Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Wheaton Effect Part Five: "Star Fluxx"

Back in November of last year, Tabletop impresario Wil Wheaton featured the game Star Fluxx.

Now, I have no idea if Chad came by his copy of Star Fluxx as a direct result of watching this entry but I've also come to know that one cannot underestimate the all-encompassing power of THE TABLETOP.  It cannot be denied.  Even if a given episode is but a small pebble dropped into the vast sea of the internet, eventually those tiny ripples will build into a tsunami of unconscious interest from which there is no escaping.  Such is the power of THE TABLETOP.

Even though the original Fluxx has been around since 1997 it's probably safe to say that the general populace knows little or nothing about it.  Heck, up until the aforementioned episode of Tabletop, the only thing that I knew about the game is that it occupied shelf space in every single toy / comic / hobby shop on the planet.  

For the sake of the equally ignorant, here's a brief rundown on Star Fluxx right from the game's official webzone:  

"Just when you thought that Fluxx had gone as far as it could go - it blasts off for the Stars!  Explore the vastness of space-themed humor with your valiant Captain, Engineer, and, of course, your Expendable Crewman.  Go check out that Small Moon - or is it really a Space Station?  You may be swayed by Unseen Forces, held hostage by Evil Computers, or find your ship infested with Cute Fuzzy Aliens.  Beware the unexpected as Star Fluxx takes you straight into a Wormhole of hilarity.  You'll find yourself wanting to play again and again - watch out... It's A Trap!

"It all begins with one basic rule: Draw one card, Play one card.  You start with a hand of three cards... add the card you drew to your hand, and then choose one card to play, following the directions written on your chosen card.  As cards are drawn and played from the deck, the rules of the game change from how many cards are drawn, played or even how many cards you can hold at the end of your turn."

If you're intent on hacking into the central computer to access the full data stream, the game's official rule boo...er...pamphlet can be found right hur.

Anyhoo, Chad brought this sucker along to our last game night and since we breezed through two games of Tsuro of the Seas pretty quickly we decided to tee it up.


At the mid-way point in the first game, Andrew had amassed a pretty hefty assortment of Keeper cards.   Although several Goals had come and gone, Andrew just couldn't seem to get the right combination to finish them off.  

Chad seemed incapable of sustaining a roster of Keepers.  He was pondering the logic of sandblasting the Evil off of his Energy Being with a Laser Pistol when made my move.

Two new Rules were in effect at this stage in the game, the more annoying of which limited our Hand Size to one card.  Mercifully I managed to get around this by randomly drawing Space Jackpot, which allowed me to pull five extra cards!   The second active Rule, obliging us to play four Cards per turn if possible, turned out to be a real boon.  This allowed me to throw down some Energy Crystals and the "Starship Fuel" Goal card.  Coupled with my already-present Starship Keeper, I was able to fulfill that freshly-flopped Goal and win the game!

Pure skill.        


As the winner of Game One, I became a popular target for thievery in Game Two.  In fact, by the end of this match, I didn't have so much as a single card to show for it.

Even after pilfering my Computer and acquiring his very own Intergalactic Travel Guide, Andrew was still no-where close to winning.

By now, the game's variables were becoming downright schizophrenic.  The first new Rule kept our hand limit to four, another forced us to play every card every turn, the third allowed us to retain two active Goals and the final one constantly kept our fingers busy with incessant three-card draws.

Meanwhile Chad was diligently laying out every single Keeper in the deck, clearly looking for win if any new random Goal was tabled.

Despite this impressive and surreal-looking line-up, Chad was forced to use a pretty devious move to secure the win.  Mindful of the optimal card play order, Chad first dropped "Brain Transference" to switch seats with Andrew.

He then brought out a new Goal: "The Ultimate Answer" which required an Intergalactic Travel Guide and The Computer.  And lo and behold, this just so happened to be the exact same cards that Andrew had in front of him only seconds earlier!

And with that, Chad claimed the win in Game Two!  Oh, and Andrew flipped the table in a fit of gamer rage...


Although we could have saved ourselves a bit of time by rolling a six sided die and declaring the player with the highest roll as the winner, there's still some fun to be had with Star Fluxx.  The thorough and multitudinous sci-fi references, Mort Drucker-style artwork and unpredictable card combinations make it a decent filler game or icebreaker.

Just don't play the game with anyone who harbors a pathological hatred of luck-based games.  Your table and most of your furniture will likely be flipped and no court in the land will convict them for doing so.   

For its unpretentious commitment to random, goofy fun I hereby grant Star Fluxx three pips outta six!    

Wanna beat your opponents using one of Obama's patented Jedi Mind Melds?  If you click on the link below not only can you get a copy of Star Fluxx beamed to your coordinates, you'll also support this here blog!  

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