Game published Looney
This article copryright 1997 by Steffan O'Sullivan
This page last updated September 15, 1997
Fluxx is a simple but fun little card game from Looney
Laboratories. The basic rules are simple: deal out three cards to
each player (2-6 players), then each player in turn draws one card
and plays one card.
That's it. At least until someone plays a New Rule card, such as
Draw 2. Then each player draws 2 and plays 1.
That's it. At least until another rule card is played, and so
on. What's the goal of the game? We don't know - no one has played
There are four different types of cards:
Each turn you draw as many cards as the current rules allow, and play
as many as the current rules allow, until someone wins.
- New Rules
- Keepers (nouns - things you collect to achieve goals)
- Actions (sort of one-shot rules)
The game is a lot of fun - we always laugh a lot when playing - but
to be honest, there's not a lot of thought required. Oh, there's
some - don't play a goal for which an opponent has at least some of
the elements, and you don't have any, for example - but that's
obvious stuff. There's no real long-term strategy possible, nor even
short-term tactics. It's more trying to keep the goal something you
know your opponents can't achieve until you can achieve one
Every game we've had so far has been won by a lucky draw on a
particular turn. This is a bit annoying, but I don't yet know how to
fix it. If anyone has a fix, please let me know!
In the meantime, I have doctored it a bit - but we haven't played
enough with my new cards and amendments to know if it's any better
yet. Looney Laboratories will send you blank cards if you send them
postage-paid envelopes, so you can make your own cards, too. Here
are some changes I made to the game:
So far, that's all I've come up with, though I have three more cards.
Saving them to see how these work. I'll let you know - check back
here in a month or so.
- Four of the Goals (Money, No Taxes -- The Brain, No TV -- Peace,
No War -- Keeper Shortage) are too easy, so I wrote (in permanent
marker) on each of those cards, Ignore this goal on the first pass
through the deck. This serves two purposes:
- it makes a quick
lucky win less likely, and
- gives you some dead goals to use, which is actually a useful
thing. That is, you can play one of these cards in the first pass
through the deck, and it replaces an existing goal, but no one can
win with it until the discard pile has been shuffled at least once.
- Some of the Keepers are less valuable than others - they're
used for fewer Goals, and don't have Bonus Rules to help them. So
I wrote five new Goals to use these cards, making the Keepers more
of equal value. This means if you're lucky enough to get Chocolate,
Death, or especially the Eye, it's not quite such an advantage any
more. Mind you, those three cards are still the most valuable, just
not so overpoweringly so now. The new Goals are:
- Your Brain is Toast: the player with The Brain and
- Tolstoy: the player with War and Peace wins.
- Countdown: the player with Time and The Rocket
- Pyramid Scheme: the player with The Pyramid and
- Southern California: the player with The Sun and
- Three of the Action cards allow you more plays (Draw 3, play 2 of
them -- Draw 2 and use 'em -- Use what you take). I just clarified
that these extra plays do not count against your plays for the turn.
So if the current rule is Play 4, playing Draw 3, play 2 of
them only counts as one play.
- Hand Limit 0 and Hand Limit 1 cards are only activated when the
Draw is 3 or more. Otherwise the game gets boring, we've found.
- I added four new Bonus rules, to try and stir things up, allowing
you possibly to prevent an opponent from winning, or further your own
strategy. They are:
- Love Bonus: if a player has Love showing, then
during that player's turn, he or she may give it to another player as
a Keeper on the table. In exchange, he or she draws one card at
random from the receiving player's hand.
- Money Talks: if a player has Money showing, then
during that player's turn, he or she may "spend it" (discard it) to
trash any one New Rule.
- Peace, Man: if a player has Peace showing, he or
she may discard it to cancel any one Action. This may be done during
another player's turn.
- World War IV: if a player has War showing, then
during that player's turn, he or she may discard it, causing a
mandatory playing of all ACTION cards. Starting with the player to
his or her left, and going around the table, each player must play
all their Action cards.
- A New Rule, designed to slow down the one with the most Keepers, in an
attempt to balance the game that way: Too Many Keepers: If one
player has the most Keepers on the table (i.e., there is no tie for
this), then that person draws one less card than allowed, and plays
one less card than allowed.
- A new Keeper, something to play on the leader: Booby Trap:
This card must be played as your first play. If this card is in
your hand, you must play it as a Keeper. Starting with the turn
after you play it, you may, as a play, give it to another player
into their hand (not on the table). On their next turn,
they must play it as their first play, etc. You may not win while
you have the Booby Prize on the table.
- A fifth type of card: Counteraction: just called
Counteraction, I made up two of these, which are identical. The text
reads: May be played out of turn. You may play this immediately
after another player plays an ACTION card, to cancel that action.
May not cancel a counteraction.
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