Fluxx 5.0

RRP: £19.99
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RRP £19.99
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The latest and greatest version of the card game with ever changing rules! Easier than ever with just the four classic card types that fans the world over have come to know and love. It starts out simple: draw one card and play one card – but New Rule cards quickly make things chaotic. Even the object of the game will often change as you play, as players swap out one Goal card…
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Category Tags , , , , SKU ZBG-LOO001-V5 Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Pick-Up & Play
Fun for Kids
Value For Money

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Hilarious if you’re okay with confusion.
  • A party and group filler.
  • Cheap to try.
  • Lots of themes.

Might Not Like

  • Luck and chaos will spoil it for some.
  • Fifth edition has no creepers.
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Description

Fluxx 5.0 from Looney labs is a fun-filled chaotic card game with elements of hand management and set collection. Fluxx is an immensely fun game where the balance in the game can shift and change on each player’s turn. In Fluxx both the rules and the goal of the game change throughout and so you have a game that is in constant Fluxx.

In the box are 100 cards and the rules. There are four key types of card, new rules cards, goal cards, keeper cards and actions.

New rules are simple they add a new rule to the game, depending on the rule they may form rule chains or may replace a previous rule. Rules are in effect immediately they are played and as such the game can change dramatically, a player holding cards that could lead to a win may be forced to discard them.

Keeper cards have items drawn on them and are required to be played and paired with other keeper cards to meet a goal card objective.

Goal cards, in the main illustrate two keeper cards required to win the game. If a player has the two keepers required in play, they win the game immediately.

Action cards provide one off opportunities for players to change the flow of the game. They may remove a rule or have a positive or negative action for one or all players.

Setup is simple, shuffle the deck and deal 3 cards to each player. Place the starting rule card on the table and start.

The core rule is draw 1 card, play 1, but as soon as new rules and goal cards are played the game changes.

Fluxx brings something new a game that continually changes and the chaos that ensues is so much fun.

Number of players 2-6
Game time 5-30 mins
Age Range 8+

Do you like games where you can make a long term plan, secretly manipulate opponents and pull off a strategic masterstroke at the end to win? In that case stop reading this review right now and find another game.

Fluxx is not long term, it is not strategic, Fluxx is riding the winds of chaos and holding on for dear life, Fluxx is an ever changing fairground round without a break. It’s not so much Marmite as a cat: you’re either going to love it to bits or it will irritate the hell out of you and things will get broken.

How To Play Fluxx

Fluxx is played with a deck of dedicated cards. Set-up involves shuffling these cards and putting them in one pile, then dealing three cards to each player. Play consists of drawing a card, playing a card and moving to the next person… and yes, that sounds awfully simple and ‘what’s the point of bothering, isn’t that basically a kid’s card game?’ The thing is, there are several types of cards. There are cards which form the sets you use to win the game, and there are cards which change the rules of the game.

So, you start drawing one and playing one, but if someone plays a draw five, then everyone starts drawing five. If someone plays a play three, you play three and expand what’s happening. There are a lot of rules cards which alter all aspects of the game, and they can be played at any time and nuked at any time by other cards.

The victory conditions are basically collect sets, but the type of sets changes every time a card is playing, well, changing them. When a draw five and play all is going, things change very quickly with total panic, and you might just change the rules so you play a victory condition and then meet it.

I hope this gives a flavour of what Fluxx is like. You start with no idea what you need to do to win, and carry on mostly the same until someone manages to squeeze a win out, by a combination of luck and judgement. Older children (by which I mean 11 and up) can handle this, indeed they thrive on it.

The victory conditions are basically collect sets, but the type of sets changes every time a card is playing, well, changing them. When a draw five and play all is going, things change very quickly with total panic, and you might just change the rules so you play a victory condition and then meet it.

I hope this gives a flavour of what Fluxx is like. You start with no idea what you need to do to win, and carry on mostly the same until someone manages to squeeze a win out, by a combination of luck and judgement. Older children (by which I mean 11 and up) can handle this, indeed they thrive on it.

Fire Up The Capacitor

Fluxx isn’t just chaos, it’s also a virus. A strong virus. The rules given above are for vanilla Fluxx, of which I’m reviewing the fifth edition, although it’s probably in its 10th by the time this is published because Fluxx has a way of reinventing itself: there are a lot of themed sets. A lot. Adventure time, Zombies, Pirates, Cthulhu… pretty much everything has a Fluxx set with themed cards and new rules, including the Creepers which are beloved, get in the way of other players by directly harming their operations, and are not currently in the basic set.

You might wonder why anyone would actually buy vanilla Fluxx when there’s so much flavour out there and no need to have a ‘starter’ kit, but I thought playing the original was a good idea before spreading out. In hindsight, just start with what you fancy. You only need one deck, as this definitely isn’t Magic the Gathering (a very good game if you don’t like money).

