The Mega Wombo Combo!
Fluxx is a game that brings out two very clear emotions every time I play. ‘Yesss Fluxx! it’s crazy rule time’ and also, ‘If I burn the inflation card maybe nobody will notice…’. I have never seen anyone pull out a crazy wombo combo of cards to win in the same way that you can in Fluxx. Yet at its core the rules are simple “Draw one, Play one”. Do not be deceived by the simplicity of these rules however. Anything can happen in this mashup of skill, luck and brain bending shenanigans, so best stay sharp and keep reading this Fluxx review for my full thoughts.
What do you get?
Fluxx comes in a small cardboard box roughly the size of a very large phone. Inside is the deck of cards split into two piles to allow the cards to fit into such a small box. You also get a small leaflet showing the many different variations of Fluxx, and another leaflet explaining the rules. And that’s it. You need nothing more. In terms of box utilisation and space-saving, Fluxx gets full marks.
How to play
Each player starts with 3 cards. Somebody decides that they want to go first and get’s on with it. Every turn players must draw one card from the deck and play a card from their hand. There are a number of different types of card.
Action cards require players to carry out the action written on them. An example of this would be drawing extra cards into your hand if it’s your birthday or a special day.
Keeper cards usually represent places and objects and are played in front of players. They have no effect on their own, but combined they can be used to meet the goal.
Goal cards allow players to change the current win conditions. For most goal cards the goal is the combination of 2 keepers that need to be in front of a player for them to win, though there are some interesting exceptions to keep an eye out for.
New Rule cards are what make this game what it is. Each new rule is played onto the table so everyone can see. New rules usually are added to any existing rules. However if the rule clashes with an existing rule then it is replaced. For example ‘Hand Limit 3’ would replace ‘Hand Limit 5’ and vice versa. New rules take effect immediately on a players turn. This means that if you played a ‘Draw 5’ card but so far you had only obeyed the original ‘Draw 1’, then you would need to draw an additional 4 cards to make up the difference.
Due to the changing nature of Fluxx it allows for players to drop in and out as they please. If you wish to join a game all you need to do is draw a starting hand of 3 cards and start playing!
Creeper cards do not exist in the latest edition of Fluxx but if you pick up an old copy or an expansion they may be in there! Creepers do not count as played cards. Instead they sit in front of a player preventing them from winning even if they have met the goal. Creepers sometimes have passive actions that need to be carried out such as moving between players, or destroying other cards.
Stuff I like
My favourite part of Fluxx is the crazy combos. There is a considerable amount of planning that can go into winning. You have to take the ever-changing rules into account whilst still keeping hold of everything in your hand and then ensuring that you play everything in the correct order to win. This often leads to combos consisting of 10 cards or more and bring a huge amount of satisfaction when pulled off successfully, much to the dismay of other players.
Additionally the ever-changing rules are a really interesting mechanic that keeps the game fresh. Different rules interact in different ways and the challenge can often be making sure that you’re following all of the rules on the table correctly! (Inflation should be burned)
I also love Fluxx for its ability to introduce new players. All the required instructions are written on each card. Therefore after a brief explanation of the “draw one, play one” rules, new players can often pick up the game themselves pretty quickly.
Stuff I don’t like
For all the times that you pull of a crazy combo there are many times where you win entirely by accident. The player before you may just happen to play the goal you need to win. This means that I have had games that have been over before everyone has even had their first turn. Sometimes this will still feel good, especially if it’s been a tense game but often it can feel very anticlimactic.
Once there are a significant number of rules on the table each turn can begin to take some time. Some will find this fun, me included. The process of working out how the cards interact and what the “correct” play is, is something I enjoy. However for a few of my friends this can become boring and hard to follow, very quickly. People who aren’t into following the process can begin to phase out very quickly.
Fluxx Review Thoughts
Fluxx is a very unique little “filler game”. Games usually don’t take too long and people can drop in and out as they please. The changing rules always provide something different and the artwork is charming and clear. And most of the time the game is fun, providing it doesn’t get too over the top or complicated.
Therefore Fluxx will always have a place on my shelf. Or more often than not it actually lives in my bag alongside Dobble. It makes a great travel game and can be played anywhere with a flat surface. Whilst not perfect Fluxx still comes highly recommended. Me and my friends enjoy it a lot in between our heavier games and i think it’s a worthy purchase.
In addition to the base game there are an incredible number of Fluxx Variations available. These variations have often surprising crossovers such as Adventure Time or Firefly. They are more than just art swaps though and they have lots of cool different unique cards and mechanics specific to each version. It’s even possible to combine some versions. The sky is the limit.
Here is a list of some of the more well known ones but a quick search on Amazon will reveal the full range:
Thanks for reading this Fluxx Review! We hope you enjoyed it and found it informative. Let us know in the comments what your favourite variation of Fluxx is and tell us which versions you wish they’d make! And if you feel like picking up Fluxx after reading this Fluxx Review then be sure to check it out on Amazon by clicking the big button below.