Screenshot of fluxx on ios

Cynthia plays FLUXX

Playing FLUXX

I first played FLUXX against one automated opponent, using the iOS app, and then again in person with Christina, Maya, and Jean.

I managed to win the first game on my phone after a prolonged series of incredibly bloated hands and goals switching every turn. I felt like my robot opponent’s moves didn’t make much sense sometimes (I wonder how the engineers programmed the flow for decision making), like discarding useful keepers, and it seemed to prolong the game. I eventually started to get confused when I had 10 cards in my hand and was losing track of how many actions I had taken, but managed to get lucky eventually and get a set of keepers and goal that I could play all together in one turn.

The game played in person was much more enjoyable; the physical cards made the game feel more concrete, and it felt like my opponents each had their own strategy that I had to guess in order to beat them out. Ultimately Jean won since he got a set of keepers and a goal that worked out just right in one turn.

Overall, I find this game incredibly frustrating at times, like when I drew the goal “brain but no TV in play” and I had a brain!! but also a TV in play!!! and I was like oh man I did this to myself. The chance and randomness can spice the game up, which was amusing in person, like when Maya played a “hand limit 0” card and messed up my whole strategy, but I found that I was getting really annoyed and impatient with the mobile game and just wished it would end. I guess that just reflects the value I get from interacting with other humans, seeing their reactions, and trying to think like them, which wasn’t present in the online version.

Formal Elements


  • 2 – 6 players
  • age 8 – adult
  • each player has the same role
  • player vs player – players compete with each other to see who can complete the goal first


  • complete a goal card currently in play by having the necessary keepers also in play
  • all players have the same general objective, though the particular goal they are hoping to satisfy may be different and can change over time


  • turn by turn, only one player acting at a time
  • begins with draw one, play one


  • players start with three cards each
  • you must follow the draw and play numbers exactly
  • when you play a card, it immediately resolves its effect
  • cards can be played that add new rules
  • some rule cards apply a hand, action, or keeper limit


  • the cards in your hand act as resources as they can be used to help fulfill a goal
    • keepers can be used to fulfill a goal
    • goal cards can be played to set a reachable objective
    • action cards can help boost your hand or disadvantage other players
    • new rule cards can be played to create new advantageous situations


  • sometimes opponents play cards that put you in a tough situation (like needing to discard cards or overriding your goals) that you must overcome
  • you may struggle with dilemmas when deciding which cards to play


  • the mobile version exists in its own app, which is self-contained
  • the rules and actions taken only applied to the cards and the game that we were currently playing, not any other part of our lives


  • zero-sum – one person wins and everyone else loses
  • the winner could be anyone! That’s why the game is called fluxx I guess, since it’s so unpredictable and the player closest to winning is always changingn!

About the author

Always ready to play!

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