There is a card game on the market that comes from an independent American games publishing company called LOONEYLABS. This game is called FLUXX and it has been available in many forms for as many years as I can count on both hands – so that’s longer than 10 then. The original game of FLUXX was (is) available in a regular playing card deck sized box and was printed in Black & White (or black on white I guess is more appropriate). The game has only one rule – at least to begin with – and that is Draw a Card, Play a Card. What could be simpler ?
Well the problem is that the cards that you play are:
Goals – usually you need 2 cards face up in front of you to achieve the (current) Goal and win the game
Keepers – these are the cards that complete the Goals
Actions – these are played to do something to change the current state of play
Rules – these are played to change the current rules and this is why the game is called FLUXX, because once it gets going the rules can (possibly) change with every player’s turn.
Since FLUXX came into being the world of printing improved dramatically and printing in colour became almost or just as inexpensive as printing in Black & White and so FLUXX was re-released in colour – same cards but now much prettier to look at and with the added bonus of each card type having its own colour border for easy recognition.
I(n no particular order we can now find in games stores: ECO Fluxx, Family Fluxx, Martian Fluxx, Fluxx 4.0, Monty Python Fluxx, Pirate Fluxx, Star Fluxx, Zombie Fluxx and Stoner Fluxx.
The latest Fluxx game is OZ Fluxx: which is for 2-6 players aged 8+ . None of the Fluxx games require that you own any of the other Fluxx games. Cards all have the same backs so you can mix sets but there really is no need to do that as each has it’s own theme (see above list) and thus the cards carry amusing puns and jokes based on the set they belong to.
OZ FLUXX: Well it’s Spring again and the Poppie fields are in bloom. The Munchkins are busy dusting off the Yellow Brick Road and Dorothy & Toto are getting ready for their long adventurous journey.
OZ FLUXX follows the traditional Frank L Baum story the Wizard of Oz and has Dorothy meeting up with the Wizard, the Witches, the Scarecrow, Tinman and of course the Cowardly Lion (aaah!)
Looney Labs are in the habit of releasing separate single cards of which some can be introduced into any of the Fluxx games and others are set specific. The latest of these, to my knowledge, is a NEW RULE card for OZ Fluxx – If I Only Knew The Words – which has Singing = +1 and Originality = +1 . These single cards usually sell for about $1.00 each.
CREEPERS were introduced a few sets back and these, like Keepers, sit in front of you. They are the cards you don’t want as you generally cannot win if you have one or more in front of you. They now make an appearance in each new set.
SURPRISE cards are fairly new to the game, they are fun cards that have two sections, one for playing in your turn and one for effect out of your turn. My memory is a little hazy but I believe they were introduced in the PIRATE set, not that long ago.
My one query about this game (OZ Fluxx) is why there is a card titled MAGIC SHOES when surely it should be called RUBY SLIPPERS ? as I am (almost) positive it was the heels on these that Dorothy clicked 3 times to return home to Kansas, or is my memory playing tricks again ?
FLUXX is a game I have Pete Fenlon (now of Mayfair Games) to thank for getting me into. I was in Essen, at Spiel, and Pete had a spare copy of the original Black & White version with him. He gave it to me as a sort of throw away as in “Here Chris, you might like to give this a try” when I was looking for games to review. I have continued to play FLUXX over and over since that fateful day and enjoy every game I play. One of the beauties of it is that it can last seconds – we have had a game start and end before all players have had a turn – to 15-20 minutes (rarely longer). It is also so easy to learn, just follow the Yellow Brick Rules…..

I took that copy of FLUXX home, (now it is a very battered and dog-eared looking copy) and Fran and I played it, then we played it with friends, then we spread the word and the friends spread the word and we still play it to this day.

FLUXX is the card game that every home should own. It’s simple rules premise – Draw A Card, Play A Card – sounds so uneventful, even boring, until you remember or realize that the word Fluxx means constantly in motion or changing, as in a State of Fluxx (which isn’t the 51st State of the USA though many believe it should or could be).

If you haven’t played Fluxx, you should !

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