Star Trek: The Next Generation Fluxx is a themed version of the original card game Fluxx based on the 1987 Sci-Fi show adored by many. The game is simple, alter the rules to your heart's content and collect the current goal cards. The constantly changing rules make for some frantic decision making and heartbroken opponents.
How Does it Play?
One of the great elements of Fluxx is its simplicity. The small box of cards and short sheet of rules takes moments to read over and seconds to prepare. Simply place the Basic rules, Draw 1, Play 1, into the centre of the table, shuffle the rest, and deal 3 cards to each player. With no active goal, use the cards in your hand to alter the rules for all players, set the goal, take actions or play Keepers. When your Keepers in play match the current goal requirements you win.
If you play new rules, these take effect immediately. Some rules instruct you to draw more cards, play all in your hand or add a hand limit for cards. Action cards give you abilities, such as recovering discarded cards or stealing opponents cards. The Goal card in play determines the combination of Keeper cards needed to win the game. There are even rule cards which allow several goal conditions to be in play at any one time. Giving you, and your opponents, more options for winning conditions. As the number of rules builds and the collections of Keepers grows in front of each player, the game becomes more frantic. All plans are thrown out of the window, as rules or goals change, and players must find a new path to victory.
For such a simple game, there is so much room for different play styles. Perhaps you like drawing cards to have more to choose from or you prefer hand limits which focus your options. You determine exactly how the game plays out, but so do your opponents.
Fluxx is a hit with new players. It's super easy to learn, the actions are intuitive and the aim is simple to understand. This makes it perfect for bringing friends to the table or starting off your gaming collection. It’s also small and lightweight which makes it perfect to take with you when you travel or attend parties. Replayability in Next Generation Fluxx is great. It’s never a drag to get this game off the shelf, and it feels effortless to play again and again in one sitting. Players can drop in and out of the game seamlessly, dealing in or discarding all their cards, which is great for larger groups or parties. But even if the game does near the longer end of its 10-40 minute play through, it often feels like you are only a card away from victory.
Star Trek: The Next Generation Fluxx is an obvious choice for any Trekkie. However, even if you're not a fan of the show, this is a fantastic edition to pick up. You’ll enjoy the cute polygon art of the characters and the references to the show. Collecting characters and equipment from the show is so much more engaging than the classic items like Milk or Sleep. But this isn’t just the same game with different pictures. There are new card types and abilities added into this version of the game which adds extra layers to the game play. It's these new elements that really elevate the game above the classic Fluxx.
Creepers are new card types not included in the original game. It's important to avoid these, as they prevent you from winning, but they are played immediately when drawn. Creepers always bring a sigh or angry mumble from players and can lead to hilarious scenarios. Sometimes you meet several goal card requirements but can’t seem to shift those Creepers to win.
Surprise cards are cards you can play at any time, to take instant actions. These often boost your own actions or hinder another players'. The excitement of playing a winning card only to see a smug smile as someone plays one of these purple ‘nopes’ cards. It adds a great twist to the game play.
The Ungoal card is played to replace the current goal. If the conditions are met, the game ends and all players lose. This card keeps players on their toes.
Some of the Keeper’s now have special abilities. These activate whilst in play giving bonuses actions to the player. This is such a great addition to the game. Attempting to steal these cards to gain these abilities creates tensions between players.
Great Cards That Need a Mention
On playthroughs, there were a few cards which highlighted the improvements this Star Trek version brings to the game. These go beyond the Star Trek theme and which make it a great game for anyone.
Darmok! A reference to the episode of the same name, adds such a fun challenge. Players try to only speak in Names, numbers or noises between their turns in return for extra cards. Trying to trick people into speaking leads to some hilarious outcomes and fuels the competitive atmosphere. Pretending to get the rules confused always works on this one, people pipe up to correct you and you can smuggly respond ‘Darmok’.
The Holodeck Keeper opens up the possibilities for winning combinations. Allowing you to use a Keeper someone else has in play on your turn. This card certainly becomes a target of envy and is often stolen across the table, resulting in fleeting plans of victory.
Watching your opponents face as you steal their Crew Member Keepers turn by turn. This is a bonus if the goal doesn’t even currently need Crew Members and you are only doing it out of spite.
Why Should You Buy It?
Fluxx itself is already a fun, frantic card game. It's great for 2 players, where you can play off of each other but also for groups, where rules are changing between your turns. Players dropping in and out with ease also makes it perfect for parties. Yet this Star Trek: The Next Generation Fluxx version adds to the classic game with references, stylistic artwork and new card types. The fun, new abilities lead to an interactive game, with plenty of shouting round the table. These additions make it a solid addition to the collection whether you’re a Star Trek fan or not.
If you'd liked to see more variations of Fluxx, you can see the full collection here.