11 October 2007

Game Review: Fluxx

Fluxx starts out with one simple mechanic: draw one card, then play one card. No other rules are given at the outset, which truly makes this a game that you have to play to understand. Whenever we bring it to the table, newcomers go "Huh?"

Basically, the 84-card Fluxx deck can be broken down into four categories. There are Actions, Goals, Keepers, and Rules. The Rules cards change the "draw one, play one" mechanic. The Action cards can cause people to do things like switch hands or draw extra cards. No one knows what the winning condition of the game is until someone plays a Goal card, but it usually involves someone having a certain combination of Keeper cards in front of them on the table. That's it!

There are several varieties of Fluxx. The rules are the same but there are a few different cards thrown in based on the theme. The creators appear to be aiming at all segments of the gamer community because they have Christian Fluxx and Jewish Fluxx alongside EcoFluxx and Stoner Fluxx. The biggest departure from the basic game is their new edition called Zombie Fluxx, which adds undesirable keepers called Creepers to the mix. I've been thinking about adding another Looney Labs game to my collection, and I think that Zombie Fluxx may be it.

I will acknowledge that Fluxx is a game that gets a lot of flack from serious boardgamers because of all the randomness. In my opinion this is a game isn't for them; it is for new gamers. It has a sense of whimsy that isn't bogged down with heavy strategy. I've also noticed that kids pick up on this game much more quickly than adults do. If you are a fan of unpredictable play in your games, then I would recommend Fluxx.

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