Designer – Andrew Looney
Art – Derek Ring
note – thanks to Looney Labs for providing a review copy of this game
I blame my friend Tony and his children. Yeah Tony, its your fault.
You see, I’d never played the original game Fluxx from the good folks from Looney Labs and I assume that I am one of the few gamers out there for whom Fluxx never came to my attention. There is certainly mixed opinion about the Fluxx games system which has spawned a number of variations on the core theme. It seems that a lot of “serious” gamers who don’t like randomness in their games don’t like it. But there is clearly a following of fans as well.
So not too long ago, Tony and kids introduced me to Fluxx and being a fan of some randomness in my games I found myself really enjoying it.
So themed versions of Fluxx seems like a no brainer and I got a copy of Star Fluxx and had a chance to play it with Tony’s kids.
The cards are of a good quality and should stand up to plenty of playing, shuffling, etc. The cartoony art work byDerek Ring is very good and sets the scene for what will instantly appear to those unfamiliar as a fun game. The artwork will especially catch the eye of those looking for a fun family card game for 2-6 players age 8+.
There are plenty of tips of the hat to a variety of sci-fi character types in the art without specifically naming tv shows or films but if you are a sci-fi fan, you will spot them quickly. Love the red shirted Expendable crewman a la Star Trek for example. The cards are clearly written and easy to understand so its easy to get with the flow of the game. The theme is pretty much limited to the images and a few words but have no effect on the game itself. But for this type of game it really doesn’t matter although Monty Python Fluxx which I will review later seems to have more of the spirit of the Monty Python films and show.
The great thing about Star Fluxx, as well as the other Fluxx games is that it is fantastically easy to learn as each card has its own set of instructions. The basic rules are straightforward – Draw a card, Play a card. As you draw cards, new information is added –
- New rules which take effect instantly and are added to previous rules played if they don’t contradict
- Goals which means you can’t really plan ahead, just hope to get the right cards at the right time so you are subject to cards in play and cards you draw. Random and luck filled but if you accept that, its part of the game. Whoever completes the goal first wins.
- Keepers which are mostly needed to complete a goal
- Actions which are used once and discarded. They can cause major chaos or have no effect, you never know.
- Creepers are generally things you want to get rid of as holding them will prevent you from completing a goal to win
- Surprises which can be played any time, including someone else’s turn
The game plays very quickly and with all the information coming through on the cards, you will know what to do. Due to the constantly changing rules and goals, its hard to develop any strategy so its all down to the play of the cards in the moment. Some may not like the randomness, others will find it loads of fun.
Did it work for me?
Being a fan of randomness helps a lot for me so I definitely enjoyed playing Star Fluxx. Tony’s kids enjoyed playing and I can see that non-gamer friends will enjoy it as well as I will be able to teach it within minutes. That is a great point for me as I will use it with non-gamers as some light fun which doesn’t take too long. I do like the changing rules and goals as you do have to stay on your toes and it is also a great equalizer when playing with serious gamers who like to plan things out and look for optimum strategies. Having said that, I think that they are less likely to want to play. I would have liked the theme to have a bit more depth so there was a bit more humour and a bit of a story but this just wouldn’t fit the Fluxx model so like Top Trumps, the theme is pasted onto the core mechanics engine which purrs along nicely. A fun experience with a fun game.
For an easy, brain-friendly family game, Star Fluxx works nicely.
Boardgames in Blighty rating – 6.5 out of 10
Absolutely ideal for family game night!