Monty Python Fluxx – What a Silly Game

Fluxx is the very first card game from Andrew Looney, and it is fair to say that it is the main reason that Looney Labs has grown into the company that it is today. Ever since its introduction in 1996, people have been going absolutely bonkers over Fluxx because Fluxx is absolutely bonkers. At almost every convention, you’ll catch large groups of people gathered together, throwing down cards, laughing uproariously and generally having no clue as to what’s going on at any given moment. This is the cult of Fluxx – all hail Discordia. For many years, one of my friends who is deeply ingrained in the cult of Fluxx tried to indoctrinate me. For many years, I was able to resist… until Looney Labs played dirty and combined a rather silly game with the silliest group of all – Monty Python. Of course I bought it.

For the uninitiated, the basic theme of Fluxx is that nothing ever remains the same. Everyone starts the game with three cards and the Basic Rule card in play – essentially, draw 1 card, play 1 card. There is no goal in the beginning; everyone just starts playing and eventually someone will lay down a Goal card that will outline a set of win conditions. In the deck are a cavalcade of stupidly insane cards that can do almost anything, such as change a rule in play, cause opponents to swap hands, grab a card in front of another player – even grant you special abilities if you’re able to quote lines from Monty Python skits or talk in a silly accent. The deck also includes Keeper cards – cards that are played in front of the player that usually count toward a specific Goal – and Creeper cards that are played like Keepers, but that typically prevent a player from winning. Throughout the game, the rules will constantly change, many Goal cards will be swapped out, Keepers and Creepers will come and go, and eventually – sometimes in two minutes and sometimes in 2 hours – someone will meet the conditions of the current Goal and win the game.

On paper the whole thing sounds really fun, and it is – if you enjoy the card game equivalent of Calvinball. If, however, you’re the type of player that thrives on order and structure, the one who always triple counts their victory points every round or neatly stacks their roads and houses when playing Settlers of Catan, this is definitely not the game for you. Since I’m the sort of player that falls neatly between those two extremes, I’m not quite sure how I feel about Fluxx.

The main redeeming quality of Fluxx is that it’s not meant to be taken seriously. Tack on the ultra-silliness of Monty Python and it’s pretty clear the game is nothing short of farce. As such, you can’t help but laugh when you’re one move away from winning and suddenly you find that someone has attacked you with a Vorpal Bunny, you have no more cards in your hand, and the Goal has been swapped out all in one round. On the other hand, it is this unpredictable farce that can sometimes frustrate you to the point that you just wished the game would end. Sometimes games will stretch out for what seems like hours, and many times during a game like that you may be very close to achieving your goal only to have some simpleton that smells of elderberries turn the game upside down. It’s a repetitive denial of pleasure – gameus interruptus, if you will.

Some play Fluxx as a drinking game, and, although I’ve never played it that way, it seems suitable for such libatious endeavors. I will say, however, that I would personally rather pop The Holy Grail into the DVD player and take a shot every time someone bangs two coconuts together, someone mentions swallows, or Eric Idle dresses as a different character. Trust me, you won’t make it past Castle Anthrax (not that many of us would want to).

Gameplay/ReplayComponents & ThemeFun
The game itself is far too frenetic to really set up a strategy, so thinking in advance is practically impossible. Every game is different, so replay is at a premium, but the randomness can sometimes get a bit old. The card stock is nice and sturdy like all Looney Labs games. The illustrations are nice, but after watching Monty Python on the screen for so long it's a bit jarring seeing them hand-drawn.I'm giving this an above-average in fun because when you can get the right group of people together, the game can be a very entertaining and social event.
Overall score: 10 out of 18 - May appeal to fruitbats and orangutans.

Monty Python Fluxx is a card game for 2 to 6 llamas, ages 8 to adult, and currently retails for $20 at your favorite local game store or online at the Looney Labs store.

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