Draw one. Play one. This is the basis that all Fluxx games are based on. It sounds simple right? And it is…at first. You see as the name suggests, in Fluxx, nothing is constant and everything changes, from the rules you play by to the goal that allows a player to win! Draw cards, change the rules, mess with your opponents and ultimately ride the chaos all the way to victory in Fluxx, the ever-changing board game staple.
Fluxx is a fast-paced card game for 2-6 players that will entice you with its simplicity and then sucker-punch you by turning everything you thought you knew about card games upside down.
Each game starts with the same basic rules, draw one card and play one card. So before talking about how to win let’s talk about the cards that are common to all Fluxx variants.
New Rule: Playing a new rule card instantly applies said rule and replaces any other rules of the same type. For example, playing Draw three replaces whatever the existing “Draw” rule was.
Action: Action cards allow a player to perform special manoeuvres such as resetting the rules or stealing cards from other players.
Keeper: Keeper cards are cards that you play down in front of you. A keeper card is a named character or entity in the game and matching keeper cards against the goal is how you win.
Goal: Goal cards have a set of one or more keepers on them. If at any time a player can match their played keepers with what is on the goal, that player wins.
Therefore, to win in Fluxx you play or steal as many keepers as you can whilst figuring out a way to play any goal that matches those keepers. However, be careful, you might think you are about to win only for another player to change the goal at the last minute, steal the keeper you needed or worse, play a rule that sets the hand limit to zero so that you have to discard your entire hand!
Adventure Time Fluxx
Fluxx has many different variations, all of which have a different theme or set of goals/keepers. Star Trek Fluxx, Munchkin Fluxx, Marvel Fluxx and even Zombie Fluxx. Name something you like and there is probably a Fluxx version to satisfy you! Here we will be taking a look at Adventure Time Fluxx, a version based on the hit Cartoon Network Tv series.
Adventure Time is a fantastic theme for Fluxx. It has magic, demons, princesses and a whole cast of weird and wonderful characters including the main protagonists Finn the human and Jake the dog. The crazy, anything-goes nature of Adventure Time maps really well onto the ethos of Fluxx and like some other variants it allowed Fluxx to extend the original set of cards, increasing the strategic element and chaos equally.
Surprise: Surprise cards are cards that can be played at any time! That’s right, any time. How smug will you feel when you prevent another player from winning at the last instant because you can cancel their last action? Amazing.
Creeper: Creepers add a new element to Fluxx. These cards are played immediately once they are drawn and act like anti-keepers. Unless the goal specifically states otherwise, you cannot win when you have a creeper in front of you! Ouch.
I confess that once I had played versions of Fluxx that had surprise cards and creepers in, I struggled to go back to any versions that didn’t have them! They feel natural, like they were designed for Fluxx from the very beginning. They improve the game because they add an element of the unknown. In a basic game of Fluxx you can know with certainty whether or not you are going to win on your next turn, provided you have the right goal / keeper combination. However, with surprise cards and creepers in play that certainty disappears. Will you draw a creeper on your turn, thus preventing your hard-fought victory? Or will an opponent play a surprise that steals the keeper you have just played for the win?
This added uncertainty works really well. For competitive players it allows you to prioritise the cards in your hand, waiting for the perfect moment to strike and for those who are new to the game or just playing for sheer fun it provides a certain amount of randomness so that the winner isn’t always predictable!
Children’s variant: For younger children it can be good to play with an open hand i.e. each player has their cards face up on the table. With Fluxx sometimes you might end up having quite a few cards in your hand, which can be hard to hold. Having an open hand also means that they can see all of the information on the table and which cards you choose to play or not play, helping them learn faster. Likewise, it allows you to provide some helpful “tips” along the way, if necessary.
Adult variant: Sometimes with Fluxx there are many cards that you could possibly play and play in a different order. This leads to a paradox of choice that inevitably means that you end up being the person that takes forever to play any cards. This is supposed to be a fun fuelled, fast-paced game! For that reason, once you are reasonably familiar with the game it’s fun to play a quickfire variant where you get just a second or two per card that you need to play. Penalties for taking too long can include opponents choosing a card from your hand to play at random, sacrificing a keeper or taking an extra drink of whatever beverage you have to hand!
Adventure Time Fluxx is probably one of the most balanced versions I have played. It can be hectic, but not overly so which allows unfamiliar players to still come to terms with the game quite quickly. There are some very powerful characters, yes I am looking at you Ice King, but there always seems to be a card around the corner that will steal, discard, swap, shuffle or otherwise alter for good the keepers that are currently in play. Moreover, since it is quite balanced it plays really well as a two player game which works great as it is so easy to travel with or play at any time.
Fluxx is a game that is fun. Adventure Time Fluxx is a game that is Really fun! Crave the chaos, get goofy, put on voices of the characters and just enjoy stepping into another world, one that is as unpredictable as the game itself!