Game Kids: FamilyFluxx and EcoFluxx

21 Feb

A package in the mail… return address: Looney Labs?  Pure fun in the mailbox!

This weekend we were delighted to preview the two newest re-releases from Looney Labs’ award-winning Fluxx games – FamilyFluxx and EcoFluxx.

Our family has loved Fluxx games for years, since the original came out and our dear friends Jody & Nathan introduced us to it.  The basic premise of any Fluxx game is very simple: draw a card, then play a card.  As cards are played, the rules of the game change: how many cards to draw, how many to play, and even what the goal is that will let you win!

The ever-changing rules make the games always feel new and fresh, as well as very, very interactive.  You may think you know what you’ll do on your next turn to win… until your husband plays the “Hand Limit Zero” card and you lose everything you were holding.  The flip side of this chaos is that sometimes, luck just lands in your lap and you happen across the winning combination.  The wild and crazy amount of luck and chance make the Fluxx games great choices for a range of ages.  There’s not much strategy, not much pre-planning, so the kids have as good a chance of winning as the adults do.

This week, Looney Labs will re-release two of their popular Fluxx titles in slightly revamped forms.

FamilyFluxx, which is geared towards slightly younger ages and includes a smaller deck that uses simple household items and fun goals, has not been changed much at all.  Only a new rules sheet and a now-standard flat box are different from the original.

FamilyFluxx is a great way to introduce kids to the idea of a game with changeable rules.  Games of FamilyFluxx usually last about 15-20 minutes.  Some reading is required, though, as all the action cards are different and need to be read to know how to use them. Poor GoGoGirl misses out on most of the fun, although she can play a very simplified version with only Keepers (the green cards you keep in front of you, like The Gift and Cake) and Goals (the pink cards that tell you how to win, like Happy Birthday!).  A few more years and she’ll be reading enough to play the full version!

EcoFluxx is geared towards slightly older kids – and has even been correlated to the National Life Science Content Standards for levels 5-8 and 9-12.  Lots of new cards have been added into the new version of EcoFluxx, including new Creepers – cards that prevent anyone from winning – Flood, Drought, and Forest Fire.

New goals and cards in EcoFluxx include “Eats” goals to demonstrate food web connections.  For example, for “Bear Eats Fish,” whoever has the Bear card on the table can win if anyone in the game has Fish out.  These new cards make the game a more complex experience, but for families with younger kids, Looney Labs has included an “Easy” version in the rules, telling families which cards to pull out of the deck to make a simpler game.

Even better, 5% of sales from EcoFluxx are donated to environmental groups, such as the Nature Conservancy.

We have had so much fun in the past few days trying out these two new releases, and EcoFluxx has really won a place in our hearts.  I love the “Herpetologist” goal – you need at least one reptile and at least one amphibian!

If your family hasn’t tried Fluxx yet, you really should find a version that speaks to you – besides the original Fluxx, FamilyFluxx, and EcoFluxx, there are ZombieFluxx, MartianFluxx, Monty Python Fluxx, and Fluxx en Espanol.

Looney Labs provided me with copies of these games for the purposes of this review, but did not compensate me in any other way.  The opinions above are mine.

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