What: Mario and Sonic the board game. Yes, really.
Players: 2 -5
Time: 20-30 minutes
People: Ideally for friends, family and kids looking for something quick and a lot of fun.
Available: Get it on Amazon here and support Best Play at the same time!

The Gist

Why we recommend it

We also talked about Loony Quest on our podcast over here

One of the joys that certain board games offer is to experience something unlike anything else. Loony Quest is unmistakably one of those games.

Many of us younger than, say, 45 have a deep childhood nostalgia for Mario and Sonic. If I asked you to mimic the sound of grabbing a coin or ring I bet it instantly echoes in your mind. It conjures up memories of the endless hours you spent collecting chaos emeralds and saving princesses.

Loony Quest plays on all of that dormant nostalgia and some how creates a platformer out of a piece of clear plastic and a pen, plus these beautiful cartoon levels.

On the face of it the game is very simple. Just draw a line that hits all the good things and avoids all the bad things. You play across a group of levels (like a Mario World) and whoever gets the most points at the end wins. The trick is you don’t get to draw on the level, you have to draw onto this blank sheet and later put the two together to see how you fared.

Right, still not challenging enough? Well what if the box kept rotating so it wasn’t always facing you? What if you were against the clock? And what if your mates were all trying their best to sabotage you? They’ll be making you use your weaker hand, force you to close one eye or mean that you must balance this annoying mosquito thing on your pen.

Now we’re talking. Now you’re experiencing those last few seconds of Sonic desperately trying to get to the end before the time runs out.

It’s a game of non-stop frantic fun. Before you’ve even had a chance to fully take in the level you’ve just hastily scribbled your way through, you’ll be onto the next. The throwback to ’90s video games doesn’t stop with the platforming inspiration either. It leans on other favourites too, like Time Crisis, asking you to snipe off some bad guys against the clock.

Take a guess at what shows up at the end of every world? It’s obvious what’s going to greet you. Isn’t it? Yes of course, a boss level. Kill the boss and you win. Unlike other levels though, making a mistake doesn’t just cost you a point, it costs you all your points. So be careful.

If you want a game that just leaps out of the box and grabs everyone’s attention, then Loony Quest is exactly what you’re looking for. It’s pure, simple fun. As long as you can hold a pen, you’ll be able to play this game and understanding it is incredibly simple for anyone that’s every tried a buzz wire game or drawn mazes as a kid.

Get your own copy of the fantastic Loony Quest at Amazon here and support Best Play whilst you’re at it.