Publisher: Looney Labs
Cost: $19.99 ($14.41 at Amazon.com)
Release Date: 08/07/2015
Get it Here: Amazon.com
I’ve never played a Fluxx game before, but I know they are fairly similar and that there are a LOT of options out there. There are five different versions of the core game and spin-offs like Monty Python and the Holy Grail Fluxx, Monster Fluxx, Cthulhu Fluxx a whole host of Cartoon Network themed Fluxx games and many more. When I was asked to review Batman Fluxx by Amazon, I was more than happy to. I’m a big painter/player of the Batman Miniatures Game by Knight Models, I’m always looking for new games to play that my wife might enjoy and I loved that Batman Fluxx used the artwork from The New Batman Adventures – the last iteration of Batman: The Animated Series. I had no idea what to expect with Batman Fluxx, but after having playing quite a few games of it, I can honestly say it’s a lot of fun and has enormous replay value.
Each game of Fluxx starts off the same, but no two games will ever play exactly the same, as the rules change based on what cards you play. Each player is dealt three cards, and then the Basic Rules card is put in play. At the beginning of the game, when it is your turn, you draw a card and play a card. It’s that simple. As you play cards, new rules will be unveiled, as well as a goal you need to accomplish to play the game. With each card played, rules can be added, removed or replaced. The same is true for goals. This means Batman Fluxx is an ever-changing game where you constantly have to adapt in order to win. The cards in your hands that might win you the game might be worthless after someone changes the goal.
There are six types of cards that you’ll draw and play. Keeper cards are generally superheroes (or items related to them) which you play face up by you. Many goals require one or more Keeper cards to win with, so these are valuable. Conversely, there are Creeper cards, which are super villains. These must be played IMMEDIATELY and go next to your Keepers. Once a Creeper is in play, no one can win unless the goal requires a Creeper. So for example, you might have the cards necessary to win the active goal “Utility Belt” (Batarang + Batman Cuffs), but if there is a Creeper in play, that goal can’t be achieved until all Creepers are gone. It is very hard to remove a Creeper from the game as there are VERY few cards that let you do so. As such, Creeper cards are actually the most valuable in the game, as Creeper goals are far easier to achieve than any others. There’s a bit of imbalance here because of this, but it is what it is.
Surprises are cards that can be played on any turn. They can prevent/cancel a recently played card, steal a card from someone else and more. Actions are one time cards that can let you do anything from draw extra cards to completely reset the rules back to the original basic “Draw One, Play One” concept. Goals tell you what cards are needed to win the game. The goal will require between two and four cards and will involve Keepers, Creepers, or a mix of both. For example, “The Joker Got Away” means a player must control the Joker (Creeper) and The Batmobile (Keeper) to win. Sidekicks requires two Keepers (Robin and Batgirl) and Mad Love requires two Creepers (Joker and Harley Quinn). There are twenty-eight different goals, and for the most part, only one can be active at a time, so you really have to focus on getting the goal cards. The worst is if your hand is nothing but goal cards and you have to play one, even if it means that goal you are going to play will let someone else win!
Finally, you have New Rules. There are twenty-four of these. These cards will either add to the rules you currently have in play or take the place of a current rule, depending on the card. Remember that the only rule in play when you start is, “Draw One, Play One.” Well, if someone plays the New Rule card “Play Four,” suddenly the rules change to “Draw One, Play Four.” Yes, that means you have to play four cards each turn. If you don’t have four, you have to play all of your cards. Things like that can happen. Compare that to if someone plays the “Draw Five” New Rule instead. Then you have “Draw Five, Play One,” which means you have a massive hand size going on. Of course, both example cards can be in play at the same time, meaning you could have “Draw Five, Play Four” going on. There are more than just cards that modify play and draw sizes. You can get a hand limit size, a card that allows two goals to be active at once, a rule that negates Creepers from preventing Keeper goals from being achieved, and so on. You have to pay close attention to what rules are currently active in order to win the game.
There are promo cards for Batman Fluxx that don’t come with the game. “Clayface” and “Two-Face Flip” will cost you a decent amount on Ebay or from third party resellers, and there isn’t a Nightwing card for the game – YET (Probably another promo), so it does stink that some cards are only available as an additional expensive purchase. The two current promo cards cost as much as the full game, which is crazy. Thankfully, neither of the cards is a gamechanger, so don’t feel you need to hunt these down. My advice is to pick up Game Trade Magazine #186, which has the Two-Face card. You’ll get the card for less than it sells on Ebay AND you get a magazine to boot. Just a heads up.
Overall, Batman Fluxx is a fun game. Each game we played lasted between five to fifteen minutes, and we never got bored with it. My wife commented that she liked how the rules always changed and everyone enjoyed the Batman license attached to the product. The game is fairly priced and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of playing it. Batman Fluxx will definitely be a game our household picks up and plays when we feel like playing something, but don’t want a game that takes forever to set up or get through. It’s not perfect, and it will never be considered the best game in the house, but it’s still a highly enjoyable experience for everyone who gives Batman Fluxx a try.