Fluxx is a highly fluid card game where the rules can change with the drop of a card. The game was created in 1996 by Andrew Looney for his gaming company, Looney Laboratory. A year later the game went from the original run of a few thousand units to a massive worldwide distribution. Since then, Fluxx has seen many variants including EcoFluxx, Pirate Fluxx, Monty Python Fluxx, and my fanboy side favorite- Firefly Fluxx. Fluxx also created a line of games for the horror fan that I’m sure you’ll enjoy just as much as the original.
Released in 2007, Zombie Fluxx was the 2008 Origins Award winner for Traditional Card Game of the Year. Using a lot of standard zombie movie tropes, goals include barricading the windows, brain baseball (with requires you have the baseball bat card and the brain card), and of course brain sandwiches (that’s where you win the game if you have the brain card and a sandwich card, yum). Zombie Fluxx also introduces the antithesis to the “keeper card”, the “creeper card”. Unlike keepers, you do not want to find yourself in possession of a creeper. As soon as you draw a creeper, you must immediately play them. They go face up next to your keepers, and they do not count as a play, meaning you must draw again. Unlike keepers which help you win, creepers can make you lose. If someone lays down an ungoal card and you have enough creepers in play, you lose instantly. Just like the original Fluxx, Zombie Fluxx is a fun way to spend a quiet evening with friends hoping to survive the night.
From 2013, Monster Fluxx is a little more family oriented than Zombie Fluxx with a more Universal Monsters feel. Keepers include The Mad Scientist, The Frankenmonster, The Mummy, and an angry mob of villagers. Monster Fluxx is a gateway monster game for families looking to introduce their kids to classic monsters that aren’t overly frightening. Unlike Zombie Fluxx most of the illustrations aren’t too gruesome.
Unlike Monster and Zombie Fluxx editions which have recommended starting ages of 8-years, Cthulhu Fluxx recommends a starting age of 13. Obviously this 2012 release has a little darker subject matter to it. Although you don’t need to be an expert in the world of Lovecraft, it does help in comprehending some of the references and connections made in the game, mostly when you are lining up your keepers in order to reach a goal. With goals like “The Cats of Ulthar”, it helps to know that you’ll need the “cat keeper” and the “Dreamlands keeper” for the win, or that the “Miskatonic University” goal is going to require a “Professor keeper” and a “Librarian keeper”. H.P. fans will be happy to know that all the classics of the Lovecraftian lore are here in accounted for: Henry Armitage, Edward Derby, the Necronomicon, and of course Herbert West. You’ll also find the return of the ungoal and the creeper cards in the form of Madness, the Shoggoth, and Cthulhu. Players will also find interesting twists to this game variant like surprise cards which perform different functions when played in turn or out of turn. Surprise cards are their to an extra layer of tension to the game and maybe inspire a little madness in the process.
For ore info on FLUXX or other Looney Lab games, check out their website here.