Mr. Cat. Hold on I think I know my next move, just give me another minute....NO!!!!!!!
I first remember playing Fluxx sometime late to mid 90s. I thought it was a great chaotic game of using cards to decide how the mechanic of the game is played, including the goal of the game.
In this review I will go over the basic and easy mechanics of the game, as well as add a part of the review and show that Fluxx is not a moiety of Dominion. I have always found that the above comparison is used to belittle one game or the other when they should be both embraced as their own separate mechanics, other than they are both card games.
Overview: Fluxx is a card game that pulls from fundamentals of other cards games and wraps its own set of rules and variable dynamics to the game play to create a chaotic experience. Fluxx does this by having the main mechanics of the game attempt to change everything from the cards drawn, cards in hand, and cards played. The most notable feature of the game being there is no way to win right at the start, the method to win the game must be played by playing cards, which also modify the rules of the game.
Gamebits: Basically a deck of cards and small piece of paper that qualifies for the manual. The cards are not much in the way of artwork, but are at least well defined in their design to designate one card from the other. Making the starting rule card of one draw, one play a different color than the rest was a smart move. The cards are functional, but not pretty.
Gameplay: Gameplay consists of a reverse logic to most game rules. Where there are only 2 restrictions and all other game play options are explicitly permitted. The only restriction is the first always starting card and the number of cards players start with. Draw one card then play one card. Every other possibility is allowed, even though it may not be able to happen until another rule changes later in the game. (If draw 1 , play 1 stayed there for a while no one’s hand size would ever change). As more cards are played, the possibility pops that the rules can and will be modified, as some of the cards to be played are rule changes including modifying the number of cards a player can keep in their hand. Rules once played effect all players for all hands, until that rule it replaced or removed. Of the possible rule changes:
Modify keepers limit : Keepers are cards that are played and are considered to be the conditions of “most” goals in the game.
Modify hand limit: How many cards you can have in hand. This number really does not change until there is a difference in cards drawn and cards played rule. If those numbers are the same hand sizes really do not change much.
Modify Cards Drawn: Simply stated
Modify Cards Played: Simply stated, Ditto.
Modify the goal to win the game: (Technically it is a goal and not a rule)
Modify which keeper adds an extra draw: Having certain keepers while playing these rules allows you to draw an extra card.
Hide certain cards: Usually placing a keeper or all keepers face down so other players cannot see them
As part of the rules I have made reference to other cards. There are actually 4 other types of cards: Keepers (green), Goals(red), Rules(yellow), and Actions(blue). These cards do just what they say, they can change the goal of the game, which is usually some combination of keepers or cards in hand. The rules are explained above, a keeper which can be played or held to be played later, keepers are only “score-able” when they have been played out of the players hand. Goals are constantly changing and goals can work to where a player can win the game even with another player, changing to a new goal. Usually games are never won by setting up your own goal, rather games are usually won by stumbling into a goal someone else played since rules and goals can rapidly change.
Pros, Cons, Observations:
+ Rules and gameplay are very easy to pick up and teach, even with games where rules are changing left and right.
+ Decent filler game that most people can pick up.
0 Game is often compared to dominion, but even though there are cards that modify cards drawn and actions, how they are implemented are vastly different to the gameplay styles.
- Not a ton of strategy or depth to the game, more of an event like Killer Bunnies would be. But players that know what keeper combinations “win”, can card count to plan their victory.
- There can be some painfully slow games. Especially where hand limits and keeper limits are put so low it is impossible for anyone to win a game until the deck is cycled through again.
Personal Spin: Ok commenting the comparison of Dominion to Fluxx. I have seen where some gamers say Dominion is just Fluxx with buying. Though I favor Dominion in gameplay, I dislike hearing Fluxx be a lesser Dominion, or Dominion is a spinoff of Fluxx. Generalizing I can see where people may say such with a quick judgement, but below I show where the two are very thin in similarities. Both card games have one starter rule dictating the inital vanilla play. Both say they start out with a simple rule that can be modified. Dominion has 1 Action, 1 Buy, 1 cleanup. Fluxx has 1 draw, 1 play. Similarities in game play pretty much end there. Fluxx's rules are global to everyone on the table and and Dominion's are customized per hand as they play.
Card Draws: Different per hand, rule stays ABC (Dominion) ; Rule affects everyone every hand changes once card is played(Fluxx)
Winning conditions: End up with more points every game (Dominion) ; No points and goal differs per play of the goal card. (Fluxx)
Getting more cards: Have to be purchased and effected per individual hand (Dominion) ; Based upon rules, same for everyone, except for the keeper draws (Fluxx)
Deck in general: You can choose what cards go to your hand/deck. Multiple copies of the same cards. (Dominion) ; You can only draw form the main pile, and sometimes trash with certain action cards, cards are unique. (Fluxx)