I play a lot of board games and card games. Sometimes you want something short and sweet, sometimes you want something long and meaty. Loco! falls into the "short and sweet" category. Designed by board game icon Reiner Knizia, Loco! comes in a compact box and as such, travels well.
You get thirty cards and twenty-five chips. The cards are smaller than normal playing cards, and while well-finished, they do tend to show a bit of wear. The cards as well as the chips come in five colors - red, blue, green, yellow, and purple. The chips are light, with chunky ridges to make grasping them easier.
Setup and Play
Loco! is designed for two to five players. The chips are separated by color and set out on the table. All the cards are dealt out, and play begins, following one simple rule: play a card, take a chip. The interesting aspect of this is you may take a chip of any color, no matter the color of the card you played. Cardplay ends and scoring begins whenever the sixth card of any color has been played.
Scoring and Strategy
Scoring of Loco! is done by chips. The value of each color chip depends on the number on the last card played in that color. For instance, if the last card played in yellow was a "1", all yellow chips are worth 1 point. The strategy is to attempt to end the game with high-numbered cards in the chips you hold the most of, while having low-numbered cards in the chips your opponent(s) hold the most of.
The Bottom Line
Loco! is simple to learn, inexpensive, and portable, with enough strategy to keep it interesting. I've played Loco! with children as young as five, and I've found that anyone who enjoys card games has enjoyed this. I highly recommend Loco! as a fun, short and sweet card game.