I have previously stated in this column that branding a version of a game with a license is not a good thing. It’s also slightly insulting. If I already own a copy of snakes and ladders why would I want to buy Twilight snakes and ladders? And what would the appeal of Jamie Oliver’s ludo be? Does he even know what ludo is? This is just a lazy marketing ploy to take an existing game and brand it with whatever is popular (whether it’s fitting or not) in the hopes of making a fast buck. I find myself asking if there are any exceptions though. What if the original version of the game already captures the essence of the license? What if the game makers give a crap about the license and what if it has been done because of a love of something and not to rob us of our cash? I’d say that qualifies so I shall now stop my ranting and tell you about Monty Python Fluxx.
Monty Python Fluxx is a card game with one rule: Draw one card and play one. The rest of the rules and what you need to do to win the game are up to you, or rather up to the cards you have in your hand. There are various cards used in Monty Python Fluxx: Keepers, Goals, Rules, Actions and Creepers. Keepers are the things you need to collect to win the game; Goals tell you which two Keepers you need to win; Rules specify how many cards to draw, play, discard and also add other rules to deal with; Actions allow you to perform one off rules and Creepers are sort of anti-keepers that can prevent you from winning the game whilst you have them. As a result of these cards, a game of Fluxx can last minutes or hours depend on how you play the cards. You may find yourself drawing five cards on your turn, having to play two and then discarding down till you have only one card in your hand. Or you may not. There are even rules that make you play all cards in your hand which can see goals and rules rapidly change each turn. It is exactly this type of manic insanity that makes Monty Python and Fluxx a perfect match.
The Monty Python theme is brought into the game through the goals and rules of Fluxx. All of the Keepers are illustrated and named after characters or elements from various Python films or Flying Circus sketches. The goal cards are also thematically designed. For example, the goal card that declares the player who has a flying cow and the Spanish inquisition the winner is called “Things nobody expects”. Whilst these cards add the Monty Python flavour to the game, it is the rules and action cards that add that little bit of extra madness to your game which will have you grinning ear to ear. The “1,2,5” rule has you treating the number three as the number five whilst the signing rule allows you to draw extra cards each time you sing a Monty Python song. Combine these with the other cards that make you speak with an outrageous accent or quote consecutive lines of dialogue and die hard Python fans will be in heaven.
“But what if you’re not a big Monty Python fan?” I hear you ask. Well, the beauty of Fluxx is that you do not have to play all of the rules or cards (unless you are told to!). There are also other versions of Fluxx available should you fancy purchasing a copy for someone with no sense of humour. Zombie Fluxx plonks you in the middle of the zombie apocalypse and keeps changing what you need to survive; Star Fluxx is sci-fi themed and contains more plot twists than a time travelling doctors shoe laces whilst Pirate Fluxx is well ARRRRRD. There are at least another five versions not mentioned here, each with a slight twist to make the purchase of a new version worth your while. Fluxx has proved that popular that they have just recently released Fluxx the board game which replaces Keepers for tiles on a game board.
Monty Python Fluxx falls into the category of fun fast paced card games that are easy to teach and a lot of fun to play. It is a perfect stop gap game to break out whilst waiting for gamers to arrive for a session of a longer game or even just a short two player blast. And even if you don’t like Monty Python, then pick up another version and prepare to have fun you never expected. NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!! OUR CHIEF WEAPON IS SURPRISE, SURPPRISE AND FEAR. AMONG….
Editor’s note: We apologise for this outbreak. The feature is now ended, Mike has been duly sedated and all future Cards, Dice & Tabletops features shall be written by a llama.