Thursday , May 23 2024
Math Fluxx, Looney Labs's "card game with ever-changing rules" gains whole new directions of nerdy fun.

Card Game Review: ‘Math Fluxx’ from Looney Labs

Math Fluxx from Looney Labs is the latest in the varied line of Fluxx card games. Fluxx is touted as the “card game with ever-changing rules,” which lends to its wide versatility. Many of the previous Fluxx editions are largely thematic, whether on a particular brand like Firefly or Batman or on a more general topic like pirates or the holidays. Math Fluxx takes a new, more educational route in its game and adds unique components that show there is always a new direction for its ever-changing rules.

Like in the other Fluxx editions, the basic rules to the game are simple: on a player’s turn, he or she draws one card and plays one card. Depending upon the cards played, things begin to get more complicated. Some cards change these rules, adding the number of cards drawn or played during each turn. Other cards are actions, such as taking cards from another player or zapping a new rule card into the discard pile. Players build a collection of Keeper cards until one player has a set matching the conditions of a Goal and thus becomes the winner. The learning curve is quite low, making it an easy game to learn with strong replay value as no two rounds are the same.

Math Fluxx uses numerals as its Keepers, ranging from zero to nine with even a ten available. Players can use these numbers in combination to achieve the Goal, such as having two “3”s to match the “Speed of a Long Playing Record,” or a two and a five for a “Silver Jubilee,” or any variety of numbers for “Today’s Date” or “Your Own Age.” Unlike in other Fluxx editions, the Keepers are repeated, meaning players may very well tie for a win and cancel each other out.

What truly sets Math Fluxx apart from the rest are the new rules available. In addition to the standard set of manipulating cards drawn and played, new cards like Grafting allow Keepers to be joined together as a two-digit number while the really mind-bending Increment All gives a plus one to every number in the game. Special Victory rules give more power to the players: Times Victory allows players to multiply their Keepers to achieve the Goal, Plus Victory allows them to add their Keepers, and Combo Victory allows players to use any combination of arithmetic to come to a value. There are also new Meta Rules, which may be instituted at the beginning of the game: “Plan B” that puts one of the special calculation victory rules into effect at all times, and “Plan C”, which requires a player to use one of the calculations to achieve the win. Even lifelong fans of Fluxx will be blown away by all of the new possibilities in this ever-changing game.

Math Fluxx is a card game for two to six players aged eight and up. While the length of a game varies wildly due to the chaotic nature of Fluxx, Math Fluxx will typically last fifteen to twenty minutes. With the mathematical calculation victory rules in place, players with sharp math skills will have an advantage as they reviewing their Keepers and seek out a combination that will allow for a potentially surprising win.

About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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