Monty Python's Flying Circus. Maybe one of the funniest TV shows ever created. Definitely the most crazy I've watched, at least in an innovative sense. Anyone trying to do something crazy will inevitably be compared to the group. And it's not only a TV show - they did live shows as well as movies, one of which even got the tagline 'So funny it was banned in Norway', which was sort of true (it was banned)
So Fluxx is a game which has gained a reputation of being almost as crazy as Monty Python - would a merger between the two come out successfully?
Monty Python Fluxx is a perfect game in many ways. The original TV series was constantly interrupted, one sketch moving into another and just when thought you'd understood where things were going someone (f.i. John Cleese in a bikini) came in with the now classic words 'And now for something completely different'. And that's exactly how this Monty Python Fluxx plays.
The basic play is simple. Draw some cards, then play some of the ones you have in the hand. These cards can be one of 5 different kinds: Keepers (which usually is the key to winning), Creepers (which usually prevents you from winning), Goals (which tells you what you need in order to win, most often a combination of Keepers, but sometimes with a Creeper or lack of cards), Actions (which tells you to do something immediately) and Rules (which are permanent cards which changes gameplay in one way or another)
The cards can roughly be divided into a few different kinds:
1) cards from original Fluxx. This includes many Rules and Actions, but no Keepers, Creepers or Goals.
2) cards from original Fluxx which has been rethemed for Monty Python Fluxx. This includes the 'And now for something completely different' action card which forces you to discard your hand and draw a new one.
3) A few cards that requires knowledge about Monty Python, either by asking you to quote, sing, or act stupid, just like Monty Python.
4) A lot of Keepers, Creepers and related Goals referencing the 'Holy Grail' movie.
5) A number of Keepers, Creepers and related Goals (15~20) with mixed Monty Python references, both from the TV series and the other movies.
So how does it play? Very well. You start with drawing a card, and playing one from you hand. (hint: you want to get the 'Play n' cards into play as soon as possible, one game had us waiting until the second half of the draw deck until we saw any, and that game dragged a little, as we accumulated cards in our hands which wasn't possible to play.)
Any Creepers drawn is put on the table immediately and does not count towards your draws. Then you try to manipulate your hand and board into a winning condition. This is often done by putting down as many keepers as possible and waiting for the right Goal to come along. If not, then why not change the rules a little. Too silent here? Well, put down the card that let's us draw extra cards if we sing a Monty Python song. Oh, did you win? Well that was fun, let's play again.
So, in the right group this game is hilarious. The right group means a) people who know Monty Python and b) can take the game as it is, a fast, humorous very light game and doesn't try to play it like it's Advanced Squad Leader, pondering over each cards play for half an hour or so.
Is it a good game? Yes I think so. It's not the new messiah that everyone will think it's the best thing since baked bread, but it is a fun game and as long as everybody does their best to keep it moving a quite quick game as well.
Could it have been better? Yes. To be honest, I think that 'Life of Brian' was the best of the three Python movies, and that the almost complete lack of stuff from that movie was a huge let down. Also there was way too little stuff from the TV series to make me feel completely happy. A few obvious jokes are missing which could have improved the comic nature of the game.
Would I recommend it? Yes. But it's not for everyone. If you don't like Fluxx, then you won't like this, no matter how much you like Monty Python. The gameplay is virtually identical. Though I suspect that if you like Fluxx, then you're already a fan of Monty Python, or at least know what it's all about.