Pirate Fluxx

February 23, 2011

Sorry for the lack of an entry on Monday readers. The new job is kicking my *** and I needed a day to simply turn my brain off. Today’s review is the just-released Pirate Fluxx by Looney Labs.  http://www.looneylabs.com/

Now, on the off chance that you are a gamer and don’t know what Fluxx is here’s the deal. Fluxx is a game that starts simple and gets mindbashingly complex within a turn or two. The rules start out as simple as you could hope for. Get dealt three cards. Draw one. Play one.

 Easy enough, right? Right. Until the rule changes come in. Play two. Draw four. Hand limit three. New goal. Oh! Did we mention goals? No, I guess we didn’t. Goals are how you try to win the game. Operative word being try.

Y’see, among the cards  you have the potential to play are Goal cards. Have the cards in front of you that meet the conditions on the current Goal card and you win. The problem is that the Goal can literally change from person to person. You might have played Powder Keg on your turn in anticipation of playing either the Gunpowder or Keg cards on your next turn but someone else might chose to play Pirate Pets on their turn and if they’ve already got the Monkey and Parrot cards in play you lose.

And that, my friends, is Fluxx in a nutshell. The idea stays the same. Win. How you do it changes from minute to minute, person to person. There is no killer combo, no game-breaking strategy. Fluxx is about as close to a purely luck-based game as you can get with a deck of cards. And the concept has worked so well Looney Labs has come out with six main versions of the game. Original Fluxx, Martian Fluxx, Zombie Fluxx, Family Fluxx, Eco Fluxx , Monty Python (more properly called Holy Grail Fluxx) Fluxx, and, of course, Pirate Fluxx. There’s even a Stoner Fluxx out there for you burnouts who, swear to God officer, have glaucoma and need to smoke your medication for it. And they can be combined with one another. So you uber-geeks can, in fact, play Zombie Martian Monty Python Pirate Fluxx and create a blackhole of nerddom that will no doubt swallow the entire known universe, leaving behind only a few Twinkie wrappers and the odd can or two of Mountain Dew.

 So what makes Pirate Fluxx so special? Two words. Pirates dummy! Let’s face it, unless they are the modern day, yacht hijacking, senior citizen murdering, lots of large bullets to assorted internal organs until daylight shows through their torsos needing kind, pirates are cool. Pirates are so cool they are even cool when portrayed as drunken, probably-but-we’re-not-totally-sure heterosexual semi-competents sword fighting with Orlando Bloom.

But that might be a reflection of how cool Johnny Depp is. In any case, historical pirates, separated as they are from us by hundreds of years and thousands of miles are cool. And Fluxx is cool. So naturally these two cool things were destines to come together and make one ultra-cool thing for me to write about when I should be making breakfast and getting to sleep some time before the alarm goes off at 530am.

 The spin on this version of Fluxx is squarely on the iconography of old-timey Caribean yar me buckos and so forth pirates. Arr! There’s the previously mentioned parrot and monkey cards. There are ship cards and Goals that require at least one ship to win. There are jewel cards and Goals that require at least three of them to win. And of course there’s no shortage of piratically themed screw-your-buddy cards too. Rough Seas, Shipwreck and Scurvy come to mind.

I could go on in this vein but here’s the short and sweet of it. If you’ve ever played Fluxx you’re going to like this game. If you’ve never played Fluxx but like pirates you’re going to like this game. In short, unless you simply don’t like fun you’re going to like this game. So hoist sail for your nearest game store, plunder your wallet for the seventeen bucks it costs and, as always, keep it fun ye swabs!

Arrr!

Capn’ Mech out!

 

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