The hallmark of any great card game is replayability. Unless you’re playing an epic-length game of War, you’re bound to be playing multiple rounds of a given card game. But how do you keep the gameplay from stagnating?
Simple. You change the rules every game. Or sometimes, every hand!
That’s where Fluxx comes in. Fluxx is one of the flagship brands of Looney Labs, a company dedicated to wildly interactive, adaptable gameplay that offers high replay value. In Fluxx, everything can change by employing a single card. The number of cards you draw, or the number you discard, or the number you’re allowed in your hand… even how to win the game can change with ease.
Not only does this require constant attention, but it keeps the game from ever getting boring. One round, everyone had to pass their entire hand to another player and use their opponent’s cards!
There are numerous variations on the Fluxx design offered by Looney Labs — including Star Fluxx, Pirate Fluxx, Monty Python Fluxx, and a board game version, among others — but in today’s review, we’re taking a look at the latest version: Holiday Fluxx!
The mechanics of the game are the same as any other version of Fluxx: collect Keeper cards and be the first to match a pair of Keeper cards to the current Goal card. Since Goal cards can easily be changed (along with all of the other changes inherent to the game), this is more difficult than it sounds.
While most of the action cards will be familiar to Fluxx players, the new holiday-themed Goals and Keepers (representing Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwaanza, and even a touch of Halloween and Thanksgiving) are bright and colorful, adding seasonal charm to the gameplay. There are also new rules cards (many involving “gifting” cards to others) in keeping with the holiday theme, as well as surprise cards that can be played at any time. Every game is festive chaos.
Holiday Fluxx is a solid card game for puzzlers, mixing pattern-matching and strategy elements to keep you on your toes, employing rule changes to your advantage. And the game’s tendency to shift suddenly will definitely challenge solvers more accustomed to slower, steadier card games.
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