The mass of versions might be one reason why Fluxx gets criticised a lot online. It’s not a ‘serious game’ that rewards being clever, and for many people that’s a reason to reject Fluxx along with a host of other games. But we’re talking about a small box that’s easily carried, costs little, can fill a spare twenty minutes with plenty of crazy fun and can last a good many plays if you accept the chaos and play along.

It’s not Feudum, but it’s not meant to be. Of course, there’s a rather large problem, and that’s the way you can easily get tied up in knots with the rules. FAQs are out there, but essentially every new pack has a few ‘we don’t know how this clash resolves and there’s basically no guidance’ issues.

I know full well that some of you reading this review will hate Fluxx with a passion and consider it a waste of card because this is a very divisive game. But my advice is find a theme you like, pay a few drinks worth of cash, and have a little fun while you wait for your group to arrive.

Sometimes I think back to how everything was simpler before adulting was sprung upon me! When the only decisions to be made were which tv channel to watch before eating my tea, which was made for me by someone else (thanks mum!) I don’t know when exactly the transition happened between then and now, where apparently I was signed up for deciding every meal for my entire family up until I die, or be in charge of teaching rules to new games. But that’s how life sneaks up on you I suppose.

So when I saw a small promo table of various Fluxx games at our local games shop and it was introduced with simply Draw 1, Play 1 I thought, ‘I like the cut of this games jib.’ Yes I know, games don’t really have jibs… well pirate Fluxx probably does, but I was intrigued about how a game with such simple rules could spawn so many different themes of itself. I mean when there’s Fluxx versions from anything like math, nature, Cthulhu to the likes of Star Trek, Marvel and Doctor Who, it must have something going for it right? Obviously I chose the standard version, keeping it simple.

Is it simple?

Well honestly yes and no. Fluxx is a card game where the rules are ever changing with every turn, as is the winning criteria or ‘goals’ as they’re referred to in this game. You will start with the basic rules of draw one, then play one which is super easy to grasp, but what’s not so easy is keeping up with the new rules played.

You’ll see 4 types of cards in Fluxx – New Rules, Actions, Keepers and Goals. New rules are as suggested, new rules! They will either replace the basic rules of draw/play one or will provide an addition rule, maybe there’s now a hand limit or perhaps two goals can be aimed for. Action cards let you do things such as reset the rules or steal a card from each player’s hand. Keepers have images on them like the sun, a television, the eye, time etc. Goals cards set the guidelines you need to win, by telling you (more often than not) what pairing of keepers you need to win, such as Night & Day which requires the sun card and the moon card. There are however a few curveballs in the goals, such as winning if you have any 5 keepers.

At the start of a game of Fluxx there will not be any goal set nor will anyone hold any keepers, but that will change soon enough. In fact before you even take your first turn you could already have been made to discard cards or be able to play more than one card on your move. This game is all about rolling with the punches and being adaptable enough to change your plans in an attempt to complete the current goal and become champion. Even the best strategy gamer will be thrown off by a change in winning requirements or a rule reset.

Constant state of Fluxx

Fluxx is a mind-blowing, frustrating and brilliant game all at the same time. A game can be both quick and easy to follow or so complicated you’re working yourself in knots and taking 5 minutes just trying to figure out exactly how many cards you should be drawing. This is not a game for everyone but it’s surprising sometimes who gels with it. A lot about the kind of game you end up having can also depend on the luck of the card order. The first game we played quickly went to a draw 5 situation, but then we didn’t come across any play ‘x’ amount cards for a long time and we were left struggling to keep track of our cards in our hands, and then the game dragged on too long which meant we ended up losing interest. Because of that, for a long time this game sat un-played. I often think that first game can make you love or hate Fluxx as it really is a bit of a marmite game. We’ve also played rounds over super quick in minutes as by pure chance the right cards came up for someone to win.

The best games of Fluxx lay somewhere in-between with enough change in the rules and goals to keep you frustrated but not so much that the game ends up unplayable, but such is the nature of Fluxx. What surprised me most was the variation in possible rules and actions, things I just didn’t expect. This game does more than just change the draw and play limits with new rules, and the actions do more than just steal or discard cards, so when you get a good mix of all, it is phenomenal.

Fluxx won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you find yourself playing a game of it and not loving it, promise to give it a second chance before you decide whether you like it or not because the next game will be nothing like the last.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Hilarious if youre okay with confusion.
  • A party and group filler.
  • Cheap to try.
  • Lots of themes.

Might not like

  • Luck and chaos will spoil it for some.
  • Fifth edition has no creepers.