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star trek fluxx card game

Card Game Review: ‘Star Trek Fluxx’ from Looney Labs

Star Trek Fluxx from Looney Labs beams one of the most popular sci-fi franchises of all time to the tabletop. The game should not be confused with Star Fluxx, an earlier Fluxx variant that took the card game of ever-changing rules into the realm of science fiction with plenty of allusions to the whole genre. Now, Star Trek Fluxx encapsulates the adventurous spirit of the original television series into Fluxx form.

The rules in Star Trek Fluxx follow Fluxx’s chaotic norms. Games start with each player drawing a card from the deck into their hand and playing a card for their turn. Many cards change the rules, altering how many cards are drawn or played, while others serve as actions to steal cards, draw extras, or even trade hands with another player. Players collect Keeper cards, working to get the right combination of icons to match the Goal card in play and win the game.

The Keepers and Goals are packed with original series references, including cards for Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, and red-shirted “Ensign Smith.” Technology like tricorders, transporters, and the Enterprise herself appear as well.

Rather than just having different pictures from other Fluxxes, however, Star Trek Fluxx warps the extra mile in having unique rules, like the Against All Odds card that allows players to win despite having Creepers. A special Action card allows players to have a round of Fizzbin, the uproariously complicated card game from the series, emulated by drawing a stack of cards and putting them all immediately into play.

It would not be Star Trek without the risk of danger, and Star Trek Fluxx offers plenty. The clearest examples come from the many Creepers, cards that block players from winning even if their Keepers match the Goal. The game is packed with enemy Creepers like the Romulans and Klingons, but the truly threatening ones are those that attach to crewmember or equipment Keepers.

The Doomsday Machine is particularly dangerous as it never goes out of play, just continues to the next player. There is even an Ungoal featuring the Doomsday Machine. If each player possesses it at some time, the whole game ends with all players losing. That spirit of camaraderie even among opponents against a greater danger fits the Star Trek vibe perfectly.

Star Trek Fluxx is a card game for two to six players aged eight and up. It is a fairly quick game, usually lasting about 15 to 20 minutes, although it could be much quicker or much longer as players work to make the right match of Keepers to Goals. Despite the inherent randomness of the rules, the game is quite straightforward in play, other than a pause for Fizzbin or fascinating turns with particular Creepers.

With its energetic and understandable play and ample reference to the classic series, Star Trek Fluxx is a great time for gamers and sci-fi fans alike.

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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