Fluxx, by Looney Labs, is a card game where the rules are simple: Draw a card and then play a card. However, that’s just the beginning.
There are many different versions of Fluxx out there. The newest being the Regular Show, a tie-in with the popular Cartoon Network cartoon. The good people at Looney Labs sent me a copy (along with the Cards From the Future mini-expansion) so I can tell you all about it.
So let’s head to the park for some fresh air, because it’s time for a TGN Review of The Regular Show Fluxx.
For those that have never played a variant of Fluxx before, I’ll start out by telling you how the game works in general, and then go into what makes The Regular Show Fluxx different.
The basic rules of Fluxx are very simple: draw 1 card from the deck and play 1 card from your hand. How do you win? Well… nobody knows yet. Nobody’s played that card. You see, no two games of Fluxx are ever the same.
There are 5 different types of cards in Fluxx: Actions, Keepers, Creepers, Goals, and New Rules. There are no copies of a card in the game. Each one is unique.
Actions allow you to do a certain… well… action. This can be from stealing cards from another player to drawing and playing more cards during your turn to resetting the game back to how it was at the beginning.
Keeper cards are played in front of you on the table. The majority of them don’t do anything but are kept in front of you (hence, Keepers). A few may have a special ability that allows you some bonus on your turn. I’ll get into more specifics in the section that deals specifically with this set down below.
Creepers are like “Anti-Keepers” in a way. You cannot win the game if you have a Creeper in front of you (unless a special rule says otherwise). Like Keepers, they sit in front of you and it takes some sort of special card to get rid of it. However, unlike a Keeper, you /must/ play a Creeper as soon as you draw it (as a consolation, though, you do get to draw another card).
Goals are how you win the game. There is only ever one goal in play at a time. When a new one is played, the old one goes into the discard pile. Goals are certain combinations of keepers that you must have in front of you to win the game. It’s that easy. If you’ve got the special pair of Keepers (and no Creepers around), then you win! Hooray! Throw some confetti, shuffle the deck, and play again.
New Rules are what, I feel, sets Fluxx apart from other card games. Without them, it would be a simple “draw/play, draw/play, draw/play” game. Not nearly as interesting. New Rules are just as they sound: they take the standard rules and add new ones. There are some that are fairly standard to all versions of Fluxx, such as altering the maximum hand size, to changing the number of cards you play during your turn, to how many cards you get to draw at the start of your turn. One turn you may be drawing 4 cards and playing 3 while the next you could be drawing 2 cards, but playing your entire hand. It’s always changing.
That, in a nutshell, is Fluxx. So what sets the Regular Show set apart? Like previous themed sets (such as Cthulhu and Monty Python), there are many cards specifically taken from the source material. All of the Keepers and Creepers are characters, objects, or locations from the show. These include main characters such as Rigby, Mordecai, and their boss, Benson. But it also includes things like the Eggscellent hat, Margaret, and the Park. The two Creepers in the game are A Bunch of Full-Grown Geese and Destroyer of Worlds. Since all the Keepers and Creepers are characters, obviously, then all the goals will be related to the show as well. Now, a small confession I have to make is that I’ve never actually watched The Regular Show. I don’t have cable… or satellite… or a NetFlix account (if it’s even on there, I don’t know). But I have been told by reliable sources (aka – my office mates who watch the show religiously) that the goals are essentially different episodes. There’s Hostile Takeover where you have to have the Full-Grown Geese and the Park, or I Gotta Win That Hat where you need the Eggsellent Hat and Rigby. Many of the New Rule and Action cards also are The Regular Show-themed. All in all, it really gives a feeling like you’re playing a game created from the show, rather than a game that’s had the show “skinned” on top of it.
There’s also the Cards From the Future mini-expansion. This adds in 7 new cards: 2 Keepers, 1 New Rule, 1 Action, and 3 Goals. 6 of the cards are taken from “Mordecai and the Rigbys” while the last is from “The Night Owl.” Being just 7 cards, it doesn’t change a lot about the overall game, but if you’re a fan of the show (or just a game completionist), at only $2, it’s not a bad thing to pick up.
The components of the Regular Show Fluxx are much from what I’ve come to expect from a Fluxx set. The cards are a good quality. They’re the same thickness as a playing card. The artwork on it is very nice, with the pictures in bright, vibrant colors on the cards. All the Fluxx sets have the same card back, so you can mix sets together if you so choose. They’re not the same size as your “standard” CCG/LCG card, so finding sleeves for your game might be difficult, however.
As for playing Fluxx, while the game can be played with 2-6 players, I find it much better with 4-6. At two or three players, it can be a bit of a “Gotcha!” game. With more players, you can get a bit more variation between your turns, which is part of what Fluxx is all about. However, by its very nature, it’s not going to be a game that you’re learning the intricacies of or coming up with deep strategy. The randomness of the rules and win conditions precludes you from being able to do that. But again, that’s part of what Fluxx is all about.
All in all, Fluxx is a game you keep in your gaming bag for a quick play between other, longer games, or for when you just want a light night of casual fun. Find a couple of your friends, grab your Fluxx deck and have a laugh. If you ever get frustrated and grumpy while playing Fluxx, you’re definitely doing it wrong. Fluxx is a card game the whole family can enjoy. And you don’t have to be a fan of the Regular Show to enjoy this version of Fluxx, either. Maybe I didn’t get all the references, but I still had just as much fun as those that did.