John’s Game of the Year #8: Fluxx (Marvel Edition)

Game #8 of the year in our project is another card game we’ve had for about a year which John and I have had some fun playing in the past, Fluxx. Apparently there are dozens of different versions of Fluxx. We happen to only know about the Marvel version with the special collector’s coin which we bought at Target on a whim in 2020.

The Game: Fluxx (Marvel Edition)

We had no idea what this was when we bought it, but dammit it had superheroes on the box and that was all that mattered.

Players: 2… me and John

Date: 7:30-8:10, Thursday, February 4, 2021

Fluxx is a card game whose rules constantly change during the game, but the basic concept is you try to meet a goal by matching two character cards to the characters shown in the current goal card. The cards all cause the rules to change, so the number of cards you draw, the number you play, and the actions you take on each turn could be totally different.

Each player starts out with 3 random cards from the pile, and on each turn must at least draw one and play one. But some of the cards either have you perform some new action, totally change the goal of the game, or introduce new rules. So it can get complicated very fast. But if the current goal was to have a Hulk and Captain America card, and you did have them, then you’d win.

The box says it’s for ages 8+, but John has been playing it without adult help since he was 5. I guess as long as you can read, you can play.

How Fluxx Went

We hadn’t played this since last summer, so it took a minute to refresh ourselves on the rules, but we were quickly back up and playing. The first round of the game was the best. It went on for twenty minutes and was very competitive without me playing down to him, although I did skip playing one action card that would have required me to steal one of his good keeper character cards.

John and I mid-game during a wild round of Fluxx.

John accidentally wound up winning the first round, not even realizing he had the cards needed to win until I pointed it out to him.

The second round was, unfortunately for the boy, much shorter and noncompetitive. I won a very unusually quick game after only about 4 or 5 turns. This caused a bit of a tantrum on John’s part, even though we were still tied at a game apiece. He threw a few cards on the ground and shouted claims of conspiracy and cheating.

But after calming down, John came back to win the final game after we got into a crazy rule change causing us to draw 5 cards and play our entire hand every turn. John would head off to bed very tired and victorious.

The Stats

Ease: 4/10. In theory the game is easy, you just do what the cards tell you. But once you get a bunch of rule cards out on the table and have to play 5 cards per turn, it can get complicated for a kid very quick. A parent must always be reminding what the options are.

Entertainment: 7/10. It is a pretty fun game and unique concept.

Meltdown Likelihood: 8/10. John got flustered during his loss, but also had a couple of tough moments during his wins when individual plays went in my favor.

Time: 6/10. 12-20 minutes felt like about the right length for a round with two players. It says you can play with up to 6, so I have no idea how long that might take.

Likelihood of Child Actually Beating Parent: 3/10. The kid needs frequent adult instruction, so a legitimate kid win with no adult intervention at all is a little more unlikely, but not impossible.

Dad’s Review

Rating: 8/10

It is one of my favorite card games we own, partially because there is no repetitiveness.

John’s Review

Rating: 8/10

In the end, the cards have familiar superheroes on them, and John won 2 out of 3 rounds, so it is a winner in his book.

Record

John moves to 6-1-1, previously “beating” me in Bold, Blink, Pic Flip, Dos, and Uno while losing Old Maid, and tying in Picture Charades.

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