TGN Review: Fluxx 5.0 from Looney Labs
Looney Labs is continually working to get Fluxx to be all it can be. They’ve recently come out with a 5th edition of the game that brings it back to the original, simpler form that it had in the beginning.
For those that have never played Fluxx: first… get out from that cave you’ve been living in. You’ll probably get a better internet connection as a bonus. But just in case you’re one of those people that did just come out of a cave, Fluxx is a simple game that can get complex (sort of) very quickly. At the start of the game, the rules are simple: Draw 1 card then Play 1 card from your hand. How do you win? Nobody knows because nobody’s played that card yet.
Fluxx 5.0’s deck has four different types of cards in it: Keepers, Goals, New Rules, and Actions. This edition gets away from Creepers and Surprise cards that certain other sets have, wanting to keep stuff as basic and simple as you can get in Fluxx.
Keepers have a green border and are played in front of you. That’s it. That’s all they do. They are, however, required to win the game. Or at least, some combination of them is required to win the game.
Goals tell you how you win. At the start of the game, there is no goal in play. Someone has to play it from their hand. Almost all of them tell you some combination of Keepers that a player must have in front of them to win. (The lone exception is a Goal requiring you have 10 cards in your hand.) Winning is all a matter of having the right Keepers in play when the right Goal is played.
New Rules alter how a player’s turn goes. The basic rules for the game are “Draw 1 card and then Play 1 card.” New Rules will change some aspect of that. So, for example, you could draw 3 cards, or play 2 cards, or give you extra cards if you don’t have any in hand at the start of your turn, or limit the number of Keepers you can have in play. Each New Rule card will make every round a little different from the last.
Finally, there are Actions. Actions allow you to do some sort of special move during your turn. Some examples include shuffling the discard pile back into the draw pile, or let you randomly draw a card out of each of your opponent’s hands, or remove all the New Rules cards from play and reset back to just the basic rules.
The Fluxx deck contains 99 cards (19 Keepers, 30 Goals, 27 New Rules, and 23 Actions) and each one is unique. Fluxx is a game that, by its nature, is never the same game twice. The sheer combination of New Rules that can be in play, the 30 different ways to potentially win, and the variety of actions mean each time you shuffle, you’ll have a new experience. Though this does mean that creating a long-term strategy for your hand can be problematic as each round the rules for the game can change.
Fluxx is a fast game. It can be played in as little as 5 minutes. It’s compact, so you can just toss it in your gaming backpack and have it ready between rounds of a tourney or while waiting for other players to show up for an RPG session or whenever you may find yourself with a couple minutes to spare at the game store. Fluxx is also very family friendly. It’s a good game to play with people who aren’t necessarily “gamers” since the learning curve is very low.