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Loco!

English language edition


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Ages Play Time Players
8+ 5-10 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

Manufacturer(s): Fantasy Flight Games

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Product Description

One of the most simple games ever designed, Loco! continues to fascinate players year after year. Players simply play a card then take a chip of any color. Seeking to gather the chips that are the most valuable at game end, players must decide whether or not to diversify their holdings or not. A game that can literally be played in five or ten minutes, Loco will have players laughing, as they play cards to help their holdings and hurt others. A great deal a fun is included in this small box that is very portable.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

  • Manufacturer(s): Fantasy Flight Games

  • Year: 2003

  • Players: 2 - 4

  • Time: 5 - 10 minutes

  • Ages: 8 and up

  • Weight: 91 grams

  • Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English.

Contents:

  • 30 cards
  • 25 chips
  • rules

Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 4.4 in 9 reviews

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Quandry/Thor for Cheapskates!
May 20, 2004

I love this simple yet anxiety filled little game. Your betting on which chips will be the most valuable at the end and this can be a surce of much thought and sneaky tactics. It's a bargain!

Once again this great designer has make a game that makes you slap your head and say 'why didn't I think of that?'.

The makings of a classic if only it was marketed well.

 
 
 
 
 
by Jeff
Remake of Flinke Pinke
June 24, 2003

This is a great little game, short enough to be considered a 'filler', and very tense. One rule from the original game that we will definitely carry over, is awarding 2 points to any players who end up with less chips at the end of a round. Since the round can end at any moment, there are often some players with one less chip. This 2 point score offsets that slight disadvantage.

A rule variant I came across which apparently the designer heard about and considered a good option is to NOT allow a player to take a chip of the same color as the card just played. This causes lots of delicious anguish.

This is a great example of how Reiner Knizia can take a few simple numbers, and create a masterpiece of a game.

 
 
 
 
 
by Wendy
Gets better the more you play it
November 02, 2000

Quandary is a brilliant little game, and those components are top notch.

It's great for playing with kids and they usually love to use their math skills to find out the winner. Sure would be nice if I could win a game or two!

As is typical of Knizia's scoring systems, there's a nice calculating system similar to Lost Cities.

Comes in a nice big box and feels really good to play too.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Great 4 player decision making fun
December 28, 1999

Quandary is based around collecting stones of different colors. There are five colors and five tracks representing those colors. At the beginning of a round players draw a certain amount of tiles (depends on how many are playing). Each tile is of one of the five colors and has a number from 0-5 on it. Each turn a player has to play one of his tiles down and then draw a colored stone. As soon as one of the colored tracks is filled the round ends and everyone scores points based on what color stones they have and the last point value on that color's track. Confused? Here's an example. Let's say the round is done and you have 3 green stones and 2 white ones. If the last green tile played were a 5 and the last white one were a 3, you would have 21 points.

Strategy and bluffing are key to this game. If you have for example the red 5 tile, do you immediately start grabbing red stones and make it obvious that's what you are going for, or do you grab other colors to fool your opponents? Also when to play what color is important too because it might cause a track to fill early in the round ending scoring too soon, before you get your high value tiles down.

I've played this game a few times with 3 people but mostly with 4 and it seems to be more fun with 4.

This is my first review, so I just want to conclude with my assurance that even though I might not have described it well Quandary is a game well worth owning.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Vintage Knizia filler
May 24, 2004

What a relief! A knizia game with no pretense: no muddled backstory or pasted-on theme, just colors and numbers, a one page rulset, and a lot of tough decisions. Love him or hate him, it's what Reiner Knizia does best, and Loco! works.

This game is almost too simple to be believed. It's filler, no doubt about that; the average playing of Loco! is probably about 8 minutes. The components? 5 colored suits of cards, each suit numbered 0-5, and 5 plstic schips corresponding to each suit. The game? Play one card to the table, any card, and take one chip from the table, any chip. Most points wins.

So then, the enjoyment of the game rests entirely on how points are acquired. Simple. The game end when any one of the colored suits has all the cards in that suit played to the table -- in other words, first suit to have all 6 cards, ends the game. The point value for each colored chip is equal to the last card played to that color. So if the first yellow played is a 3, then the next is a 5, then the next is a 1, and the game then ends by someone adding the sixth card to green, then each yellow chip you have is worth one points.

That is it.

I mean it.

Seriously.

