Anyone familiar with Looney Labs is probably familiar with the company for its most popular game Fluxx. For those not familiar with the game, Fluxx is basically the game of ever changing rules as each card that is played can drastically change the game. Created back in 1997 Fluxx has had many different versions created over the years that have utilized a lot of different themes. Back in 2018 Looney Labs acquired the license for Star Trek and released a version for the original series as well as Next Generation. Last year Looney Labs continued by releasing Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Fluxx. Now this year the company has released a Fluxx for the fourth main series in the franchise Star Trek: Voyager which is what I am looking at today. Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx doesn’t drastically change the Fluxx formula, but it retains the constantly changing enjoyable gameplay that fans of the franchise should really enjoy.
How to Play Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx
- Place the Basic Rules card in the middle of the table.
- Shuffle the deck and deal three cards to each player. If anyone is dealt a Creeper they will place it in front of themselves and will be dealt another card to replace the card in their hand. The rest of the deck becomes the draw pile.
- The dealer or a player chosen at random will start the game. Play will then proceed clockwise.
Playing the Game
Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx is a game whose rules will regularly be changing. The basic outline of each turn though is as follows:
- Draw a number of cards based on the current rule.
- Play a number of cards based on the current rule. Players can play cards even if they have no effect on the game. A player has to play the number of cards required by the current rule even if the card will win the game for another player.
- Discard cards to comply with any limit rules in place. A player can wait until the end of their turn to comply with a limit. If a limit card is played though, all of the players other than the current player have to discard cards immediately to comply with the limit.
Any special actions that come from New Rules, Keepers or other cards can be performed at any point during one of these steps.
Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx features a number of different cards which have different impacts on the gameplay.
New Rule cards will change the rules that players will follow in the game. To begin the game the players will draw one card and play one card. New Rule cards can change how many cards players will draw or play, impose limits on hand size or keepers, give players additional actions that they can take on their turn, or add other rules that players must follow.
When a New Rule card is played you will check the other New Rule cards that are in play. If the new card contradicts a card already in play, the previous card is discarded.
Any New Rule cards that are played will immediately go into effect which means that the current player will have to comply with them. For example if a card forces a player to draw more cards than they did at the beginning of their turn, they will have to draw the extra required cards after playing the New Rule card.
Keepers are used by players in order to win the game. When you play a Keeper card you will place it face up in front of you. It will stay there until either a card is played to discard/move it or you decide to discard it due to a Keeper Limit. Some Keeper cards will have a special ability that you can activate on your turn.
Some of the Keepers will also feature a special icon.
Goal cards give players the objective of the game. In order to win the game a player needs to fulfill all of the requirements on the current Goal card.
Whenever a new Goal card is played, the previous Goal card is discarded.
When an Action card is played you will follow the instructions on the card. After completing the instructions the Action card will be discarded.
Creepers act similar to Keepers, but are usually bad for a player as they will usually prevent you from winning the game.
Whenever a player draw a Creeper card they must play it out in front of themselves immediately. This includes the cards you are dealt at the beginning of the game. Playing one of these cards does not count as one of the cards that you have to play during your turn. To replace any Creeper cards that you are forced to play, you will draw new cards for your hand.
Some Creeper cards feature the symbol shown below. Any Creeper with this symbol will be attached to one of your Keepers. If you don’t have any Keepers currently, the Creeper will attach to the first Keeper placed in front of you. When a Creeper is attached to a Keeper it will stay with it until it is removed from the game.
Surprise cards can be played at any time even during another player’s turn. Each Surprise card has two different actions on it. Which action you will perform depends on whether you played it during your own turn or another player’s turn.
Surprise cards can also be played to cancel out other Surprise cards.
End of Game
When one of the players meet the conditions of the current Goal card they will immediately win the game even if it isn’t their turn. If two or more players win at the same time, the game will continue until there is only one winner remaining.
My Thoughts on Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx
Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx is basically exactly what I expected it to be. I have played quite a few different Fluxx games in the past and thus are pretty familiar with the franchise. For the most part I wouldn’t say that Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx drastically differs from any other game in the franchise. The game doesn’t add any new types of cards and the basic rules haven’t changed. Really the only differences in the game have to deal with the theme and the individual cards. The cards are obviously built around the Star Trek: Voyager theme and thus have some unique cards that relate to the series. Because of this your opinion of the game is unlikely to differ from other games in the franchise. If you don’t really care for Fluxx I don’t see that changing with Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx. Those who enjoy Fluxx though and are also fans of Star Trek: Voyager will likely really enjoy their time with the game.
