Critical Play: FLUXX

I played Fluxx through the iPhone app with an AI opponent. I had never played FLUXX before and so it was an interesting challenge to puzzle out the rules (especially as my first time around I went in without reading the instructions just to see how far I could go).

Formal Elements
Players: 2-6 people, multiplayer competition
Objective: Be the first player to fulfill a goal card in play, by having the necessary keeper cards in play (which is difficult because other cards can change how to meet a certain goal, and you might change which goal you want to meet in the middle of the game).
Procedure: Turn-based card game with only 1 acting player who first draws 1, then plays 1 card
Rules: Each player begins with 3 cards, and you must draw 1 and play 1 card. When you play a card it has an immediate effect, which can add new rules or apply a hand, action, or keeper limit. Players can switch the goals/rules and use actions to benefit them (e.g. changing which goal they want to pursue if their current goal becomes too difficult to achieve).
Resources: Action (immediate effect), rule (can create optimal situations), goal (set a reachable objective), and keeper (can be used to fulfill a goal) cards.
Conflict: When a player uses a card to change the game’s framework, it affects all players, who must then reconfigure their strategy (e.g. discard cards) to fulfill a goal.
Boundaries: The “magic circle” of the card game space! (Or the phone app itself)
Overall the mechanic I found most intriguing was how players pursue different goals that they can change over time as other players “sabotage” with action cards  (e.g. force you to discard your whole hand). Coincidentally, this is one of my favorite elements of Splendor, of how there is chance on which cards are uncovered / you receive, but your strategy can change over time between sabotaging your opponents (e.g. playing cards that hurt them, but might mildly hurt you too) and deciding to switch goals (e.g. if you need a certain card in play, but you’ve never seen it, and so you want to switch tactics to get to the goal faster). Some stray thoughts, I wonder how the goal-switching would change if this game were team-based (and so you would need consensus), or if players could act simultaneously and do 1 turn per round (which could result in conflicting furor on whose rules to prioritize).

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