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Firefly Fluxx» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Standard Fan-Fare rss

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Adrian Whipp
United States
Wisconsin
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My favorite Fluxx game, Star Fluxx, received a "7" from me. Firefly Fluxx should have been at least a "6" on my scale, and could've *maybe* topped out at "8". It has a lot going for it. The card style has a more rustic, weathered look, which is really cool. The characters and items are accurately depicted. And many of the show references are spot-on. It even has keeper abilities and surprise cards included, which I think are a necessity nowadays in the Fluxx series--I think of these inclusions as "expanded gameplay" Fluxx games. Die-hard Firefly/Fluxx fans SHOULD love this game above all other Fluxx games.

I couple of things hold it back for me. 1. I want it to have some kind of theme beyond "Hey Browncoats, here's another thing with Firefly on it." It's well done, from the top down. It really is. It just doesn't add any really clever game mechanics like some of the other Fluxx games have since done. Chthulhu, Pirate and Star Fluxx all have a stronger sense of game mechanics, albeit they're loosely implemented in those games. Zombie and Batman Fluxx each have a very strong sense of theme, with corresponding gameplay mechanics that enforce the themes. In Zombie, you have to use weapon keepers to eliminate the zombies before you can win the goal. In Batman, most of the goals are centric to either a pair of heroes, or a pair of villains (which are creepers) so players are butting heads a little differently when implementing opposing strategies. Firefly has some kind of Pirate-y mechanics, (there's plundering, and some keepers let you steal specific keepers from other players) but even Pirate Fluxx contained a few cards that were part of a hierarchy, giving them power over one another, and giving the players a limited sense of strategy going into each game. Firefly Fluxx is probably the simplest of what I think of as the "expanded gameplay" Fluxxes. (Fluxx and Monster Fluxx are examples of what I would call "original gameplay" Fluxxes, and after using surprises and keeper abilities, I've since had difficulty finding any original gameplay Fluxxes fun to play.) That said, Firefly Fluxx is sort of a gateway Fluxx in that regard, not really pushing the limits, as though it's afraid to step too far out, but trying to please the most casual Firefly fan. It feels like the developer may have even wanted to do more with it, except for the potential loss of a casual, crossover Firefly-the-show fan base.

So Firefly Fluxx is really fine-and-good just the way it is. But I can't give it those 1 or 2 extra stars--the limit of my Fluxx-genre scoring--because it has too many lost opportunities.

For example, there are only two creeper cards in the deck, and they do nothing but prevent you from winning. If I'm not mistaken, even base Fluxx has a "Radioactive Potato" that gets passed from player to player whenever the goal changes, and another creeper that forces you to get rid of a keeper on every turn. In a western space opera that captivated millions of people, there were so many story arcs and villains that could have--and should have--been included in this deck. Instead, it's mostly the heroes from Serenity, some of their items, and the ship itself, which makes for a very "vanilla" experience. Where's the villain from the movie? Why are the blue gloves a keeper (with no abilities) instead of the men who wore them being a creeper who discards character keepers every turn? Why do the reavers do nothing when they were the penultimate threat in the galaxy on the show? Where is the alliance?!

Instead, we're left with a goal based on getting Mal and Kaylee together, and a dozen other similar character + character goals. Sure, there are goals regarding the items on the show, too, but it's a wasted opportunity to have some of these keeper cards, like Kaylee's parasol, in the game instead of something that could've amped up the gameplay. And while I *do* appreciate those cards for bringing forth the spirit of the show, maybe the solution here wouldn't have been a swapping of these cards for the ones I'm suggesting, but the deck being made a little larger on the outset. It almost feels like I'm playing without a much-touted expansion.
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H Jaggs
United Kingdom
Brighton
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Hands of Blue is a Creeper. It can also be a Keeper. My deck has three Creepers in it but that's because I got the extra The Alliance Creeper they released as a promotional card. You can still pick it up from Looney Labs for $1 if you want more Creepers, I think.

The game really hits for me. I loved cards like 'You Can't Take This Guy From Me'. I'm a sucker for themed puns.
 
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