Aquarius Review (Looney Labs)

What It Is

Aquarius: The Card Game of Elemental Connections is a card game from the makers of Fluxx, Looney Labs. 

Aquarius plays a lot like a classic game of dominoes only instead of domino tiles you play with cards, and instead of connecting dots, you are connecting much more psychedelic elements. The game features 79 cards. There are three types of cards: goal cards, element cards, and action cards. 

Goal cards feature one of the five elements: earth, air, fire, water, and space. 

Element cards feature different arrangements and combinations of the five elements. 

Action cards: There are six different types of action cards shuffled into the deck, which---as you might have guessed---can shake up the gameplay. With the Trade Goals and Trade Hands cards, you will swap goals or hands with the player of your choice. Rotate Goals forces all players to rotate their goals. Move a Card allows you to rearrange the cards in the gaming area to your advantage by moving a card of your choice. Shuffle Hands lets you collect all players’'cards then redeal them. With Zap a Card, remove a card from the table and add it in your hand. 

Goal: Create a series of seven connected cards featuring your goal element to win.

How to play:

Each player is dealt a goal card and two playing cards to start. The rest of the cards are shuffled, one is flipped to the center of the gaming area to begin the game. Playing up the fun hippy vibes of the game's artwork and tapping into the era, the player with the longest hair goes first. Gameplay, as previously mentioned, is a lot like dominoes in which players take turns trying to match an element to the cards already placed in the gaming area. Each player plays a card from his/her hand, then draws a new card. 

To make a connection, you only need to have one symbol on both cards align in order to play a card. There are, however, bonuses to making multiple connections in a single play. For each additional connection you make, you get to draw one bonus card for your hand. 

Is It Fun?

Aquarius is an exciting card game that is simple to play and easy to learn. It's not overly competitive for beginners, but it's packed with a bunch of game elements that can make it more tricky for those that want a challenge.  Players can also bluff about what goal they might have, which can add to the fun and strategy of the gameplay when using Action Cards. 

Who It’s For

Aquarius is for ages 6 and up. What's great about this particular card game though is that you can modify the gameplay to make it easier or more difficult to meet the needs of different players. 

Elemental Connections for ages 3+: You can modify the game by removing goal and action cards to turn it into a basic matching game. As an introductory, you can play it as a puzzle game in which a child is learning the basic rules of matching and creating connections. Once kids understand these steps, up the gameplay by taking turns matching pieces to the center cards in the gaming area.

Basic Aquarius for ages 5-6: This game plays much like the full game, with goal cards back in play but action cards still removed. This version ensures that players' keep the same goal card through the game so not to cause any frustration or confusion. 

Singe-Action Aquarius for ages 6+: This game also plays like the full game but modifies by only introducing one action card back into play. Playing this version multiple times can help build up a young players confidence in how the different action cards work before moving onto the full game. 

What To Be Aware Of

Cards must align properly in order to match your symbols. For example, you cannot play one card vertical and the next horizontal to make your chain/connection. 

If you are playing this game with less than five people, you'll still need the unused Goal cards for the Rotate Goals feature, so you can rotate new goals into play.

  • Fun

  • Repeat Play

  • Assembly & Instructions

    None or Very Easy