Do you know the earliest idea of Loco Momo is about musicians playing music?! - Wonderful World Board Games

Do you know the earliest idea of Loco Momo is about musicians playing music?!


Loco Momo Designer Diary:
Do you know the earliest idea of Loco Momo is about musicians playing music?!

Loco Momo is a successful family game around the world. It sells more than 10,000 units in half a year. It is Wonderful World’s first published game, it also is the founder – Lenny Liu and his brother – Leon Liu’s first design game. Today, we are going to share with you about the design diary for Loco Momo.

The idea of the game

At the very beginning, the theme for the game is about helping the greatest musician to finish their masterpiece by collecting music notes. Players will choose a player board from those greatest musicians in the world.

The board has the picture of the musician with the combination from each part of their masterpieces. We use animals to represent music notes, we believe more people want to collect animals rather than notes. This is where the Loco Momo’s animals come from.

For the mechanism, we choose the tile placement / set collection as our foundation. Back in that time, we really liked the design of the game, Azul. We get inspired and decide to add something more interesting. Then, we find out that we can make these animal pieces move.

Pick an animal, use the special movement (at the beginning it just moves forward, backward and stop), take the same color tiles. Some people quite enjoy it, but of course, there were a lot of issues such as unbalancing and randomness. And, most people do not feel related with the theme. This is “The End” for the musician version.

We needed to change the theme. That was all the feedback we got. We spent some time researching online, trying to figure out how to adjust the game. Finally, we realized since we have animals as notes, why did not we just make it simple. Collecting animals! That sounds like a friendly image for most people/market too.

Do you think this is it? Remember that we mentioned this is our first design. Something terrible is coming!!

We end up not only switching the theme, but also the mechanics as well. We only keep the part that the tile will move based on the animals, but the whole game turns into different levels. We basically try every mechanic that is possible to match with tiles movement. If you ever wonder why?

Because we were not satisfied, we wanted everyone to like the game. Even though we understand the world is not going to be like this. We were still too greedy and young to try to fulfill the achievement.

Something interesting to mention: the majority of designers really do not like the final version of the game, like some of them even say it is trash and no one will buy it. But we will share our thoughts at the end of the article.

From the musician version to the final version, we believed we tried 8 or 10 totally different mechanics to make the game better. The final version is actually the third or fourth version of the game. It is really fun to share some example with everyone:

The version of scoring points with different combinations. Such as rabbits can only count when they are diagonally. If the pig ( yeah, there was a pig in the game) has the most group of connections, it scores more points.

Each animal has their own scoring method. And those scoring methods will change depending on the animal cards the game revealed. So each game can be different. This version is really interesting and you can try to do a combo with particular animals.

The game flow is nice, you build your engine at the beginning, and score a big combo at the end round. However, the unbalancing issue is our headache. We were not mature enough to make the game smooth.

This version is area control. Players choose a row of the animal from the player board. Based on the amount of animal tiles you take, decide who is the first player. Then, players take turns to put their animal onto the board.

Starting from the first player, secretly place one card corresponding with the area on the game board. Then everyone reveals, resolving from the lowest number to the highest. The animals in the area that is chosen have to move to other areas by their unique movement.

At the end, each area is worth particular points, if you are the player that controls the area, you score the points. Game takes eight rounds and the highest points win the game. We decided to close the version because of the unbalancing part as well.

In the end, we gave us a deadline for the game, and we decided to use the fourth version, which is the Loco Momo you are seeing right now. We really enjoy the fast paced tempo. Game is short, simple and cute. We believed it should be a nice family style game.

Luckily, you guys/ladies prove to us we are right. Thank you for spending your valuable time on our game, I hope all of you are having a blast with “Loco Momo”.

What is Loco Momo

A lot of people asked about what is “Loco Momo”. We got the name inspired by the word, Locomotion. If you read through the whole article, I believe it is not hard to find out there is one thing we keep from beginning until the end.

The animal movement!!! Based on the definition from wikipedia, in ethology, is any of a variety of methods that animals use to move from one place to another. However, locomotion is not cute as a game name. So we decided to make it to – Loco Momo.


Designing board games is really fun. It is a perfect method for you to share your fantasy world with others. Do not be afraid of being judged, most of the time they are trying to help your game get better. But it is hard to define “Better”.

Their preference does not mean it is your preference. There is no absolute advice that can promise you how other people or the market will think about your game. Just be yourself, create the game that is full with your unique idea and your own fantasy world. It is time to free your imagination, let the journey begin!

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