Batman Fluxx from Looney Labs is the latest addition to the vastly entertaining and always-surprising Fluxx line. Highly adaptable, the Fluxx system is as straightforward as it is flexible: the rules change as the game goes. Games begin with simple “Draw one card, play one card” instructions. As players take turns and add New Rule cards, the game alters to have players draw more cards, play more, face hand limits, take advantage of bonuses, and take special actions. The objective is to collect Keeper cards in hopes of matching the requirements on the Goal card in play to win the game.
Rather than just adding a new skin to a classic, Batman Fluxx has a distinct style of play. The Batman universe is most famous for the enticing menagerie of villains in its Rogues’ Gallery. To bring this aspect into the game, Batman Fluxx cranks up the significance of a special kind of card: the Creeper. Like a Keeper, players collect them, but the rule on the card states, “No one can win if you have this unless the Goal requires a villain.”
All the favorites are there –the Joker and Harley Quinn (with the special Goal “Mad Love”), Poison Ivy, Two-Face, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and more. The special Clayface card allows him to serve as any villain for a goal, a perfect fit for a villain who can change shape.
Previous Fluxxes like Cthulhu Fluxx have used Creepers for an air of wickedness, but Batman Fluxx has the powers of superheroes to balance it out. Keepers such as Batman, Robin, and Batgirl allow for the discard of a villain each round. Other Keepers have special abilities, such as the Bat Computer giving bonus draws and plays, and the Bat-Signal being able to draw Batman to the player. Still other special rules give an extra level of cunning finesse to the game – for example, the Bruce Wayne and Batman Keepers cannot be on the table at the same time.
The art of Batman Fluxx comes from The New Batman Adventures, the generation of animated series that came in the late ‘90s as a continuation of the earlier success of The Animated Series. The style shares the dark Art Deco of the original animation, but the figures are sharpened geometrically, creating a sense of cartooniness while also becoming strangely more sinister with the heavy use of triangular figures. The cards in Batman Fluxx go above and beyond in capturing the Gotham-flair with detailed geometric lines worthy of the 1930s along the side.
Batman Fluxx is a card game for two to six players aged eight and up. Play time varies from five minutes to 30 as each game is different depending upon the cards drawn and chosen to play. Anything can happen, like a good Batman story, although sometimes the villains have the upper hand (often prompting another round).