The first time I heard of Fluxx was through my ex who pulled out Zombie Fluxx and taught me how to play. She beat me at every single game I played with her, bar maybe one or two, but I immediately fell in love with the game.
Fast-forward to a few months later, and the local comic con happened. There’s always a little stand selling board games at our comic con, and I soon found them and noticed that they had Family Fluxx. Knowing that the mechanics of the game were the same, I bought it immediately and haven’t regretted it. I now own three copies of the games – Family Fluxx, Pirate Fluxx (courtesy of my current girlfriend who bought it for me for my birthday), and Fairy Tale Fluxx.
Fluxx is, as the tagline puts it, an ever-changing card game. The rules are never the same no matter how many times you play it. Sure, they all start the same – you draw one card, you play one card. That’s the essence of the beginning of every game of Fluxx. But it soon devolves into madness if you’re not careful.
There are four kinds of cards in a standard game of Fluxx, with versions like Pirate and Zombie (aimed more at adults) having six types of cards. The basic four cards you’ll find in every pack are:
- New Rule cards – these yellow cards basically allow you to change the structure of a player’s turn and can range anywhere from ‘Draw 5’ to ‘Play All but One’ to ‘Hand Limit 1’
- Action cards – these blue cards allow you to perform an action that’s printed on them, such as drawing a new hand, searching through the discard, trashing all new rules, or swapping hands with someone
- Goal cards – pink cards that are the reason you win the game, these have items on them that a player must fulfill by having the items in the Goal card placed in front of them. They can be changed by any player during their turn, making the stakes higher or lower as the game goes on
- Keeper cards – these green cards are how you win the game and fulfill the Goal, and can be stolen or discarded by other players
A game of Fluxx can take anywhere from five minutes to thirty minutes, depending on how long it takes for a Goal to be fulfilled. I’ve been in games that lasted two minutes, even, with the winner just being lucky enough to have the Keepers they need and the Goal they need in their hand at the same time and only need to put them all down.
Now in the updated version of the game, you can also get cards like Creepers and Surprises. Creepers are cards that prevent someone from winning a game, and the only way to get rid of a Creeper is either by giving it to someone else or by fulfilling a certain combination of Keepers on the table. There are two in the Pirate Fluxx deck, my favourite being ‘Scurvy’ that you can only get rid of if you have oranges or lime on the table. Surprise cards can be played at any time during play, but have different actions depending on when you play them. For example, the ‘Avast! Stop That!’ card allows you to cancel an Action if you play it out of your turn, or if played during your turn makes everyone discard an Action (or random card) from their hand.
I have loved Fluxx since I first played it, and there are many different versions of it out there – Doctor Who Fluxx, Star Trek Fluxx, Cthulhu Fluxx, Monster Fluxx, Batman Fluxx, Cartoon Network Fluxx, Monty Python Fluxx…you name it, it’s out there! They also have a few educational versions, such as Math Fluxx and Anatomy Fluxx.
If you’ve got kids that are at least above the age of 10 and are highly competitive, this game is definitely for you. If you’re adults who love being competitive, this game is also for you. It’s ideal for a 2 player game and can be played over and over again without being bored, and is a great game in between heavier strategy games. It’s also perfect for a four player game, because I’ve found that’s when the claws really come out. It comes in a small neat package that’s easy to carry around with you, the cards also have a nice design in my opinion, with very well-done illustrations in all the versions I’ve seen.
I give this game a 4/5 star rating for its playability, price, fun and competitiveness. It deserves all the accolades it gets, and I can’t wait to collect more versions of it.