Thursday, January 19, 2012

Card Game Review - Fluxx

Title:  Fluxx
Publisher:  Looney Labs

# of players:  2-6
Time:  15 minutes
Age Range:  8+

Rating:  3 out of 5

The rules of Fluxx are simple:  Draw one card, play one card.  You play cards to try to meet the current goal...  But... then someone can change the goal.  And then they make it so you can draw three instead of one, play two cards instead of one, and shuffle up all of the cards on the board and deal them out randomly!  The goal changes again and the discard pile is shuffled back into the deck.  How will you win now?

As the box states, Fluxx is a game of ever-changing rules.  If you're going to win, you will need to keep up!

That intro may have made this game seem complicated, but you really shouldn't be too intimidated.  At its heart, Fluxx is very simple and is more about altering current rules than adding completely new ones.  There are four different kinds of cards...

Keepers:  These cards represent things or ideas.  You play them from your hand and you try to make a collection that meets the current goal.  If you meet the current goal, you win the game!  This include Milk, Cookies, Time, Death, the Sun, Love, Money, and so many more!

Goals:  These cards tell you which keepers you need to have in front of you to win.  These goals combine keepers in ingenious ways such as "Time is Money" (you win if you have Time and Money on the table) and "Hippyism" (you win if you have Love and Peace on the table).

Actions:  These cards are used to do a ton of different things including drawing extra cards and stealing keepers.  These are really powerful - use them wisely!

New Rules:  These cards are placed in front of you and alter many different rules of the game.

So that is how you play... but what does it FEEL like to play?  Well, Fluxx is a lot of fun!  The game is easy to learn and each round plays very quickly.  The goals make you really think about which keepers you want to play, and there is some degree of strategy in the order of the cards you play.

The thing that really draws this game down, however, is that all it takes to win is a bit of luck.  At its heart, Fluxx is just a card-drawing game, and that means that play can get very random.  No matter how much strategy you try to put into the game, your carefully laid plans are always vulnerable to a lucky draw on the part of one of your opponents.  But in the end, Fluxx isn't supposed to be a serious strategy game.  So you lost that round to a lucky draw - so what?  Just shuffle up and play again?  Odds are, you will get completely different cards and will win through a completely different route.

Fluxx is a perfect game to pull out and play if you only have a few minutes to spare, or if you want a light enjoyable experience with which to pass the time.  What it lacks in depth is made up for in charm.

3.5 out of 5.

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