Hallo Spaceboy – Star Fluxx review

It’s pretty safe to say that most gamers have at least played Fluxx or one of the many spin-off releases. It’s also pretty safe to guess that you’ve got one of two opinions: you either love it or hate it, but everyone can agree that it’s got its place in the annals of gaming history. In recent years, Looney Labs have amped up their output of themed decks – we’ve had Zombies, Pirates, Martians, a Family edition and more…

…and now it’s time for an additional edition! Star Fluxx is the latest variant to be unleased from the Lab is firmly rooted in the science fiction classics with the usual Fluxx-y twists you’d expect.

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The game itself is exactly the same as ever; beginning with a basic rule card in the middle of the table – “Draw One, Play One”.

A few of the Goals in the game, stacked out with puns aplenty.

The aim is play cards from your hand to manipulate the rules, drawing and playing more. Pretty soon a Goal card will be played, meaning that all players are now aiming to have the necessary Keeper cards laid down in front of them to claim victory. For example, if the Goal is “Star Warriors”, a player will need the “Unseen Force” and “Laser Sword” Keepers before them to be declared the winner.

As always with any version of Fluxx it’s never quite that easy. Plenty of cards are included to to scupper your opponents’ plans that could force them to discard Keepers, for example, or even allow you to steal them. There’s also Creepers, the bad version of Keepers, that you’ll need to get rid of before you can win. Star Fluxx also sees the return of Surprise cards, only recently introduced to the game format (in Pirate Fluxx, actually) that act as interrupts. Don’t like something you see? Get a Surprise card down! Control your destiny!

The usual Looney Labs humour comes out in Star Fluxx, drawing inspiration from a wide range of movies and TV shows. Star Trek and Star Wars are both widely represented (as you’d expect) but they’ve attempted to include others too: 2001 gets in there with the Monolith, Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy gets a nod with a familiar looking digital book and… is that Kaylee from Firefly? Well, kind of. Nothing’s officially licenced, but you can tell where the ideas come from. There’s even a certain time travelling physician.

Definitely everyone’s favourite engineer and it’s always good to have a redshirt around. And doesn’t that Monolith look like an iPad?

Fluxx will always be a divisive game but I honestly think that these variant editions are helping win a few more people over who may have fallen out of love with this little filler. The addition of the Interrupt cards has revitalised the game in my eyes – where before you were pretty much helpless, at the whims of whatever the other players did, you now have more control. Sure, there’s the possibility that games could potentially outstay their welcome but the days of rounds taking an hour or more are (hopefully!) gone.

It’s still the light card game that it’s always been and sci-fi fans will appreciate the little touches that have been brought in. Fluxx – in all its iterations – is never going to be a Spiel des Jahres winner, but as I said earlier it has it’s place in gaming. If you’re looking for something quick and dirty to pass some time, you could do a lot worse than checking out the latest from Looney Labs. For nerdy types like me, Star Fluxx might just bring you back to the dark side.

Star Fluxx is available now from all good game stores. Designed by Andrew Looney and published in 2011 by Looney Labs, it’ll set you back around £12/$15. Rounds can take anything from a couple of minutes to an awful lot more – it all depends on the cards you get! Now, whether to go for the Phasers on Fun line…? Hmmmm…