Looney Labs is a game company headed by Kristin and Andrew Looney and Alison Frane. They specialize in small, unique games with a good sense of humor, bonuses for players with long hair, excellent portability (no bulky boards or big boxes) and minimalist, quirky artwork. Among their games are:
- Fluxx, "the card game with ever-changing rules." It was chosen by American Mensa as one of the five best games of 1999.
- Aquarius, "the groovy card game that's kinda like dominoes (only better)," this game features pictures of five different elements instead of dominoes' traditional dots. The goal is to chain together seven of a certain element; the catch is that no one knows what elements the other players are trying to chain together. If your web browser is Java-equipped, you can play Aquarius online at http://www.wunderland.com/WTS/Kory/JavaGames/Javaquarius/. Aquarius was one of Games Magazine's best 100 games of 1999.
- Icehouse, "colorful pyramids you can play cool games with," is not a game in and of itself, but a set of pyramids of different sizes and colors which can be used to play over 100 different games. Among the most popular are Martian Chess, Zarcana and Ice Towers. Icehouse won the Origins award for Best Abstract Board Game in 2000.
- Q-Turn, "the little wooden nickel game" played on a dynamic board consisting of 16 wooden nickels with directional arrows.
- Proton, "the retro-futuristic, self-contained, abstract strategy PocketBoardGame for 1 or 2 players," similar to those little slidey games where you try to get the numbers 1 through 15 in order, but instead having red and white paths that players try to connect up.
- Chrononauts, "the card game of time travel," wherein you are a time traveler with an agenda, trying to change the course of history (prevent the assassination of John Lennon, anyone? How about saving the Hindenburg?) and/or collect various artifacts (such as one or more of three Mona Lisas or a live dinosaur) for the improvement of science, history, or perhaps just your own life. Oh, you can also cause World War III, or destroy the Universe.
- Cosmic Coasters, "a ten minute game of interplanetary invasion for two, played using fleets of seven coins on the moons of Jupiter."
- Nanofictionary, "the card game of telling tiny stories," chock-full of cards such as Characters, Settings, Problems and Resolutions, used for telling stories. The winner is the one who tells the best story, as determined by a vote.
The listed games are the most well-known, but there are some other smaller efforts such as "Are You A Werewolf?" based on the classic Mafia. Looney Labs also sells games by other small companies through their online store Contagious Dreams.
Looney Labs is also a progressive company; they re-use packing peanuts donated by members of the community for just that purpose, and they support gay rights, legalization of marijuana, and the Green party. All this is part of their corporate philosophy. Whether or not you agree with their ideas, I highly recommend their games.
The people responsible for Looney Labs also produce a weekly webzine called The Wunderland Weekly News, with information about Looney Labs and the exploits of its members, and many other goodies such as haiku movie reviews, definitions of cool words, and links to interesting web sites. There is also a somewhat trippy web comic called Iceland, which "stars a bunch of talking pyramids and a broccoli." The broccoli's name is Tirade.