Name: Fluxx- Version 1
Type: Card Game
Publisher: Looney Labs
Size: 9cm x 5.8cm x 2.6cm
Playtime: 30-60 mins
Price: Varies as it’s out of print. Version 5 can be obtained for £12.99
(3.0 / 5)
This review is for version 1 of the game, which doesn’t include any Creepers as these were added in a later expansion and then made there way into the core game. It is my understanding that the latest version, version 5 of the game also does not contain Creepers. I’ll explain Creepers in a later review of other versions of Fluxx.
Fluxx is a fast paced card game that really is playable by just about anyone from age 8-108. The game is so simple that the basic rules amount to 47 words on a single card and that includes the title of the game and title of the card.
The actual rules of the game come on one side of an A5 sheet of paper, including the description of each type of card (a little more on these soon) but, in practice the rules change turn to turn and are described on the rules cards.
Inside the box you get the rules sheet and 84 cards. Of the cards, 1 is an invitation to join the fan club, another is the basic rules card and the rest comprise the actual cards you use to play. The box is small, easy and convenient to carry and made of average cardstock. As you can see from the pictures my box has gotten quite tatty over time but I would say that this is to be expected and the box is of equal quality to other card games like Cthulhu 500, Beer Money or Gloom. The cards are all slightly smaller than average playing cards and are made of fairly flimsy card stock. Mine are in fairly good condition but they wouldn’t stand up to prolonged use by small children or to incidents such as beer spillage.
There are 4 types of card in the game, New Rules, Goals , Keepers and Actions. The aim of the game is to fulfill the current Goal card, which is generally to get or have a particular combination of Keepers. The rules of the game fall into 4 categories, hand size, how many cards you draw, how many you have to play and what the Goal is. At the start of the game you deal 3 cards to each player and pick a person to go first. The basic rules are to draw a card and play a card, with no hand size and New Rules change these as they as they are played. New Rules take effect immediately, so if you up the draw or play limit you can draw or play more cards and if you reduce the hand limit then you have to immediately discard cards, as do all the other players.
Goals are the aim of the game and until one is played no-one can actually win the game. Most of these are a combination of two Keepers such as War and Peace, Night and Day or Toast (made up of the Bread and Toaster Keepers) but rarely it can require 3 Keepers. Tbere is only ever one Goal out at a time, unless the rules change to allow more than one in which case fulfilling any one Goal wins the game, and the Goal can change turn to turn if a player play a new Goal card.
Keepers are played from a players hand directly in front of them and, unsurprisingly, are kept. Getting these out means that you are more likely to be able to win the game but will obviously make other players wary of playing Goals that have prerequisites that match your Keepers.
Actions cover everything that isn’t a Goal, New Rule or Keeper. These allow you to do things like steal keepers, draw extra cards or trade hands with another player. Well timed Actions can change the entire game and can easily allow a player to win if she steals the right Keeper at the right time.
Fluxx is a fun, simple game. My wife isn’t what I’d categorise as a ‘gamer’ although she plays some board and card games, and she loves it. Fluxx is one of those simple games that you can pull out while waiting for other players to arrive on a games night, or during family game night or even when drinking with friends, its playable at any time, by anyone and that is absolutely the intention of Looney Labs when they created it. Fluxx is a game that I would recommend to just about anyone who enjoys playing games although hardcore gamers or really competitive players would probably only get limited mileage as its a difficult game to develop a strategy for playing. Simply put, Fluxx is fast, frantic and fun.
There is no reason that you couldn’t buy the later versions of Fluxx, in fact even the ones that contain Creepers are still remarkably simple. However, for my money, any version that just includes the basic cards I’ve talked about here is the best ‘entry’ level Fluxx game and you should try to get hold of one of those if you can.
While there are no actual expansions for Fluxx there are numerous versions (16 at the time of writing, excluding none English language versions) that have unique twists on the rules such as Zombie Fluxx, Cthulhu Fluxx, Eco Fluxx and Monty Python Fluxx. You could mix any of these sets together but as the rules vary slightly and the Goals and Keepers are different doing so would extend the time it takes to play the game.