Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Math Fluxx (Looney Labs)

I was introduced (unknowingly) to the world of modern board gaming by my wife's cousin, who is a priest for the Archdiocese of Memphis. He brought over the card game Fluxx, taught it to us, and the rest is history. Since then, I have bought and played many games, including different versions of Fluxx, and let me tell you...there are a bunch of them! Not only has the original game evolved with each new edition (currently on the 5th), but there are also different "flavors," such as holiday, pirate, zombie, Monty Python (hilarious), and my personal favorite Oz. Recently, they have opted for educational themes with their popular card game and introduced Math and Chemistry versions. Today, I will tell you about the Math version and in a few days, I will tell you about the Chemistry one. Math Fluxx is a game for 2 to 6 players, for grades 3 to 7. It takes between 5 and 40 minutes to play and retails for $16.

Setup
1. Place the Basic Rules card in the middle of the table.
2. Remove the Meta Rules cards from the deck, unless all players agree to play with one or both of them. If so, place them next to the Basic Rules card.
3. Shuffle the deck, and deal three cards to each player. Place the remaining deck of cards face-down next to the Basic Rules card.
4. Randomly determine a start player and go!
Game Play - Fluxx, as the name implies, is a game of constant change...change in rules, goals, win conditions, etc. On your turn, you will always do four things in this order:
1. Draw the number of cards required. The Basic Rule has you drawing one, but new Rule cards can have you drawing up to five cards.
2. Play the number of cards required. The Basic Rule has you playing one, but new Rule cards can have you playing your whole hand in the order of your choice. There are four types of cards you can play:
a. New Rule - Played near the Basic Rule card, and either adds a new rule or replaces a current rule.
b. Goal - Played face up in the middle of the table, this sets the win condition for the game. New goal cards replace old Goal cards unless there is a rule stating multiple goals may be in play.
c. Keeper - Played face up in front of you, these cards win you the game by matching the current goal.
d. Action - Played face up, these cards have a one time use effect, and then are discarded. They allow you to break the rules, like drawing three extra cards or trading hands with someone.
3. Discard down to the current hand limit (if any) - If a rule is in place that says you can only have two cards in your hand at the end of your turn, then you must pare down your hand and discard cards of your choice until you reach the hand limit.
4. Discard down to the current Keeper limit (if any) - If a rule is in place that says you can only have two Keeper in front of you at the end of your turn, then you must pare down your Keepers and discard cards of your choice until you reach the Keeper limit.

The game is won immediately when someone completes a Goal, even if it is not their turn.
Review
I love Fluxx, in all variations that it exists in, and Math Fluxx is no different. Fans of the Fluxx line will see a lot that they recognize in this box, including 99% of the New Rules and Action cards. Some of the new New Rule cards incorporate the theme by use of Grafting; Addition; Multiplication; or some Combination of Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division. The Meta Rules can also put some of these New Rules into effect permanently. All the Keepers in the game are numbers from 0 to 10 and this leads to the strongest use of the theme - the Goals. There are 29 Goal cards in the game, which range from basic (Today's Date or Your Own Age) to cleverly funny (101 Spotted Dogs or Numbers Be Hungry a.k.a. 7 8 9). There are even a few goal cards that you may get, but your kids won't, such as The Speed of a Long Playing Record (33), The Speed of Time Travel (88), and The Ultimate Answer (42). So consider this game, not only a math lesson, but a culture lesson as well!

Those not familiar with Fluxx will find this game a blast to play, just because you never know when it's going to end. Some games will only last a few hands, just because of the way the game falls. Other games will be a slug-fest game of hoarding Keepers, denying your opponents Goals they need, and resetting the rules after you used the benefit, so no one else can use them. What's great about Math Fluxx is that it's not only fun to play, but it's going to teach your kids as well. The summer is quickly approaching, and you are going to want to keep your kids' brains active during the summer. This is a perfect game to do that. In addition to this being a fun game for the classroom, this game is also great for the homeschooling crowd. I especially love the background artwork on the cards that replaces a generic white with graph paper. It's a small thing, but makes it pop. With the simple game play and low price point, this game is very friendly for families on a budget. Tune in a couple of days for my review of Chemistry Fluxx.

This game was provided to me for free by Looney Labs in exchange for an honest review.