queen games has a reputation for well produced games and this is no exception. The components are top notch and the artwork is very nice. Inside you'll find a nice board that is mostly used as a scoring device. You'll also find two nicely produced decks of cards, several cardboard chips, a dice shaker and seven dice.

The game is pretty simple. Players create stunt flying routines by playing sets of cards. The cards indicate what elements are in the routine, what the difficulty level of each element is and what the point reward is for executing the element.

To execute a stunt flying routine you throw the six black dice. If you can meet or beat the difficulty level of one of the stunts with some of the dice then you pull those dice out, put them on the card representing the stunt you've completed and then put the rest of the dice back in the cup to try for another stunt in the routine. Do that for all three stunts and you've successfully executed the routine and you'll be rewarded with points. You also get bonus points for using fewer dice and for exactly matching the difficulty of one or more of the stunts in the routine.

As you might guess from that brief description, this is a very luck heavy game. The luck can be mitigated somewhat in two ways: first, you get to play cards from your hand to determine how difficult the routines will be. Harder routines are, naturally, worth more points. You also can earn chips which you can later trade in to either re-roll failed dice rolls, or to add the red die to the mix, giving you one extra die to choose from. The cards and the chips do add some measure of strategy to the game, but it's really rather minimal. At the end of the day this is a dice game and the dice very much determine the outcome.

This game is probably going to appeal most to younger kids (perhaps 8-10). I would imagine that older kids and adults are likely to be put off by the heavy dependence on luck. I admit that I wasn't really overly impressed. It's fun enough but there are plenty of games that I like better in this price range. This game would have been pretty good as a light filler except that it runs a little too long to fit the filler role.

So to sum up: the theme is good, the components are first rate, kids will probably like it (mine did), but it's very luck heavy and it's perhaps a little too long for what it is. It's not a bad game and I'd be willing to play it again, but I don't think I'll offer it as a suggestion very often.


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