Looney Labs has built an empire from Fluxx, the card game where the rules themselves are always shifting. Players must collect the Keepers listed on Goal cards to even come up with a way to win the game. Meanwhile, Rules cards change how many cards players can draw, play, and even hold in their hands. Further cards can reverse play, trip up opposing players, and generally turn the game on its head.
Fluxx the Board Game brings the zaniness of its abstract card game ancestor to the two-dimensional world of boards. In addition to the rules constantly changing, players must move their pieces to achieve the goals before they change themselves. The board consists of nine panels with different icons. To win a Goal, a player must have two of his or her pieces set onto the icons listed on the Goal, much like the Keepers of the original Fluxx. To win the game, a player must collect at least three Goals, the first major shift from the card game in which there was only one Goal for endgame.
Fluxx the Board Game is set up with each player receiving three tokens. Pegboards represent the existing rules. At the beginning, players may draw one card, play one card, move two spaces, and have collect three goals to win. As the last part of set up, each player is allowed to change one rule by moving a peg. Throughout the game, the pegs will move as players slap down cards trying to meet their own goals while stopping others.
While Fluxx could be won spontaneously by having the right cards at the right time, players on the board have to strategize to collect several goals. A great deal of luck is taken out of the game, upping the necessity for planning by adding up moves or manipulating the board. The number of Goals required to win may even change as the game progresses, interrupting an envisioned victory. Another trick to having multiple goals is that it becomes clear when a certain player is in the lead. That gives other players the opportunity to gang up on him or her.
The greatest standouts for FtBG are the special rules that affect the board itself. “Rotate a tile,” “uproot a tile,” and “wrap around” each give players a chance to use one of their moves to alter the board by rotating it, moving tiles, and allowing pieces to warp to the other side. In our playtesting, some of the most fun was in keeping these rules activated. They turn FtBG into a game unlike any other as manipulating the board itself becomes lines for strategy. A player may not be able to reach an icon via movement, but he or she might if he or she picks up the tile and drops it nearby.
Fluxx the Board Game is for two to four players ages eight and up. It is a fairly quick game, like Fluxx, needing only 15 to 30 minutes to play. Lovers of Fluxx will love the this game as will those who enjoy spatial strategizing as in such games as Chess and Scrabble. A handy preview video shows the bounding moves of the game in action.
Just when we feared all possible iterations of Fluxx had appeared, Looney Labs turned out something altogether new. Truly, as the game says, “the only constant is change.” We look forward to the next change to come.