I’m kinda harsh about Looney Lab games… like, a lot. I haven’t always been real kind to them. Why? Because their games are silly and random and personally I don’t find them to be all that fun (note: this opinion does not apply to Are You A Werewolf?). When I say they are “silly”, I don’t mean in that cutesy adorable way that everyone loves. I mean in that annoying “This doesn’t make any sense it’s so random” sort of way. However, on this game I have to eat just a little bit of crow, because this is not your typical Looney Labs game.
|# of Players||2 - 4|
|Mfg Suggested Ages||8 and up|
|Mechanic||Grid Movement, Hand Management, Modular Board, Set Collection|
|Expansion||Fluxx: The Board Game – Scramble Colors, Looney Labs Mammoth Fun Pack|
Fluxx: The Board Game follows in the footsteps of their top selling card game Fluxx. The rules are constantly changing, even the way to win the game changes. In the original Fluxx card game, you are trying to collect “Keepers” in order to complete a “Goal”. In the board game version of the game, this is much the same, as you are trying to get your pawns to land on images very reminiscent of Keepers in order to complete a Goal. Furthermore, the familiar “Draw one, Play one” set of rules are still in place at the beginning of the game, but now they have been joined by a few new mechanics such as “Move one”.
But enough about how the games are the same, let’s talk about how the games are different! Firstly, the ability to move around on the board in order to reach the necessary goodies, rather than hoping and praying that you draw the right card at the right time, makes the game much more strategic than it’s predecessor. With the ability to move pawns, rearrange the board and play cards the strategic possibilities are very evident and endless. You never would have been able to do that with the original Fluxx card game.
Two of the new mechanics in the game, as mentioned above, allow you to manipulate the boards layout. This is accomplished by allowing players to pick up and move, or rotate, square tiles that make up the board. The ability to do this takes the place of a move action, which makes their use very powerful, but can only be turned “on” by playing a card that allows it. However, should you really love these abilities, each player is allowed to modify one rule at the beginning of the game of their choice. So, you could choose to turn this feature on early.
The one thing I really disliked about this game is the components. You see, the game comes with two peg boards that are used to keep track of the new rules as they are played. This seems ingenious, until you look at the components they used. The little pegs were constantly popping out during our game leaving us asking each other repeatedly “How many cards could we play?” and “How many goals did we need completed to win?”, because roughly once every 2-3 rounds at least one peg would come clattering out of it’s hole. But, given this severe oversight, I am pleased to say that the designers did take our color blind gamers into account. Not only are the playing pieces different colors, but they are also different shapes. This makes it really easy for the color impaired to play as well. Huzzah
As far as the theme goes, I guess I can’t be surprised that the first Fluxx board game was as bland as it’s original card game. The goals are things such as “Cookies and Milk” and “Time is Money”. Bland, benign, and overall flavorless things. What will be much more interesting is if Looney Labs decides to continue onward and make themed versions, as they did with their card game. A Cthulhu Fluxx Board Game could be quite interesting!
My final thoughts on the game? If you are like me, and have a dislike of all things Fluxx, sit your negative bias aside for a moment and give this one a try. I’m not saying that it will change your mind and wow you, but you might be pleasantly surprised. This games ability for forethought and planning makes it quite different than it’s fore bearer, and those changes might be enough to positively sway your opinion. However, if you like the original game, you will certainly see a lot of similar mechanics and hopefully the need for small bits of strategy won’t scare you away.