Most card games come with a rule book which must be adhered to, lest unfair play occur. Fluxx is different, the objective and various game elements at, essentially – in a state of flux.
Fluxx begins with a simple premise: you draw one card, you play one card. That’s it. The only way to win is to satisfy the current Goal card (which someone will have to play) which usually requires you to have a certain combination of Keeper cards which you lay in front of you. Still sounds pretty straightforward, right? It does sound like it could take some time with a draw and play one card per turn protocol; this is where the game changing New Rule cards speed things up.
The most popular new among players are cards like Draw X and Play X amount of cards, which help you empty your hand faster. Naturally there can be a downside to these cards as you may find yourself playing cards you would prefer not to play, which can sometimes lead to an opponent stealing victory from your grasp.
Another way which can lead to your downfall is Creeper cards, which must be played upon drawing and for most intents and purposes prevent you from winning, even know if you satisfy the current Goal. Luckily there are ways to remedy this and potentially ruin your opponent, stopping them from a potential next turn victory.
Since the original Fluxx release in 1996, there have been several spin offs to cater for niche masses. Although the core concept is generally the same, each comes with different elements and some specific gameplay changes. The Zombie Fluxx has more creepers than any Fluxx available and play a bigger part in winning the game. The Monty Python Fluxx comes with a New Rule card which allows you to draw and play an extra card if you can belt out a song from a sketch or film from the Monty Python catalogue. Clearly this version will appeal to fans of the films but when played with those who aren’t that familiar with the source material it can make other players feel cheated. Luckily there are others out there. I own only two versions (Zombie and Oz Fluxx) but I have played many more versions. And they all have their specific benefits and downsides, from the benefits of talking like a pirate in Pirate Fluxx to having gameplay paused to have a spliff in the controversial Stoner Fluxx, although this is best played somewhere it is actually legal to do so.
Here is a list of the main Fluxx versions out there:
- Stoner Fluxx
- EcoFluxx, all about nature, birds… trees, stuff like that
- Zombie Fluxx, the only time I’ve found it beneficial to create a Zombie Baseball Team!
- Monty Python Fluxx
- Pirate Fluxx, Y’argh.
- Star Fluxx, based on Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who and other sci-fi related things.
- Oz Fluxx, Wizard of Oz inspired
- Cthulhu Fluxx, demonic beasts from the great beyond need only apply
- Fluxx the Boardgame
- Wild West Fluxx – coming soon!
It is recommended that you can play with six players with one deck, you can risk playing with larger groups but you’ll find the cards too thinly spread to have a worthwhile experience. In which case it is better to combine more than one deck for a totally crazy experience. The randomness of playing with a combination of the Pirate and Star Fluxx was more fluid than I could ever have imagined. You can get each version for around £10-15, which offers a good amount of fun for the amount of investment. So there you have it – Fluxx, a game in which each game is going to be different. It’s hard to write something like this without almost sounding like the game is boring and a lot of hard work to play. Trust me, it’s easy. You’ll pick it up.
all images © Derek Wheatley