What is Zombie Fluxx?
Everyone loves zombies, right? Right?
Sometimes it feels like maybe, just maybe, there are too many zombie-themed games, TV shows, books, movies. You name it, it’s been done. And done. And done again.
Having said that, when I started looking round at which version of the classic game Fluxx to buy, out of the varieties of the game (Star Fluxx, Monty Python Fluxx, Cartoon Network Fluxx), my eyes were drawn straight to Zombie Fluxx. And I stand by my decision!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. What is Zombie Fluxx? Well, Fluxx is a game created by husband and wife team, Kristin and Andrew Looney (the game is produced by Looney Labs). These guys are smart. Real smart – they met while working at NASA and according to the Looney Labs website, gave up successful aerospace careers to pursue their dream of running a gaming company.
I’m glad they did. Fluxx isn’t like any game I’ve played before. It’s a card game, yes, with cards you keep and action cards you play. But the rules change while you’re playing (you could say the game is in Fluxx!) and it’s this element, plus the changing conditions for actually winning the game, that make it so much fun.
Players start with three cards and a basic rule – draw one, play one.
There are four types of card in the deck. Keepers: these cards are desirable and can play a part in winning the game. To play these cards you place them in front of you and they stay there until a rule or action says otherwise.
Creepers: these are zombies, and are played in front of you immediately, with players drawing a card to replace them. Generally, you don’t want zombies as more often than not the game’s goals don’t allow a player to win if they have any zombies in front of them. So some keeper cards are weapons, like the shotgun. Other keeper cards can be used as weapons, such as lumber or even a car.
Goal cards set the conditions for completing the game. This might be the Zombie Baseball Team goal, which gives a win to the first player to have nine zombies in front of them plus the baseball bat keeper card. Or the Hit The Gas goal which requires both the Gasoline and Car keepers. Or Food for Thought which needs the Brains and Coffee keepers plus no zombies in front of you.
Then there are Rule cards: these immediately change or build on the current rules, and are all in play unless an action card says otherwise. So you start with the draw one, play one card. Then you might add a draw two card, so now the rules are draw two play one. And so on. Some of these rules are simple like this, some aren’t: Groaning Required, where players must groan when playing a zombie creeper card.
Finally there are Action cards which allow players to take particular actions affecting the game. These might include resetting the rules or allowing for two goals in play at once.
I must have played 30 games of Zombie Fluxx in recent weeks and every one has been different. It’s such a simple idea but one that required a NASA scientist to discover. One game lasted around 60 seconds. Another 30 minutes.
Does it work with two players?
I like everything about this game. The artwork is nice, it’s simple to pick up, small and light to carry. And it’s a great price. The Zombie theme is also really well done and although I’ve not played other variations of Fluxx it seems to be a natural fit for the game.
It just works. Nothing seems forced. It doesn’t play like its simply an existing game that’s simply had the artwork changed to add zombies instead of other characters. In fact, I believe creeper cards are a new addition entirely to Fluxx.
There are some great touches. Larry, for instance, is a creeper card that once you have him in play, doesn’t die. He simply moves around between players and once you have him, you can’t win the game until you’re rid of him. But getting rid of him requires changing the goal…
As a two player game this is among the best I’ve played. Heck, its among the best games I’ve played full stop. There’s very little downtime between turns, there’s plenty to laugh at as well as curse at when things don’t go your way.
As with any card game there is a large element of chance involved, but that’s fine by me and doesn’t spoil the game. Braaaaaiiinnns!
Check out the official site here