You play a card and take a chip, trying to make sure that colors you hold chips in end up being valuable, and colors that you don't have (or have few of) end up being next to worthless. And such delicious tension! So let's say you have the red 1 and the red 5 in your hand. Do you try and take a lot of red chips since you hold the 5? But if someone else holds the 0, then you can't afford to play the 5 and have it get cancelled out. So avoid the red chips? Then you'd better put the 5 down right away and later on cover it with your 1. But what if the 4 ends up being the last card on red? Then red would be a good acquisition. But then you notice that green already has played down 2, 1, 0, which means if one more green gets added, all green chips have to worth at least 3 points -- maybe more! But you don't have any more green cards -- and the game could end next turn! What do you do?!

The amount of tension generated by such a simple game is worth the price of admission alone. The graphics are bland (think Uno), but clear, and there is something I like about the graphics very much: It is precisely the 'Uno'-ness of the graphics that trick average American non-gamers into playing Loco! And just think they'll be playing a game where decisions and clever play are rewarded. And then they find out that they enjoy it, and then they might just try Basari, and Ticket to Ride, and then Elfenland. And then you have someone else to invite over for games.

This game works. For families, for gamers wanting filler, as an introductory game to German games. It just works. It is far more than the some of its parts.

 
 
 
 
 
Flinke Pinke / Quandary / Thor / Loco!
June 24, 2003

This is the fourth theming of an identical game, with one extra rule added into the mix that (I suppose) is in there to appeal to players of Uno -- if you don't yell out 'Loco!' when you play a Loco card, you can't pick up a chip. If you want to try that with family gamers, go ahead ... but I'd avoid it with your gaming group, if I were you.

That said, this is a quick, simple, light game with a touch of strategy thrown in to make it a great filler. Given that there are only about two rules to explain, it's very easy to jump into a game, even if you're the only one who knows how to play it. And since the typical game lasts about ten minutes, if you want to start another game right afterward, chances are you'll have the time.

The price is right for this quick and easy card game, but the card stock is the usual Fantasy Flight fare, and the way that the chips fit back into the flimsy box is somewhat counter-intuitive. I would have happily paid a bit extra for the game for it to come in a sturdier box, with a space for all the chips.

 
 
 
 
 
by Randy
Excellent little game but why the name Loco?
June 18, 2003

I'm not sure if loco is an accurate discription of this neat little thinking-man's-Uno but it is very good for trips and is perfect for families with kids 8-18. We added a rule that we use for card-counting adult players. On his/her turn a player may skip taking a chip and instead sneak a peek at the 'blind cards' that were not dealt at the beginning of the game. However, they may not do so on a turn that they play a Loco. We also highly recommend using the designer's suggestion to play one round for each player in the game, allowing each player the chance to lead.

 
 
 
 
 
by Zoz
Great fun with a 90 second learning curve
June 15, 2003

Very impressive. This tidy little game is as easy to learn as it is advertised. Play a card and take a chip. The the cards are numbered zero (Zero is marked as 'LOCO') to six and the suits are five colours (red, blue, purple, green and yellow). At the beginning of the hand there are five piles of five chips of each colour in the centre of the table. Each turn you take one card from your hand and place it face up near the corresponding pile of chips (A green 5 near the green pile a purple 2 near the purple). Then you take a chip from ANY pile. The hand ends when one of the colours has all of its cards played (Ex. purple has 2,4,LOCO,1,5,3 in front of it). For each chip you have of a colour you score the value of the card face up in front of it. So if the last card played in front of yellow was 2 and you had two yellow chips you would score 4 points for your yellow chips.

This was test driven at a family get together with a couple of hard core games, a couple of better halves that get stuck playing a lot of games with the hard core gamers and a couple of I-probably-have-a-dusty-monopoly-game-here-somewhere gamers. The quickness which everyone at the family game table picked this up and enjoyed it was amazing. I can see every home with a UNO (TM) or SKIP-BO (TM) or ROOK (TM) deck also having one of these.

 
 
 
 
 
How to overproduce a game
August 26, 2002

Quandary is the deluxe version of Dr. Knizia's 'Flinke Pinke.' The original game is a very nice little game with practically no theme at all, although one could possibly construe it to be a stock market game in the very broadest sense. The original game is played with cards and a few colored chips, and this works quite well.

Enter Quandary. This is lavish production, with a large board and nice racks to hold the thick plastic tiles that have replaced the cards. This is one class act. It is also completely unnecessary. Since the game worked just as well without the fancy components, it stands to reason that it really does not need them. They are nice, but they also send the cost of the game sky high.

If the game were somewhat heavier in nature, it might warrant the deluxe components, but it is still a rather light game. As it is, it is a bit of a fish out of water. The game itself is good, but not great. The components are truly extraordinary.

Recommended, if you have the dollars to blow!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

Other Resources for Loco!:

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