Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Oz Fluxx

A game that I bought for my sister Chloe.
It's part of this crazy, mad series of games whose rules are ever-changing; in a state of flux.

Importantly, the Fluxx series is renowned for tributing popular culture - and in this instance, it does it very well.

Poster and Cover Box Art from Looney Labs. I love the green layout.


Name: Oz Fluxx (2012)

Series: Part of the wacky Fluxx series of games. Other games have different themes such as Pirate Fluxx, Eco Fluxx, Star Fluxx, Martian Fluxx, Monty Python Fluxx, Zombie Fluxx, Original Fluxx, Family Fluxx.

You can mix together different versions to create a crazy large game (but I'm guessing the game would take a long time to finish). I have heard that Oz Fluxx isn't compatible with the other versions as the backs of the Oz Fluxx cards are different to the other versions.

Publisher: Looney Labs

Players: 2 to 6. But, as stated above, possibly more can play if you combine versions, so long as you aren't fussed with the card backs being different.

Age: 8+

Time to play: Box says 10 to 40 minutes. There is a reason for this large variation (see "The Bad"). You could actually finish the game in 1 minute.

Price Range (AUD)$20.95 to $66 depending on where you go and whether you buy locally or get it shipped.

$20.95 to $25 is reasonably priced but it is quite a small box.

Availability: Since it's a relatively recent release, it's quite widely available. Can be found online.

Genres
  • Chaos/Crazy
  • Kids
  • Hand Collection/Management
  • Thematic Tribute to Wizard of Oz

Andre Lim's Rating and Brief Summary:

7.0* out of 10. (Good - See my Rating Scale)

A light and interesting game especially suited to players who are easygoing and don't take things too seriously. HOWEVER please be warned: You won't like this if you desire rigid rules and stability/order in a game. 

One of the best parts of this game is the fact that you have the power to change the rules at any given moment, and because of that, this causes the game to be inherently chaotic. This includes changing the victory conditions!!

My favourite part of this game though is the tribute this game pays to the Wizard of Oz. If you know the story behind Wizard of Oz (and I don't - at least, not fully) you will appreciate this game a whole lot more.

The game's main downside is that it is literally impossible to predict when someone will win the game because the rules of the game (and hence, the goal required to achieve victory) constantly change.

*July and October 2014: Reduced from 7.25. As wacky and as crazy as this game is (which is a good thing), the yearning for a proper and more serious game can sometimes make this game a bit of a drag especially when the winning conditions of the game continually and sporadically change.

The Good:
  • Very quick, fast and easy to explain
  • Chaotic gameplay can be fun
  • Ability to change rules of the game will be appealing to many
  • Strong themes and tribute to Wizard of Oz
  • Entertains a small crowd

The Bad:
  • It is virtually impossible to predict how long this game will take to play because the rules keep changing
  • People who desire rigid rules and stability in a game won't like this
  • More of a filler game than a real meaty game
  • Could run dry quickly after too many plays (the same can be said for many other games but I feel this statement is particularly true for this game) 

What makes this game fun? 

If you enjoy fast-paced chaos and don't mind learning a bit about a classic tale (you should play with a Wizard of Oz expert to facilitate this), you should give this a go.









--- This concludes the basic overview of the game.
If you are interested in reading about the components & rules to the game, please read on ---









"Rules" & Components

This starting card explains everything.



Everyone gets 3 cards. You draw 1 and play 1 Card at the very start.

However, as I've been saying, the rules can change at any given moment. So over a few turns people can play cards that override the existing rules such as in the below example:

Original rules have been changed with these yellow Rules Cards. Now you Draw 2 cards and Play 4 cards. Rules come into force IMMEDIATELY; so the person who played the Draw 2 card would get to draw another extra card straight away.

If 2 Rules cards are in conflict, the latest rule applies. So if someone were to play a "Draw 3" card then the "Draw 2" card above would be discarded and the "Draw 3" card would replace it [and the person who played it gets to draw an extra card straight away].

There are other rules cards - there's even one that says people wearing green and/or glasses get to Play and Draw 1 extra card.

Here are some of the other cards in the game

Goal cards: These set the WINNING CONDITIONS. At the beginning of the game there are no goal cards.

You play them down and if someone meets those conditions (ie they have the right Keeper cards as explained below) they win instantly. Usually only one goal card can be placed on the table (unless a rule lets you do otherwise), so if you play another goal card it overrides the one on the table immediately.

Keeper cards: These cards help you meet the victory conditions stated on the Goal Cards. Place them in front of you. You can play as many down as you want so long as it conforms with the rules

Action cards: Help you do something special as a one-off thing.

Surprise cards: You can play these out of turn and they are usually very powerful. This one lets you steal a Keeper card from someone else.

Creeper cards: These are the opposite of Keeper cards - they stop you from winning. However, some Goal cards actually allow you to win with certain combinations of Creeper cards. If you draw a Creeper card you must play it down in front of you immediately and draw a replacement card.

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