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Pirate Fluxx from Looney Labs

By Rebecca Kaufeld
Published: February 11, 2011
Pirate Fluxx Looney Labs

Product: Arrr, me mateys! All hands on deck for the newest variation of Fluxx from Looney Labs! Gather your Gold Doubloons and ready your Parrot — don’t forget the Rum! Keep an eye out for Mutiny, Shackles and the dreaded Scurvy. Are you Captain enough to rule the waves? Pirate Fluxx contains an instruction sheet and 100 cards, including six different categories and a “Basic rules” card. Also new in this edition are a new card type (Surprises) and two new Creepers.

Gameplay: The Rules, Actions, Keepers and Goals work exactly the same way as they do in the other six editions of Fluxx. Rules cards change draw count, amount of Keepers on the table, and so on. Actions break the rules a little bit and allow some chaos on the seven seas. Keepers help you win the game in style with things every pirate needs, like Rum and a Tropical Island. Goals tell players how to actually win the game, but even these can change every few turns!

Surprise cards are the newest addition to the Looney lineup. These startling scum interrupt someone else’s turn to veto their action. Don’t like that New Rule? Poof! It never happened. Liked the old Goal a lot better than the new one? Get rid of it! My personal favorite, “That Be Mine!” allows the player to take a Keeper that someone else just placed on the table.

Creeper cards (introduced in Zombie Fluxx) have two new members: Scurvy and Shackles. When a player draws a Creeper card, it goes into play immediately, right in front of the person who drew it. Scurvy can be cured with some Oranges or Lime — but the only way to get rid of Shackles is either to trash it or wait until the next turn, when it moves to the next player.

The abundance of Action and New Rule cards can make it a little difficult to keep track of everything that’s going on, but that’s standard fare for Fluxx. Of course, some cards contradict each other, and that’s okay — but what happens when an Action breaks a Rule that says you can only end with one card at the end of your turn? Which one is obeyed, the Action or the Rule? If your customers ask, follow what the Action card says, not the Rule.

Pirate Fluxx will appeal to any Pirate-y game player as well as the Looney crowd. Steve Jackson Games Pirates and Munchkin fans should even get in on the action! If Fluxx isn’t normally a part of your game orders, try it sometime. Looney games in general are extremely easy sellers — Fluxx and Aquarius will go hand-in-hand and can be played by adults and children alike.

The bright colors of these two games in particular are very close in shade and vibrancy, and both sets of rules are simple to learn, making the games light-hearted and quick. The amount of detail in the illustrations of Pirate Fluxx is nice, too. The Pieces of Eight card features tiny skulls and Roman numerals on the coins. You can even see the fruity texture of the Oranges, and the eyepatch of the skull-and-crossbones label on the bottle of rum.

To help build buzz and as an inexpensive add-on sale, Looney offers a promo card, Skullduggery, that retailers can sell for $1 each, that can’t be gotten anywhere else but an independent store. It also supports retailers with free demo copies of new releases to accompany pre-orders.

Remember, like all titles in the Fluxx lineup, Pirate Fluxx can be combined with other versions or played as a standalone. 

All in all, Pirate Fluxx represents another score for the rocket scientists at Looney Labs.

Product: Pirate Fluxx
Publisher: Looney Labs
Stock No.: LOO-045
MSRP: $16
Availability: All major game distributors, Great Planes or direct from Looney Labs

Delightful twist on the Fluxx line
Simple gameplay
Compatible with other Fluxx titles

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