[Note: I received a free copy of this game in exchange for a fair, unbiased review. Due diligence, full disclosure, and all that.]
Looney Labs is celebrating 20 years of puzzle-game goodness this year. From Pink Hijinks and Just Desserts to Retro Loonacy and Chrononauts, they have built a reputation for games that endlessly reinvent themselves every time you play, maximizing both fun and replayability.
And their newest edition to their flagship Fluxx series typifies the spirit of Looney Labs: it’s bright, chaotic, stylish, and entertaining as all get out.
Firefly Fluxx makes the most of the much-beloved fan favorite one-season wonder, utilizing the characters, tropes, and best lines from the show to place their particular spin on the shifting rules, goals, and actions of earlier editions of Fluxx. (And you won’t even need to brush up on your Chinese expletives!)
Now, anyone who has played Fluxx in the past is familiar with action cards, goal cards, keeper cards, new rule cards, and surprise cards. For those unfamiliar with the game, the basic idea is to collect keeper cards in the hopes of completing a goal and winning the game. But since every player can change rules (like how many cards you draw during your turn, how many you drop, etc.) as well as what the current goal is that will allow you to win the game, you have to be on your toes.
Firefly Fluxx capitalizes on the outlaw spirit of the show to encourage players to swap out goals, play diabolical creeper cards, and spring devastating surprises on their opponents, all while sharing in the collective fandom with references like “Shiny!,” “I’ll be in my bunk,” and my personal favorite, “Curse Your Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal!”
[The crew of the Serenity reunites to elude the Reavers,
gather some loot, and escape unscathed, Fluxx-style.]
The art is delightful in a cartoony way, visually bringing home their larger-than-life adventures. Even the backgrounds of each card get a washed-out, Old West-style color palette to compliment the game and its fictional universe.
Although they’re not reinventing the wheel here with this newest edition of Fluxx, they are providing another terrific example of what they do best: marrying fun pop culture properties with great puzzly gameplay. It’s a winning combination.
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