29 May 2009

Card Game Review : Fluxx

To accompany Hard Work = Money’s Reduce Gaming Costs i am highlighting some of my favorite games.  Today’s game is Fluxx by Looney Labs.  The game of ever changing rules.  The changing nature can make this a hard game to describe.  Watch a round and it is fairly easy to pick up.  My first Fluxx box described the game this way. “FLUXX: A Perfectly Simple Game for 2-6 Players”  The game is simple in a way.  It takes about as long as a hand of Uno to play.

This game was recommended to my by someone that had never even played it.  I went to a game shop and said i was looking for a new game.  The guy working suggested this game because people were buying it in German if English was out of stock and were coming into the store just to ask for this game.  They had had it about 2 months and he knew people loved it.

How to play the game

This is much easier to show.  The rules in the box even tell you to jump right in.  At first the game had 5 card types.

  • Basic Rules – The starting point of every game
  • New Rules – Change how you play the game
  • Goals – Complete these to win the game
  • Keepers – Cards that help you win
  • Actions – Things you do once.

Since i found this game in 1999 there are new card types, rules, decks, etc

  • Ungoals – Complete these and everyone loses
  • Meta rules – Mix between a Basic Rule and New Rule
  • Creepers – Undesirable cards that make it harder to win

Basic Strategy

The box used to tell you how to win. “The goal of the game? Oh, I’m terribly sorry. No one has played one yet.”  The best way to win this game is figure out how to change the goal and complete the new goal.  Some parts to the game have no strategy.  In Monty Python Fluxx The Outrageous Accent can be used to get you extra cards or to annoy others.  Paired with I Just Want To Sing and sing in that outrageous accent.  So how do you strategize?  With luck. Or skill.  The game is a blast to play.

Expansions

Every game has expansions and this one is not any different.  There are different decks, expansion packs, promo cards, wooden boxes, flowers, blank cards and who knows what else will come in the future.  There is even one card that is only valid if signed by the games creator.  I recommend not trying to get everything for this game.  If you get all the decks, expansions, and everything else there will just be too much.  Games will take too long and people will get bored.  To start you need one deck is all.  I recommend 4.0, Zombie or Monty Python. Not all card types are in every version and by version 4.1 the rules will likely have changed again.

Why i love this game

The rules change.  There is a Monty Python version.  Zombies.  Martians coming soon.  One version is called Stoner Fluxx.  Family Fluxx or Eco Fluxx might be more your style.  The game is simple enough that my nieces and nephews like to play.  It has enough variations that it changes frequently.  Inside all the silliness there is some actual strategy to win.  It is by a company called Looney Labs.  If you do buy everything keep the playing deck to 100-200 cards.

27 May 2009

Board Game Review : Last Night on Earth

To accompany Hard Work = Money’s Reduce Gaming Costs i am highlighting some of my favorite games.  The first game is “Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game” by Flying Frog Productions.  This game has been described to my as a board game for board game players.  I tell people the game is Clue with Zombies where you are trying to survive.  It takes about an hour to play a game.  According to Flying Frog

Last Night on Earth, The Zombie Game is a fast-paced game of brain-eating Zombies, small town Heroes, and horror movie action. Players take on the role of either the Heroes, working together to make it through the night; or the Zombies, unending waves of undead spreading over the town like a plague. Featuring a modular board, eight Heroes to choose from, and several different Scenarios to play that drastically change the game, Last Night on Earth is designed to create a cinematic feel as the story and game unfolds.”

How the game works

This game is designed with a “modular board” that has 1440 different board layouts.  First you randomly create or select the board layout and the mission for this game.  Then you determine who is going to be a zombie and who are heroes.  You can play with 2-6 players and i recommend 3+.  Each round has the zombies move and attack then the heroes move and attack.  You have different strategies depending if you are on the Zombie or Hero team.

Basic Strategy

If you are playing as a hero the strategy is complete the mission.  Missions include survive, save townsfolk, kill x zombies, get out of town.  Complete the mission and the Hero team wins.  The mission determines if you want to run and hide, fight, or search the town.  As a Zombie you are trying to stop the heroes.  Winning usually includes kill x heroes or stop the heroes from completing their mission.  On either team the cards you get to play can change the game in your favor.

Expansion Packs

Most games will try to make extra money by creating different versions (Risk, Monopoly, Scene It) or by creating expansion packs.  This game has expansions.  There are 3 expansions so far.  Two are additional missions with additional cards.  There is the Growing Hunger expansion with additional cards, board game pieces and characters.  There is a second expansion pack coming out soon as well.

Why i love this game

It has zombies.  This might be enough for some.  I like how every game plays different.  You can be a Zombie or a Hero.  It actually comes with 16 dice so there will be enough to play the game.  The game comes with an original soundtrack on CD.  There are fan scenarios and character that can expand your game.  The game was well planned and designed making it fun to play.

20 May 2009

19 May 2009

Conference Finals

The Conference Final are finally here.  A long way coming.  The Cavs vs the Magic and the Lakers vs the Nuggets.  The Magic are finally coming together.  They had a hard fought series vs the Celtics.  They are better for the battle.  The Cavs have not had any competition in getting here.  They won’t have much competition with the Magic.  They Cavs in 5.  The Magic will not pull a win in Cleveland.  The Cavs will win one in Olrando and finish them off at home.

The Lakers have not shown up to some games vs Houston.  Denver with their big wins will come looking for blood.  The Lakers and Phil Jackson know the importance of the Conference Finals.  Phil has a Conference Finals record of 11-1.  The Lakers will move on after a hard fought semifinal round.  After their last round the Lakers will look to make a statement early.  Lakers in 5 but a much harder 5 games then the Cavs.

03 May 2009

Conference Semifinals

Round one is done and round two mach-ups are set.  We have the Los Angeles Lakers vs the Houston Rockets; Dallas Mavericks vs Denver Nuggets; Atlanta Hawks vs Cleveland Cavaliers; and the Orlando Magic vs Boston Celtics.  My predictions are Lakers over Rockets in 5 games; Nuggets over Mavericks in 5 games; Cavaliers over Hawks in 5 games; and Magic over Boston in 6 games.

Boston will be tired after their long battle with the Bulls.  This will give the Magic a win in Boston.  The Cavaliers are too much for Atlanta.  They are rested and were already better than their competition.  Denver is energized off their destruction of New Orleans.  They will come out hot and fast.

This only leaves the Lakers vs Rockets.  The Lakers have 3 match-ups to worry about.  Yao Ming will face Bynum, Odom, and Gasol.  Yao will be too much for Bynum.  The Lakers will switch that matchup to Gasol or Odom.  With 3 defenders to face, You will tire.  Bryant will face Battier or Artest.  In either match-up Bryant is the superior player.  Battier can’t compete with Bryant so Artest will face him.   This will leave Battier to face Fisher / Brown.  Battier will outplay Fisher.  He is skilled and experienced but Battier has the energy and speed to out play him.  As Shannon Brown comes in he will give a new look against Battier.  This will give Brown the advantage until Battier adjusts.  Advantage goes to Battier.  Over all the Lakers are still too much for Houston.