Star Trek Fluxx

Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise, it’s 10-40 minute mission to boldly go where no game of Fluxx has gone before. <insert epic theremin music here>

I would say Fluxx is probably one of the most underrated and underexposed games to ever last over two decades. Whenever someone puts a copy down on the table there is usually a surprising (to me at least) number of people who have never heard of it. Since its creation in 1996, there have been countless themed versions of the game and it just seems that it’s relatively low price point and small size should make this a ubiquitous part of even casual gaming households, not unlike Uno or Settlers of Catan.

Every game of Fluxx starts the same, with two Basic Rules: Draw 1 – Play 1. That’s everything. Inevitably a new player wants to know how you win, but at the start of the game, there isn’t one. As the game progresses new rules are played that change things like the Draw – Play rules, put a new winning condition into play, or just about anything you can think of. Generally to win a player needs to have specific Keeper cards in play, and no Creeper cards in play (unless specified by the Goal). Goal cards could change at any moment, throwing certain victory into the alien jaws of defeat.

I will admit there are a large number of players out there that simply despise the sort of chaos that a game like this incites. Some of those players will simply never enjoy this type game, and that’s completely valid, while others just take a bit longer to wrap their heads around the ever-changing flow; the fact that everything in the game is constantly in… Fluxx.

One of my favourite things about Fluxx is that there is a version for just about everyone. Many of the early themes were quite generic, taking on genres more than specific fandoms. As time went on, more specific editions came out covering things like Cthulhu, Wizard of Oz, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Move forward even more and there are still themes aimed at the general public like Anatomy, but there are also major fandoms like Doctor Who, Firefly, and now even Star Trek.

As with any game of Fluxx there are certain New Rule and Action cards that are fairly generic and present in every version. Changing the number of cards you can draw or play, and dealing with unwanted cards in play are all things that make Fluxx play like Fluxx. There are also some cards that appear in other versions under different names; again these largely necessary for the game to function, while still allowing the theme to permeate the form. But on top of these things are the gems of inspiration that truly make a specific theme on Fluxx glow. A great example of that is the Action card Fizzbin. Fizzbin is a crazy and complex card, just like the game spontaneously created by James T. Kirk in the episode “A Piece of the Action”. It’s a card that is strange enough to fit into Fluxx on its own while being an obscure enough reference to make hardcore Trekkies squeal in delight.

The theme becomes most obvious in the Keeper and Creeper cards. Keeper cards are what a player needs to meet a Goal. For example, the Goal card At the Helm requires a player to have the Keeper cards Enterprise, and either Sulu or Checkov. Creepers are usually bad cards that come into play as soon as they are drawn, and a player can’t win with a Creeper in front of them unless the goal specifically requires it. For example, a player could not win with At the Helm if they also had the Creeper card Mirror Version in front of them, even if they met all the conditions of the Goal. If they also had the Keeper card Spock, they could win with the Goal Spock’s Beard, though, because it requires Spock and Mirror Version.

I also need to bring special attention to the glorious Goal card, He’s Dead, Jim! To win Kirk, McCoy, and the generic “red shirt” Ensign Smith needs to be in the discard pile.

I am without a doubt, a Trekkie. So the theme here is something I loved on sight. Fluxx, while a game I don’t get to play as often as I like, is a game I am unlikely to ever turn down the chance to play. So, to have the two of them together is a wondrous thing.

BONUS REVIEW

Star Trek Fluxx- Bridge Expansion

Fluxx doesn’t often come out with expansion packs. It doesn’t really need them, and mixing card sets isn’t particularly encouraged. However with when you’re dealing with Star Trek a lot of generalization go out the window, along with most of the laws of physics and temporal mechanics.

Bridge Expansion is specifically designed to help merge Star Trek Fluxx and Star Trek: The Next Generation Fluxx together. It introduces a new, unreplaceable, Meta Rule called 5 Card Mission (haha) to discard four Goal cards to draw and play an additional five cards. It’s a neat way to mill through goals cards if you are stuck being unable to use them.

The bulk of the cards are new Goal cards, that require cards from each game in play to win. For example the goal card Generations requires Kirk and Picard, while Tomorrow’s Enterprise requires both Enterprises.

The last thing it adds is the Keeper card The Bridge which allows the player who has it to steal the Enterprise during their turn. This brings up an interesting point, that a single card can be referenced in different ways, and different cards (between sets) can be referred to in the same way. So a card that says Kirk mean Captain Kirk, but a card that says Captain could refer to Kirk or Picard. Similarly, a card that references the Enterprise means the U.S.S. Enterprise card from either game. This makes playing both sets more interesting but can throw a rules lawyer into a tizzy, especially when you are only playing one game or the other.

Not everyone will always want to play with both games, and the cards aren’t specifically marked. So if you want to split your decks apart, the easiest way is to look at the card headers, as each game uses a different font. If you still aren’t sure, the card list for both games and the expansion are available on the Looney Labs webstore page for each of them.

You can find more Looney Labs goodness online at www.looneylabs.com or on their facebook page: facebook.com/LooneyLabs.

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