Looney Labs has been pleasing gaming fans for years with their Fluxx family of games. The newest addition, Pirate Fluxx, is no exception. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Fluxx, it’s fun, easy to play and starts with one basic rule: draw one, play one. From there, everything changes, as the name suggests, because every card has a different set of instructions on it.
Each version of Fluxx includes the same basic set of cards: Rules, Goals, Actions and Keepers. Most versions also include Creeper cards, a card you don’t want in your hand unless it’s required to meet the conditions of the current Goal. When you play a Rule card, you change the rules of the game for everyone. For example, you could place the Draw 4 or Hand Limit 2 rule, or the Play All rule where, instead of only playing 1 card per turn, you have to play your entire hand each turn.
With Pirate Fluxx, we also see the addition of the Surprise card, one that can be played at any time, out of turn, to mix things up in the game. For example, with That Be Mine! you can steal someone’s Keeper, Skullduggery allows you to cancel any Action that would cause a Keeper you want to change ownership and Avast! Halt! cancels an Action another player just played.
You’ll find the usual pirate fixtures such as Monkey, Parrot, Rum, Jolly Roger, Cannon, Cutlass, lots of booty (Pearls, Rubies, Pieces of Eight, Gold Doubloons) and of course seafaring vessels (Dinghy, Galleon, Schooner, Frigate, Sloop). You’ll also find some nice little twists you weren’t expecting like Oranges and Limes to fight off Scurvy, and The Key to help you avoid the Shackles. My favorite card, though, is the Talk Like a Pirate rule. I have a habit of speaking with funny voices throughout the day, so this card finally gives me an excuse to not get funny looks from people for my vocal effects.
I played Pirate Fluxx in my favorite coffee shop with some folks who’ve never heard of Fluxx before. It was a real pleasure to see the initial confusion followed by giggles and eventual all-out laughter. The game is quick to learn (especially since every card has instructions on it) and, depending on the New Rules played, fairly quick to play (5 to 30 minutes per hand). We played 3 or 4 games in about an hour, with everyone (but me) winning at least once.
Pirate Fluxx is a perfect gift for the salty dogs in your life. If it sounds like fun to you but Pirates aren’t really your thing, no worries, because Fluxx is like Baskin-Robbins or Heinz — there are enough flavors available that you’re sure to find something for everyone!
Pirate Fluxx is for 2 to 5 players, ages 8 and up, and includes the following 100 cards in each deck:
22 New Rules
Also, try these other Fluxx varieties: