Tuesday , April 16 2024
wonderland fluxx

Card Game Review: ‘Wonderland Fluxx’ from Looney Labs

Wonderland Fluxx from Looney Labs brings the ever-changing card game world into the wildcard land where the next draw from the deck is just as unpredictable as Alice’s adventures. The Fluxx brand has explored numerous genres already, from Star Trek to SpongeBob and even inside ourselves with Anatomy Fluxx. Each of these shows how the rules can be fickle.

Wonderland is a step into the historical direction with one of literature’s zaniest trips. With the art taken from the original drawings by Sir John Tenniel nearly 150 years ago for Lewis Carroll’s classic, Wonderland Fluxx is all-new and yet familiar in so many ways.

No matter the theme, Fluxx games start simply, with each player drawing one card and playing one card on their turn. What happens with those plays can drastically change the situation. Players may add New Rules, changing the amounts of cards drawn or played or even placing limits. Other cards serve as Actions or Goals, showing which Keepers players should collect to achieve victory. Dastardly Creeper cards can block a player from winning until they are discarded.

Wonderland Fluxx is not an old deck sheathed with new art. The decks are crafted to give a different vibe than other sets, and the game proves to be balanced and well suited for casual gamers.

The New Rule cards are few and playful. Rhyme Time gives players optional bonus draws and plays for rhyming. The Crown Keeper presents an interesting twist to Fluxx by creating a leading player who receives extra bonuses like not having to turn over cards for taxation, or drawing extra cards, though the Crown may be stolen by several Actions or Keepers. There is only one Creeper (The Jabberwock, of course) so things are kept none too nefarious while there is still an element of danger to each draw.

Wonderland Fluxx’s most fun and chaotically strategic plays come from the new Action cards. “Curiouser and Curiouser” gives players the chance to draw until they collect a Keeper or Creeper, playing out all the Actions and Surprises that come out along the way. “All Must Have Prizes!,” pulling from the event where Alice receives her own button back in a game, has players all hold up a Keeper and then decide in order of play who gets what. This presents an interesting conundrum of whom to help out among one’s opponents. “Clean Cup!” prompts players to move either to the left or right, holding onto their cards in their hands but leaving Keepers on the table. This could be the perfect opportunity to play a Goal and win even though until a moment before someone else had the Keepers needed.

Wonderland Fluxx is a card game for two to six players aged eight and up. It is a fairly quick game, lasting on average about 15 minutes. Due to the unpredictable nature of play, rounds could be even faster or take a bit more to complete. There are several game-advancing New Rule cards, including adding a second goal and swapping unused plays for new draws, all of which speed up the game to its surprising conclusion.

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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