Picture this; It’s a chilly Friday night right around Halloween. You’re twelve years old, and your parents are letting you have some friends sleep over. The whole family piles into your parent’s station wagon and runs to Blockbuster. You wander through the aisles in awe of the potential. Happening upon the Horror section, you pick out a selection of the goriest, most terrifying, and campiest movies you can find. Epic Loon captures the essence of those memories like lightning in a bottle.
The beauty of Epic Loon is in its simplicity. The gameplay is no more complicated than that of a generic mobile game. Your character sways back and forth, and you must time your button press so you can fling yourself in the right direction. Avoid the obstacles and make it to the portal. That’s all there is to it.
However, it’s the simple gameplay that allows you to absorb the antics of Epic Loon fully. There has never been a more fitting title for a game. The lunacy of this game is at epic levels. You play as little monster blobs that infiltrate old B-Horror VHS tapes and try to ruin them. The obstacles you must avoid range from props in the movie, to the set itself, and even the body parts of various killers’ victims. All while enjoying a fantastic soundtrack.
A significant source of hilarity in Epic Loon is the geeky narrator. A vocal embodiment of the “ackchyually” meme, the nasally voiced nerd will consistently berate you with hilarious quips or lash out in frustration. These humorous remarks in addition to the fun of the gameplay make for some ridiculous moments with your friends.
Like all things though, too much of something good can make it lose its luster. The game is an excellent source of fun and laughter when in couch co-op, its weaknesses start to show when you play solo. After a while of playing by yourself, the jokes begin to seem stale. The gameplay is serviceable, but it’s one-dimensional. In short bursts, it’s okay, although it’s not going to keep you playing for hours. Epic Loon is less about playing the game and more about watching something odd and hilarious happen while you play. Doing that with friends makes the experience more enjoyable.
Even though Epic Loon is better off as a party game akin to Mario Party, it does that job well. The reason Epic Loon works is that it doesn’t try to be anything different. If you go into Epic Loon expecting a masterpiece of gameplay and cinematic storytelling you will be sorely disappointed. What you will get is a game that is simple at its core but is a joy to experience with your friends.
Better played with friends: Epic Loon makes no bones about focusing on couch co-op. Having some friends over, and watching the lunacy play out before you is the best way to play.
Hilarious narrator: The dorky narrator whose VHS you’re currently invading is one of the best parts of the game. It’s an excellent satire of nerd culture and creates some of the funniest moments in the game.
Something about playing by yourself makes Epic Loon feel hollow.