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Subject: These Cards Are For Tobacco Only rss

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Matt Drake
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I swear the people at Looney Labs are high. I mean, more power to 'em - they own the company, so they're guaranteed not to get tested at work. But man, they make some odd games.

Take Fluxx. This is a game where you basically don't need to know the rules before you sit down, because the rules change all the time (thus the name). Ostensibly, the goal of the game is to have the right combination of Keeper cards in front of you when the goal of the game becomes having that combination of Keeper cards, but even that rule isn't set in stone, and that's barely a rule anyway. I would have to be sleeping off a tray of brownies the size of Jersey to come up with that rule.

There are basically four kinds of cards in Fluxx. Rules cards change the game, so that on your turn, you might have to draw one card and play three, and then the next guy might have to draw four cards and discard down to one. There's also a card where you have to have a baked potato to win. No, I did not make that up, but it may have been made up by someone who was moderately inebriated.

Then you've got Action cards. These cards just do zany crap. You might dump some cards, or steal from other people, or draw more cards, or pass cards around the table. You might trade hands, or throw away bad cards, or otherwise screw up everything. There's not a lot of rhyme or reason to these cards - they just let you do something. Probably something weird.

The Goal cards change the winning conditions. Usually, the goal is to have two particular Keepers, like cookies and milk or toaster and bread or melted chocolate. That's a lot of snack food - which may or may not be the result of the game designers having a sudden compulsion to eat. But combinations aren't the only goals - there are goals where you have to have ten cards, or five Keepers. There's also the peace and love goal. Tell me these people aren't stoned.

Then you've got Keepers and Creepers. These are cards that you want to have, usually, except for Creepers, which you have to play and which keep you from winning, unless they don't. Like if winning the game requires you to have war and death, then those two particular Creepers might be great. And some rules make it so that Creepers are OK. The Keepers are stuff like cookies, spaceships, eyes and appliances. Creepers are stuff like death and radioactive potatoes.

Basically, this weird game has you going around the table, constantly modifying the winning conditions and rules for the game until someone sort of stumbles into a win. You pull a couple cards and go, 'hey, if I play all these, I win! Cool!' And then you hope someone doesn't change the rules before your turn.

I have to admit that I liked Fluxx. It's not a game that I would play when I want a deep intellectual challenge, and it seems to have all the strategic depth of 52 Pick Up, but it's still fun. It's virtually pointless, not particularly deep, but somehow still wacky, meaningless entertainment.

Hmmm. What else can I think of that is wacky, meaningless, and fun?

Yeah, they're stoned.

Summary

Pros:
Fun and seriously easy to learn
Crazy card play can go all night or end in five minutes
Small and cheap

Cons:
Not much depth
Kind of pointless
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Adam McD
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Great review -- right on the money.
 
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All My Hits Are Crits
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VixenTorGames wrote:

Cons
Kind of pointless


That's why it's called a game.
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Pete McCartney
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You have seen their other game right?
Stoner Fluxx
 
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Matt Tandlmayer
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I second the opinion of "it's a game."

While FLUXX is not, as the OP suggested, a "deep" game, it is still a quick game, one that can be brought out to both gamers and non-gamers alike without much effort. For that, it's name and purpose are pretty spot on.

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Adam McD
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ovidianskin wrote:
I second the opinion of "it's a game."

While FLUXX is not, as the OP suggested, a "deep" game, it is still a quick game, one that can be brought out to both gamers and non-gamers alike without much effort. For that, it's name and purpose are pretty spot on.

I disagree that Fluxx is a 'quick' game. It can be a quick game, but it is very unpredictable. I have had games (not kidding) last less than 1 minute, and games that last well over an hour (with many deck reshufflings). It is not that uncommon for a game of Fluxx to last over a 1/2 of an hour.

[Edit: I just checked the box. It says "2-30 Minutes". I would change this to "1-60 Minutes". I've playing countless games with veterans, and with newbies, and in both cases I've consistently seen games that go over the 30-minute mark. Also, I've seen multiple first-turn wins (hence < 1-minute), which are quite amusing when coming on the heels of one of those 45-minute games.]
 
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Karl von Laudermann
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Fluxx didn't originally have Creepers. Creepers were invented for Zombie Fluxx, and the designer liked them so much that he added them to every Fluxx version released since then. I'm not sure I like them. They're OK for Zombie Fluxx, because they're thematic. But for other Fluxx games they seem to just slow the game down without adding more fun.
 
