Brains? Chainsaws? A group of plucky friends? These are the usual things you associate when thinking of typical B-quality Zombie movie. The Andrew Looney behind the Fluxx series has crammed all of this and more into a Zombie variant of the base game.
Fluxx games are very easy to learn and are one of those games where you can pick up and play any time. Zombie Fluxx is advertised for two to six players with a run time of 10 to 40 minutes and an 8+ Age rating. It is a neat little card game with no additional components and typically not needing much in the way of table space to play. It is also a self-contained game and does not require the base game to play it.
So, will you and/or your team escape the Zombie apocalypse? Or will your goals change for you to become part of the Zombie Horde? As with all Fluxx games you must be prepared for constantly changing rules and winning conditions throughout play!
Crazy Fluxx Rules!
Okay, so you open the box to find a neat little rulebook tucked away which gives you a great overview of the game's starting mechanics. There is also a nice arrow chart to guide you to the best starting rules if you are a new player to the Fluxx games or if you are experienced, the rules for jumping right into it.
The basic rules for the game of Fluxx are straight forward. Each player is given three cards to start the game. You place the starting rules down on the table reading; “Draw one and Play one,” and you look at your cards. You may have some of the following types:
- Goal Cards – These are the winning conditions for the game. If you play them, any player with the stated requirements for victory wins the game! One example of this is the “They Fear Fire” goal where you win if you have “Lumber” (Keeper card) and “Can of Gasoline” (Keeper card) in front of you.
- Keeper Cards – These cards are placed in front of you if you choose to play them on your turn. They can be an item or person, for example “Friend” or “Chainsaw” and sometimes these will give you abilities to use on your turn. These often contribute to the goals of the game for victory.
- Action Cards – You can play these to perform an action the card describes. These are very varied and can affect any aspect of the game. An example of this is the “Trade Hands” card allowing you to swap you hand of cards with another players.
- New Rule Cards – These cards are played to change or add a new rule/s to the game. They often change the number of cards you MUST “Draw” each turn and/or the number of cards you MUST “Play” each turn. They also can be completely unique such as the “Groaning Required” making players make Zombie noises when they draw a Zombie card, potentially punishing you if you do not. Any rules that contradict another is replaced by the new rule and the new rule takes effect immediately. So, if you drew one card then played a new rule “Draw Three” you would draw two new cards. If you done the reverse of this, you would not lose any cards because you have already preformed the rules before.
- Creeper Cards – These are the Zombie cards. Unlike the other cards in the game these are placed IMMEDIATELY in front of you when drawn. You then draw again to replace that card until you have drawn enough cards into your hand to meet whatever the draw rule requirement is. If you draw another Creeper card, keep putting it in front of you! Typically, having Zombies are bad but do not dismay! There are a fair number of winning goals that require you to have Zombies! Then there is Larry the Zombie. He is basically the big bad in this game and if you have him in front of you cannot win the game. Every time a goal changes “Larry” with slowly hobble to the next player in clockwise direction. Abilities given through items or rule can help you manage you Zombie hoard and the other players!
- Ungoal – There is only one these in Zombie Fluxx. If it is played, and the game has five or more “Creeper” Cards in play and everyone has at least one, then the Zombies get your brains and they (the game) wins! So, why would you ever play this? Well you may be forced to if the rules require you do so!
- Pow! (Symbol) – Some cards will have “Pow” written on them. If the Rule “Weapons Bonus” is in play cards this icon gains the ability to discard a Zombie card in front of you.
Final Thoughts on Zombie Fluxx
Firstly, I really enjoy the Fluxx games and Zombie Fluxx adds a bit more variant to it to make it more enjoyable. Theme is important to your enjoyment in these games but I do not feel you have to like the Zombies theme, but you will get more out of it if you do.
The game itself is chaotic in nature and you are often managing the timing of cards and play orders to get you closer to victory, but there is a lot of randomness and chance in this game. Tension! There is so much tension when playing this game and there are plenty of near victory clenching moments to be had. Though Zombie Fluxx is a small game and simple to grasp, the ever mounting and changing rules can become very confusing at times and hard to keep track of.
This in turn can slow the pace of gameplay down a fair bit. Most play times are typically 10 to 20 minutes and this is perfect. Games that last longer than this do tend to get a tad tedious but saying that I have played games that have been won within a few turns too! Larry The Zombie seems to make an appearance just as you are about to win, but this is part of the game's charm.
The rules are clear, and the basic game set-up is a big help to new players that basically resets it to the original Fluxx game, but with a Zombie theme. I also like the design of each of the cards. The cards are colour co-ordinated and fully explain what each card does so there is no need to constantly look up terms in rule book. The use of images in most cards also makes it easier to see what the win conditions are matched with what you have.
Zombie Fluxx is not a deep strategy game but there is a good amount of silly fun to be had with this and enough gameplay influence to make it not completely down to chance. It is a good starting game for new gamers and an in-expensive game for those who are trying out games for the first time. I have played this with people who are not typically into board or card games and they enjoyed it up until the rules got a little out of hand! For the price point it is definitely worth it. Happy gaming my friends.