When I started writing this article, it was a comparison of Loopin' Louie vs. Loopin Chewie. However, as I wrote, two things became apparent: Firstly, adults are willing to go to great lengths--simultaneously pushing the boundaries of carpentry, reason, and good taste--in order to modify a children's game into something more challenging, and secondly, that the obsession to modify the game is the real story.
If you have never played this game in either of its incarnations, let me give you the overview:
In Loopin' Louie, a battery-powered motor placed in the center of the table rotates a boom with a little plastic plane attached. Four radial arms lead out to the players' barns and the chickens they're trying to protect. Each barn has a little lever, which is used to knock the rotating plane away from your chickens and hopefully into someone else's. When only one player has chickens remaining, he or she wins the game. Very silly, and very addictive!
Now, the first time I ever played it, I was at a great board game cafe in College Park, Maryland, called The Board and Brew. It was my first time at an actual board game cafe. We were on a family vacation in Washington D.C., and my loving and understanding wife told me I could go anywhere I wanted for one evening of the vacation, and this was my pick. The manager recommended that we try Loopin Louie, and I looked at the box and said "This game is for ages 4+?" He responded "It's by far one of the most popular games in here!" Okay, I'll give it a shot. Tons of laughter followed! It was a no-brainer to put this game in my collection, and I have had it ever since. Now on to the obsession of others.
This is supposed to be just a little kid's game, but people are obsessed with it. I mean, people have done everything to this game. From making it a custom 8-player game.
To making it 8 players and light up
Even this guy, who made a video on how to make a variable speed control?
The actual reason that it became Loopin Chewie in the stores is because some fan made this version and named it Loopin Chewie (his version is 10x more awesome, by the way).
Hasbro put out their own 3-player version, which is not as cool as this one, but still is pretty good. I am not a big fan of the 3-player Chewie version as opposed to the 4-player Louie version, but who knows, maybe I will be the next obsessed fan and make a 6-player version of Loopin' Chewie!