Star Fluxx Review
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Players: 2-6 (ages 8+)
Playing Time: 10-40 minutes

The game-playing geniuses at Looney Labs definitely know how to take full advantage of a brilliant idea. After all, for the past 25 years, they’ve been reinventing and rereleasing their popular Looney Pyramids in a variety of new and different ways (like IceDice). In the same way, they’ve taken their clever card game Fluxx and created special versions for all varieties of gaming geeks—from Martian Fluxx and Pirate Fluxx to the latest member of the Fluxx family, Star Fluxx.

The rules of Star Fluxx are similar to the game’s earlier forms. You start with three cards and some basic rules: on each turn, you draw one card and play one card. Depending on which cards are played—Actions, New Rules, Goals, Keepers, Creepers, or the relatively new Surprise cards—the game turns into something different each time. The ultimate goal, however, is to meet the requirements on the current Goal card (usually by having the required Keepers in front of you).

Like any other version of Fluxx, Star Fluxx offers more than just a quirky sci-fi theme (with cards that refer to everything from Star Trek to Doctor Who). With the new cards come a few new twists—and, especially during your first few games with these new cards, you’ll need to pay close attention to the rules and instructions. After all, Keepers are no longer just Keepers—and Creepers are no longer just Creepers. Many of them come with additional powers. For instance, if you play The Scientist (a Keeper), you’re allowed to steal a number of different Keepers from other players. Or, if you draw Malfunction (a Creeper), it attaches to one of your equipment Keepers, rendering its powers useless. Other cards, meanwhile, are passed to other players during each turn, which adds another level of complexity and confusion to the game.

If you’re a long-time Fluxx fan, these new twists and turns won’t come as much of a surprise, since recent versions of the game have been slowly growing in complexity. And if you happen to live on a steady diet of sci-fi entertainment, this version of Fluxx is the perfect way to pass the time between Star Trek reruns.

If you’re a casual player, though, you’ll probably find the twists frustrating—because they add a number of new rules and guidelines and possibilities that you’ll need to consider with each turn (and, in the case of Surprise cards, during your opponents’ turns). It also makes the game more complicated for new players—so, if you’re picking up the game for the first time (or if you’re introducing the game to new players), I recommend starting with a simpler version.

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