I hadn’t played Loot since the last annual Talk Like a Pirate Day, but I brought it out this weekend as a quick starter to an evening of gaming. Loot is essentially a trick taking card game at heart, but it’s very light and fun, especially if you yell Arrrrrrh at appropriate moments.
A deck of Loot cards contains merchant ships of varying worth in gold, pirate ships of varying strengths and colors, pirate captains for each color ship, and the merchant admiral. The art on the cards is fun, wacky, and child friendly.
The rules of Loot are very simple. On your turn you either draw a card or play a card. You may play a merchant ship in front of you, or you may play a pirate card to attack a merchant ship in front of another player. More than one pirate can (and will) end up attacking some merchant ships, but once a particular color pirate ship is played, only that player can use that color in the attack. Pirate captains trump pirate ships, but a second captain will trump a previously played captain. If at the start of your turn, you have clearly won a particular battle, then you get to collect the merchant ship for points. That’s about it! Be sure and yell Arrrrrrh when anyone gets a ship. The game ends when someone is out of cards.
Loot was designed by Reiner Knizia and is currently published by Gamewright. It’s good for players aged 10 and up, but a sharp 8 year old would do just fine I think. The box says that it will play from 2 to 8 players, but it’s a terrible two-player game. I have no clue why they even list that as an option. Four is ideal but you can play more using team rules. The game plays in roughly 20 minutes, and is a huge amount of fun for a quick filler.
Loot is available from Funagain Games, your local Target store, and other reputable online retailers. If you like pirate themed games or just want a quick filler that can be played with both young and old pirates, then you will want to pick this up. Happy gaming!