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Chris Blakeley
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AdamMcD wrote:
ovidianskin wrote:
I second the opinion of "it's a game."

While FLUXX is not, as the OP suggested, a "deep" game, it is still a quick game, one that can be brought out to both gamers and non-gamers alike without much effort. For that, it's name and purpose are pretty spot on.

I disagree that Fluxx is a 'quick' game. It can be a quick game, but it is very unpredictable. I have had games (not kidding) last less than 1 minute, and games that last well over an hour (with many deck reshufflings). It is not that uncommon for a game of Fluxx to last over a 1/2 of an hour.

[Edit: I just checked the box. It says "2-30 Minutes". I would change this to "1-60 Minutes". I've playing countless games with veterans, and with newbies, and in both cases I've consistently seen games that go over the 30-minute mark. Also, I've seen multiple first-turn wins (hence < 1-minute), which are quite amusing when coming on the heels of one of those 45-minute games.]


I've had similar experiences. When it's five or ten minutes, Fluxx great fun. When it stretches beyond that, it makes me actively want to quit in the middle. The last time I played Monty Python Fluxx (a theme that works very well and makes the game a bit more tolerable in my opinion), my friends and I pretty much conspired to end the game so we could move on and not stay stuck in an endless loop.
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Bryan Stout
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AdamMcD wrote:
I disagree that Fluxx is a 'quick' game. It can be a quick game, but it is very unpredictable. I have had games (not kidding) last less than 1 minute, and games that last well over an hour (with many deck reshufflings). It is not that uncommon for a game of Fluxx to last over a 1/2 of an hour.

Enter a new kind of card to save the day: the Meta Rule! These are cards with orange borders that act like optional Basic Rules. Fluxx 4.0 comes with one: Rules Escalation. It says: "Any time the deck is reshuffled, the Draw and Play amounts on the Basic Rules are increased by one." (You put tokens on that card with each shuffling to keep track.) As the Basic Rules gradually become Draw2/Play2, Draw3/Play3, etc., winning plays become easier.

A couple of years ago Looney Labs came out with a promo card, "Start the Clock", which lets you start a timer. When the timer dings, the game stops, and the player closest to winning wins. At Origins this year, Andy Looney said that card actually should have been a Meta Rule, but those hadn't been invented yet. So you can make your own Meta Rule card, or at least a house rule, to set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes, say, at the start of a game, and declare a winner when time's up.

The Meta Rule cards say you place them beside the Basic Rules "if all players agree". It sounds like you and your friends would probably agree to Rules Escalation or Start the Clock.
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karlvonl wrote:
Fluxx didn't originally have Creepers. Creepers were invented for Zombie Fluxx, and the designer liked them so much that he added them to every Fluxx version released since then. I'm not sure I like them. They're OK for Zombie Fluxx, because they're thematic. But for other Fluxx games they seem to just slow the game down without adding more fun.
I wondered about that. Then I recalled that Fluxx' new version went from... whatever it was to... 4.0?

I'm disappointed to see that creepers were added to every new version of Fluxx. The way I prefer things, if I want creepers, I'll play Zombie Fluxx. If I want to keep an extra type of card out and make the game simplier, that's what the base game is for.



AdamMcD wrote:
ovidianskin wrote:
I second the opinion of "it's a game."

While FLUXX is not, as the OP suggested, a "deep" game, it is still a quick game, one that can be brought out to both gamers and non-gamers alike without much effort. For that, it's name and purpose are pretty spot on.

I disagree that Fluxx is a 'quick' game. It can be a quick game, but it is very unpredictable. I have had games (not kidding) last less than 1 minute, and games that last well over an hour (with many deck reshufflings). It is not that uncommon for a game of Fluxx to last over a 1/2 of an hour.

[Edit: I just checked the box. It says "2-30 Minutes". I would change this to "1-60 Minutes". I've playing countless games with veterans, and with newbies, and in both cases I've consistently seen games that go over the 30-minute mark. Also, I've seen multiple first-turn wins (hence < 1-minute), which are quite amusing when coming on the heels of one of those 45-minute games.]


What's really ironic is when someone suggests playing something like Zombie Fluxx, then over half an hour later into the game, that same person makes a suggestion that they end the game early and play something else.
 
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