Loch Ness Review

Posted: January 1, 2011 in boardgames


I was not impressed with the lineup at Essen this year. A dull parade of drab games for the most part, even Earth Reborn looked like another overcomplicated army man game for basement dwellers to amuse themselves but one game did catch my eye, it wasLoch Ness by Ronald Wettering. There were two Loch Ness games released at the 2010 Essen but this one looked the most promising.

I saw a rather low review tacked on to this game by a German website and when I saw that “luck” was a chief component of the low score I knew this game was for me. The real problem a lot of gamers have is getting new players involved in gaming. Often times they feel intimidated because you have so much more experience and know the game inside out and the new player is at a serious disadvantage. In cases like these that is where games like LOCH NESS shine because a “luck fest” is not all bad in my eyes. It evens the playing field and also makes for some of the best gaming in my opinion. Games like “Can’t Stop” and other dice games fall into this area as well.

LOCH NESS is an impressive package that even features artwork on the back of the board. This has no effect on play but is a nice reminder that the game didn’t fall prey to the cheapest possible production scenario. The theme is appealing to me and the artwork is similar to another favorite of mine from the KOSMOS 2 player series, Heave Ho. I believe that this cartoony type art work lends it self greatly to the fun factor of a game and gets away from the drab colors from games like Princes of Florence.

The idea of this game is to position your photographer markers, each with a different value, in a strategic location in order to capture photos of “Nessie”. Different combinations of photos score different points and you are helped out by certain spaces on the board such as “The Pub” which will give you a slight edge. You are only working with a slight clue to detemine where “Nessie” may surface, this lack of perfect information is pure joy if only for the fact that it will make the nerdiest gamers cringe.

I played the games several times each with 3 players and enjoyed it quite a bit. I will say that I like the “Hotel” variant the best but I can take or leave the auction variant.

I have heard critics say that the game is best for 3 and I tend to agree. A lot of luck in this game combined with deduction and reading the other players make for a good game in my book.


  1. Stephen Avery says:

    I dunno Steve. Despite the fun art and cool theme, it looks a bit too Euro-y to be fun. Place your guys here and score X.

    Earht Reborn, Merchants and Marauders and Viva El presidente have got my vote for best games of Essen.

    Oh and Target is not too shabby either.

    Steve”The other voice of Ameritrash”Avery

    • The fact that LOCH NESS is a game based on a monster makes it Ameritrash all the way Steve! Earth Reborn is a serious failure as a game. Zev’s Space Hulk clone is a “no lifers” dream come true but to the real gamers it is overblown piece of crap with overdone rules and a mix mash of mechanics to give the gamer the illusion that he really has a great game but in fact it is an illussion. Earth Reborn is a “Doug Henning” game, its all an illusion! HA! Earth Reborn belongs back in the 70’s when there were only 3 channels on TV and no internet. There are much better tactical miniatures games on the market that do the job much better than this hack job! Of course you won’t see a negative review of this on F:AT, as a matter of fact I don’t recall seeing a negative review of any Z-man game on F:AT, why is that Steve? If you do see one please forward me the link, I would be very interested in reading it!

      • Stephen Avery says:

        I do have a penchant for retro feeling games and Earth Reborn resonates deeply. That is not a bad thing though.

        I’ve played only one game of it- but it was one hell of a game. I stated befoe that I’m not trying to champion Earth Reborn. I really have no investment in the game. However A good game is a good game and ER is a good game.

        As for Z-Man, I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He publishes some great games. He also publishes soem complete dogs. In fact he publishes my most hated game – Factory Fun. I would rather eat glass than play it.

        As you know, I don’t really review stuff. Mostly I troll other reviews. I wouldn’t want to actually contribute anything worthwhile to the gaming community.


  2. I appreciate your honesty about Factory Fun. I also played another Z-man game recently, Arimaa. It is hard to describe the pain. Listening to a Vasel Podcast, gaming in a Library with Nicholson, wtaching Barnes flip flop his opinions like a fish, attending BGG Con, also similar painful experiences. HA!

  3. Stephen Avery says:

    If you’ve not tired it another favorite game of 2010 is Roadzters. It is like pitchcar but has uses a ball bearing instead a ball so when you flick it you get some wierd physics.
    The game icomes with a tunnel and a jump in the base game and is not as finiky about the joints between the road pieces. Best of all, the cars have sloped backs so you use them as little ramps to jump over other cars.

    The only downside is that the base game only plays 4 where pitchar plays 8. I think you can pick up extra cars seperately though.


  4. Steve that game has been around forever, its called MARBLES! HA!

    I really want to like Pitchcars but it doesn’t make it. Takes up too much space and just not as fun as it looks like it would be. Paper football is more fun and cheaper, you know the game where you flick a paper football? My brother took his Pitchcar set to a group of Cub Scouts one night where you would think it would be a massive hit but it only got a mediocre response. The best Dexterity game is Tumblin’ Dice, it has just the opposite set of expectations, it looks dull but is a riot!

  5. Stephen Avery says:

    There is more action in Roadsters than Pitchcar though I can see where both would fall flat cub scouts. The game to get them riled up though is Quackshot. Great way to put an eye out too.

    I just saw a thread on the geek where people were discussing Tank. Paper football, Penny Hockey, sea battle …there must have been a dozen games that kids used to play. It make me wonder if some of these have been ‘developed’.

    Steve”patent pending Paper Football”Avery

  6. JonJacob says:

    Earth Reborn is NOT a Steve Weeks game. It is a nerd game all the way. I like it, but I like TI:3 so that’s no surprise. I’d say avoid it at all costs. But I thought that maybe z-man might win you over with Merchants and Mauraders.

    I’ve never cared about z-man until Earth Reborn myself but I like silly nerd games. Hell my bro and I improvised lyircs to East European folk tunes based on our Earth Reborn session just the other night.

    I’ll take a look at Loch Ness, haven’t heard much about it until now.

    And Corkinole or Carrom are the best dex games.

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