Project Alphaboard:Aquarius

Aquarius is a simple filler card game for 2-5 players from Looney Labs. It takes around a half hour to play. The basic concept of the game is analogous to dominoes – players try to match card edges for the five elements (space or void is thrown in with the classic four) and make a chain of their element. The first player to chain seven cards of their element wins. There are some catches – first, the elements are hidden, so you don’t necessarily know what element a player is building towards, especially in the early game. Second, there are special action cards that can do things like swap or rotate the element goals, so that your nearly complete Earth chain might become another player’s!

Aquarius takes about two minutes to teach, which makes it a perfect filler for a board game gathering where one table finishes before the others. The action cards give it enough complexity and player interaction to make it fun, although the “gotcha” element can be off-putting for some groups. The cards themselves are simple graphics that are bright and cheerful on the table, befitting the quasi-hippie theme. I enjoy Aquarius as a filler, although other games in my collection probably come out first for that job. I’d definitely recommend it as a solid family game for folks with younger players.

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