Aquarius Review

Aquarius card game by Looney Labs

Now for a quick card game review for a quick card game: Aquarius.

In Aquarius, each player gets a goal of which of the five elements they represent. From here, the objective is to connect 7 cards together, each of which represent your specific element. The different cards that can be played may only represent one element, may be split in the middle and represent two elements, or may be quartered and thus represent four elements. In order to play any of these cards, you must place the new card so that it faces the same direction as the previous card (no perpendicular placement) and so that two elements match. However, they do not need to be your elements - if you are playing as the earth, it may be in your best interest to connect two stars on cards that both have the earth on them. This would still count as your elements being connected, since they are on both cards. But, beware! There are action cards in the game that allow you to "zap" cards (take them into your hand), move cards, and even change goals.

The thing that I liked about Aquarius was that it was a simple game that could easily be played with just about anybody. The game I believe claims that it is for 8+, but it could probably just as easily be taught to a 6 year old. I'm not even sure that you would need to be able to read to play the game as everything is picture based - if you could teach your kid what the pictures on the 4 action cards meant, then they would be able to play. I think it's even short enough that it might fit into their attention span, and it is small enough to be taken with you and brought out whenever you needed to entertain them.

Unfortunately, that was really about all that I liked about the game. This is a Looney Labs game (the people that brought you Fluxx, which is a really awesome game), but I think they missed the mark on this one. This game just seemed pretty boring to me. Yes, I could play it more, but the ultimate question is, why? There's not really all that much strategy to the game, but there's also not really an element of exciting randomness (the closest there is occurs when someone messes with the goals, but that is more annoying than random). I don't really know how to explain to, but on these silly little card games, some are hits and some are misses. Whereas Fluxx I considered to be a great hit (I should write a review about it...), Aquarius is a miss. I think part of it is that there is so little that you can do each turn. It keeps with the standard "draw one card, play one card" game flow of the rest of the games by Looney Labs, but the other ones all allow you to break out of the mold in some way. In this one, you are simply drawing and playing a card each time.

Overall, I give Aquarius a 6.0/10. Whereas I didn't think the game was especially fun, I also didn't feel like it was a chore to play it (which is more of the 5 and below range). I could play it again if someone else brought it and I was trying to kill time, but they will need to bring their copy, because I intend to get rid of mine.

If you like light games, you might also check out Gloom, For Sale, and Hey, That's My Fish!

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