Critical Play: Fluxx

Fluxx is a game where the rules and objective are constantly changing. I played Fluxx both online and offline with Thomas, Kavita, and Melody. It was definitely a lot easier to play online, since the ever-changing rules of the game can get quite overwhelming to keep track of. The amount of time Fluxx takes to play varies wildly depending on the Rule cards in play; if everyone has to do five actions each turn, the game will take much longer than a game where everyone only does one action each turn. Our first game which we played online took forever, but the game we played in-person took only a few minutes.

Fluxx is a game for 2-6 players. Players are invited to play the game by their friends or other players. Players have uniform roles, and multilaterally compete against each other.

In order to win, the player must align their resources, their Keeper cards, with the objective, the Goal card currently in play. However, the Goal card can change at any moment, so it’s possible that the objective changes to align with the resources that the player already has, allowing that player to win instantly.

The game starts when the first player takes their turn. On the first turn, the first player has to play in accordance with the Basic Rules. When each player ends their turn, the next player takes their turn. What the player can do on their turn is determined by the rules.

The rules of Fluxx are constantly changing depending on what cards are in play, but the Basic Rules are that each player must draw 1 card per turn and play 1 card per turn. Any player can play a New Rule on their turn, and New Rules instantly take effect, superseding Basic Rules. Some examples of New Rules are restrictions for the number of cards the player can have, the number of cards the player plays on each turn, the number of Goal cards in play, etc. Many of the rules restrict actions, like the ones that restrict the maximum number of cards that the player can have in their hand at the end of their turn.

The resources that players have are their cards, which are Keeper cards, Goal cards, New Rule cards, and Action cards. Keeper cards are the resources that players need in order to win the game. The rest of the cards are auxiliary resources that the player can use to give themselves advantages or give their opponents disadvantages. The number of actions that a player has during their turn (not to be confused with Action cards) can be considered a resource as well.

In Fluxx, opponents are the player’s primary source of conflict. Opponents can steal a player’s cards, force a player to discard cards, and more.

The boundaries of the game are the cards themselves. The game starts when the cards are given out to all the players. Anyone who doesn’t have cards isn’t playing the game. When the cards are put away, the game is truly over.

Fluxx has a traditional game system, and the end state is when a winner is produced. The winner is the player who has obtained the Keeper cards shown on the current Goal card. If there are 3-6 players, then Fluxx is a non-zero sum game, since one person wins but more than one person loses. If there are only two players, then Fluxx is a zero sum game.

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