Really the only difference between Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx and most other Fluxx games is the cards themselves. I don’t have a card breakdown of all of the other versions of Fluxx, but Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx seems to have more flexibility than a lot of the other games from the series that I have played. The game has a few new cards that can be pretty powerful if used at the right time. Some of these cards can feel a little overpowered at times, but those who like manipulating the card abilities to change things quickly will probably appreciate this fact. In particular I was surprised by the number of Keepers that also have a special ability in the game. I would say that around half of the Keepers in the game have a special ability that you can activate. This means that players have more things that they can manipulate in order to change the rules in their own favor. Players who like to play cards that play off one another will probably like the mixture of cards in Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx.
So this leaves me with the people who have never played a Fluxx game before. The easiest way of describing Fluxx is to say that it is a game where the rules are constantly changing. The basic objective of the game is to play Keepers in front of you that match the current goal. This seems quite easy, but how you get to that point is what makes the game. Almost every card you play in the game will have an impact on the game. Outside of drawing and playing at least one card on your turn, the rest of the rules can change at any time. You could end up drawing or playing more cards, having limits on the number of cards that you can have, or even having other unique actions that you can take on your turn.
Fluxx is a game that people have differing opinions on. Some people love the franchise while others aren’t fans. The biggest complaint that most people have with the game is that it relies on a lot of luck. Despite being a fan of the franchise, I agree that the game relies on quite a bit of luck. What cards you end up drawing will determine whether you can win the game. Even if you have the perfect strategy you won’t be able to overcome crummy card draw luck. The game can feel kind of random at times as the play of one card can totally change all of the players’ standings in the game. You could be on the verge of winning and then another player can swoop in and steal victory from your grasp.
Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx does rely on a lot of luck, but I think it has more strategy than a lot of people give it. You can only use the cards that you are dealt, but how you use those cards can have a bigger impact on the game than you would expect. The key to doing well in the game is figuring out how you can manipulate the various card abilities to benefit your own position in the game. You have to think ahead, but also be willing to adapt on the fly depending on what cards you draw. In many cases you will have to chain together a group of cards in order to get the Keepers and Goal cards you need out in the same turn so the other players can’t mess with your strategy. The players who are best at coming up with chains of cards are the most likely to succeed in the game. I personally find it to be quite satisfying when I am able to chain together several cards in order to suddenly win the game.
I think Fluxx’s other biggest strength is that the game is also quite easy to play. The basic rules of the game are really simple as you just draw and play cards. The most difficult thing about the game is that the rules are constantly changing. For first time players this may take a little time to get used to. The various rules that you can implement in the game though are usually quite straightforward where you don’t have to worry about not understanding what a particular rule does in the game. I think the game could be taught to most first time players within just a couple minutes.
As for length I would say that it really depends. A player could theoretically win the game on their very first turn (highly unlikely) or it could take quite a bit of time as players keep messing with each other’s plans. In most cases these are outliers though. I would say that the typical game is likely to take around 15-20 minutes unless a player has really good luck or the players have bad luck. This makes the game a great filler game for when you either need something to break up more complex games or you only want a quick game that you can finish quickly.
Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx’s components are on par with what you would typically expect from the Fluxx franchise. While I am not as familiar with Star Trek: Voyager as most of the other shows in the series, the game seems to do a good job utilizing the theme. Some of the card abilities are based around events from the show. I also thought the cards’ artwork was also quite good. The style is similar to most other Fluxx games, and I think it looks nice. The card design is also straightforward where it is easy to tell what type of card each is and what ability it has in the game. Like the rest of the Fluxx series the game also comes in a small box where it doesn’t take up a lot of room which allows you to easily transport the game.
Should You Buy Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx?
In many ways Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx is pretty much what I expected it to be. The cards themselves have some new abilities and the game in general seems to have more special abilities than a lot of versions of the game. That is pretty much the only difference with the game though. Thus your opinion of the game is likely to depend on your opinion of Fluxx in general. The game does rely on quite a bit of luck like all Fluxx games. I still enjoyed the game though as there is some strategy to how you decide to use your cards together. The gameplay is quite easy to play and usually plays pretty quickly. It may not revolutionize the Fluxx franchise, but I enjoyed playing Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx as it maintains that chaotic always changing gameplay that I have always enjoyed about the Fluxx franchise.
Since it shares so much in common with most other Fluxx games, if you have never really cared for Fluxx I don’t see that changing with Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx. Those who enjoy Fluxx though and are a fan of Star Trek: Voyager should really enjoy their time with the game. Those not familiar with Fluxx should enjoy the game if they like the theme and think the ever changing gameplay sounds interesting.
We would like to thank Looney Labs for the review copy of Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx used for this review. Other than receiving the review copy we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation. Receiving the review copy had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.
Buy Star Trek: Voyager Fluxx online: Looney Labs