Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Never the same way twice (Fluxx)

Here it is, the chance you've been waiting for.  The cards are set, and the goal is in your grasp.  One card left to play, and you can win it all!  But, what's this?!  NO, you chance at winning was here in an instant, and gone in a flash.  But that's the break, kid.  That's what happens when the game is in Fluxx.

GAME DESCRIPTION: Fluxx is a 2 to 6 player card game with one simple rule: draw 1 card, and play 1 card.  What makes this game so unique and bizarre is that fact that  the players can alter the rules and win conditions with their cards.  So what starts out as a simple play of 1 card and be as free or restrictive as the players choose.

CARD TYPES:  Fluxx has 4 types of cards:

  • Keepers: These green cards generally don't do a lot early game.  The standard rule is that you may have as many of these in front of you at any time
  • Goals: The Pink Goal cards create the current win condition.  The standard rule states that there can be only a goal at a time.  Goal cards generally require you to have a group of specific Keepers in front of you to win,
  • Actions:  The blue Actions cards are generally one use.  They can do anything from steal Keepers to trade hands to replay cards
  • New Rules: The cards with Yellow are New Rules, which are permanent changes to the game, unless another New Rule overwrites it.  Some of the New Rules include limiting hand or Keeper size, drawing or playing more cards, and more Goals in play.
ALTERNATE VERSIONS: Fluxx has had a lot of time to grow with various cards and new types to add to it.  Such versions include Pirate, Christmas, Zombie, and Space, and Licensed versions like Back to the Future and Monty Python.  Some of these changes include new card types like Creepers, the antithesis to Keepers by not letting you win if you have one in front of you.

CONCLUSION:  This deceptively simple game is interesting.  I enjoy playing it, but after a few rounds, it burns me out.  The biggest problem with it is its playtime.  Games can go crazy long if you have a lot of players who are determined to win.  Still, it's fast to learn, and easy to win/lose with the right/wrong draw of the deck.  With the game constanly changing, it's easy to have the game change up each time you play.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

From Door to Brain with Love (Loonacy)

Two images stare you down, two pictures that have little to do with each other.  Still, you hold out, hoping to find the match.  Every attempt to find one of their partners has been met with so much opposition, it's driving you mad.  No, you don't care how cute that dog is.  You wait, and wait, holding onto that last card, dog and chocolate.
This game is pure Loonacy.

GAME DESCRIPTION:  Loonacy is a fast paced card game designed by Looney Labs for 2 to 5 players.  The objective is to get rid of your hand faster than any other player by matching one of the two pictures to any of the piles.

PILES:  Depending on the number of players, a select number of piles are created, with one card drawn from the deck at the starting card of that particular pile.  The more players there are, the less piles you start with.

TURNS:  Everyone plays at the same time, with the goal to match a card from your hand onto the current card in that pile.  If no one can play a card, each player must draw one more card to their hand.  Play than continues until any player ends their hand.

CONCLUSION:  This game is quick, easy to learn, and doesn't restrict players with text or reading.  If you're looking for a fast paced, simple game to play, this is definitely one to consider.  If there was any weakness to it, it's that you are not really challenged by it outside of speed, and if you're noticeably slower than all your opponents, you're relying heavily on luck to make it.  Still, there is a forced balance with slower players in the form of luck.

AFTERTHOUGHTS:  It's hard not to just think "Hey, I could make this for cheaper."  And you may be right.  The simplicity of the rules comes the problem of not supporting the creators and all their hard work making their game.  But the way I see it, as long as you are willing to buy it, that might just be even more fun as well.  There are tons of ways to re-make and re-theme it to your personal desires, or match it to your groups tastes.  From sports logos to video game icons to anime characters, it's amazing how big the scope of this game truly is.