FLUXX is one of those games that either gets no love because it is so random, or it gets a lot of love because it’s a great, ever-changing card game where you get to change the outcome of the game with a play of a card. Me, I’m in the camp that likes FLUXX just fine. It has “Nomic” properties– where playing the game includes changing the rules of the game. If you’re unfamiliar with how Fluxx is played (somehow) it is a card game that starts out simple and changes constantly as players play Keepers (objects that cause a winning condition), Actions (that change game play that turn), Goals (that change how to win) and Rules (that change how the game is played). At some point, the winning combination of Keepers, Rules and Goals transpires and somebody wins the game. On a parenthetical note, I recently saw FLUXX for sale (as a card game) at Target, and that development will probably have more impact on this game than the app ever will. Congratulations, Looney Labs, you’ve made the big time.
Playdek, rapidly becoming a market leader in board and card game conversions (especially card games), was tapped to bring Fluxx to the tablet screen by Looney Labs. The resulting effort hit the app store two days ago, and I have played it several times since then– online, solo versus AI opponents and pass-around.
Interface: this is very good. It might actually play better as an app than a physical card game.. cards slide all over the place, but rules, goals, draw deck and discard deck are always in the same place, and you always know exactly what rule(s) and goal are in effect at that moment. Fluxx isn’t exactly a game to give anyone wrinkles but sometimes there’s a little confusion over timing and trying to remember which card got played when and if a rule is still in effect. There’s NONE of that with this app.
Online Play: Playdek appears to be maintaining the server for this game somewhere, and they adjudicate online play. I’ve signed up for several games, and my only complaint was that the connection stalled out many times and sometimes I’m listed as “forfeiting” when I didn’t intend anything of the sort. It’s getting better, however, I have had no dropouts in recent games.
Games play quickly and reach a definitive conclusion with just enough victory animation to not be obnoxious. My overall reaction to the FLUXX app was positive. I can’t think of a better port of an existing game since Carcassone. This app is a great bargain at 2.99, if you like the original game. It probably will get a little repetitive for you if you don’t enjoy FLUXX– just keep in mind that if you think this is just a random-fest, you’re only half right. There’s definitely strategy to FLUXX, and it lies in the information that is public (cards played) and the information that is private (cards that are in your hand). The FLUXX app supports the a winning strategy very well and is worth a try.