Jumanji Fluxx Review

Jumanji Fluxx is a game by Andrew Looney, published by Looney Labs. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players will be playing cards from their hand in an attempt to fulfill the ever changing goal of the game which is to ultimately win Jumanji. Of course the rules will also be changing so they’ll need to be aware of this. To make matters worse, there are constant dangers that will try to eliminate the players from the game. Good thing that like any good video game, they have extra lives. That is until the Meta rule makes it impossible to return. In the end, the player that is able to best negotiate the ever changing rules and complete the current goal to escape Jumanji, will be declared the winner.

To begin, the Basic Rules card is placed in the middle of the play area. The rest of the cards are shuffled together to form the draw deck. Each player is then dealt 3 cards. Afterwards, the deck is placed face down beside the Basic Rules card. The “No More Lives” Meta Rule card is placed at the bottom of the deck and the “Jumanji” Meta Rule card is placed beside the Basic Rules card. The first player is then chosen and play now begins.

The game is played over a series of turns. Each player will take a turn consisting of 2 steps. At the beginning of the game, those 2 steps will be to draw a card and to play a card. As the game progresses, New Rule cards will be played which will change the way the game is played. This might mean drawing 2, 3 or even more cards per turn. It also might mean playing more than 1 card per turn. These New Rule cards will take effect as soon as they are played. Sometimes these cards will make it where the player has to discard cards at the end of their turn to comply with a hand restriction rule. Besides the New Rule cards, there are also 3 other types of cards that a player can play on their turn. There are Keeper cards, which are played face up in front of the player and remain there until another card removes them. These cards are used to win the game by fulfilling the Goal card. Goal cards are placed face up into the middle of the play area and set the win condition of the game. If there is already a Goal card in this area, it is discarded and replaced with the new Goal card. Each Goal card provides players with exactly which Keepers that they need to have in front of themself in order to win the game. Next there are Action cards. These are cards are one time use cards that when played must be followed and then discarded.

This game also contains 2 other types of cards that can be played. There are the Meta Rule cards and the Danger cards. The game comes with 2 Meta Rule cards; Jumanji and No More Extra Lives. The first adds the rule that the player that achieves the Goal or is the last player remaining, must raise their arms and call out “JUMANJI” to win. The latter makes it where elimination becomes permanent, so that new players may not join the game and eliminated players may not rejoin. Of course during setup, it’s placed at the bottom of the draw pile and is only played when the draw deck is depleted and requires shuffling. The Danger cards can cause one or more players to be eliminated from the game. This usually entails having a certain Keeper or type of Keeper in front of yourself. When eliminated, the player must discard their entire hand and all of their Keepers. As long as 2 or more players remain, the eliminated player may jump back into the game, once all the other players have completed a turn. When jumping in, the player draws 3 new cards and observes the current Draw rule. Players are allowed to reenter the game as often as they wish, until the No More Extra Lives Meta Rule goes into effect.

Once a player completes their turn by drawing the appropriate number of cards, playing the appropriate number of cards and then discarding back down to the appropriate hand limit, as dictated by New Rule cards, then the player’s turn is over. Play then passes to the next player in turn order.

The game continues with players following the steps of their turn until someone is able to fulfill the conditions of the current Goal card, or all but one player has been eliminated from the game. The first player able to do either of these is the winner, regardless of whose turn it is.

COMPONENTS
This game contains 100 different cards and a collectible coin. Some copies will include a bonus pack of 7 cards, depending on where your copy was purchased from. The cards for this game are excellent. The finish on each one is very good. This makes it easy to shuffle the deck. The Keepers, Goals and Danger cards have some very nice looking artwork that fits the theme quite well. The characters and items on the Keepers come from both the older movie with Robin Williams and the newer one with the Rock. I really thought that was a nice touch as it added flavor for fans of both. On the New Rule cards, there are some large icons along with some rules text that tells you how these work. These are also very nice and are quite easy to understand. The Action cards have no artwork on them and are just a bunch of text for players to follow. I think a little bit of artwork on these would have made them look a little nicer, but with them being played and immediately discarded, it’s not too big of a deal. The collectible coin that comes with the game like a clay poker chip and less like a coin. I really like the quality of this piece. It’s very sturdy and thick. On one side is a foil picture of Van Pelt from the first movie. On the back are several animal and hunter designs from the game in the movie. In the middle of these designs is a box of text that reads, “It’s My Turn!” It fits well with the theme and is a great looking design. The box comes with a great looking insert that holds all the cards and the coin quite securely. Overall I like the quality of the game and think that the components are well designed and the artwork is great. My younger self is very happy with the care and love that this game gives to the theme. It look and feels great!
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game consists of a large double sided sheet of paper that is folded several times so that it will fit comfortably inside the box. When unfolded, the sheet is quite big. The sheet contains a couple of pictures and also includes a sample of an in progress game. There’s also a very nice picture of the wooden Jumanji game box on the back of the sheet. The rules include a few examples to help you as you understand the game. The sheet explains what each different type of card does, including the Meta Rules and Danger cards. It also has a few notes on things that may occur while playing the game, such as when to reshuffle the draw pile and how to jump in to a game already in progress. There are also some notes on the different types of special icons in the game. The rules are really quite simple to understand and very quick to read through. Overall I think the rules explain everything quite well and in a concise and easy to learn way. I couldn’t ask for much more than that.
9 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
Fluxx has always been a great light weight card game that’s fast and fun. This version is no exception. I remember the first time that I saw the original Jumanji movie, I thought it was a great concept for a movie. Just recently I was able to watch the new version of Jumanji with my kids. I thought it was still a great concept, but some of the luster had been worn off due to some crude humor in the film. Thankfully all the things that I liked about the movie have made their way into this game without adding any of the innuendos that I wasn’t too keen on. So apart from the standard rules from basically any version of Fluxx, this one adds in a few rules that make it stand out. One of those rules is the addition of the Danger cards. I like how that this changes the idea of putting out every Keeper you can find out in front of you, because if you have the wrong one when a Danger card is played, you’re eliminated from the game. Of course, having the ability to jump back in after a round is pretty cool too. However I like that you can save those Danger cards till the right moment to knock out everyone, leaving you the sole survivor for the win. This is one extra card type that I thoroughly enjoy having as it adds a bit more depth to the game play, in my opinion. There’s also the Meta Rules that add a bit more theme to the game. The one where you have to yell out “Jumanji” is actually quite thematic. Then there’s the other card that makes it where players are no longer able to jump back into the game, much like in the most recent movie. Once your lives are gone, you’re done. I have to say that I really like the mixture of the old and the new on this one as it really appeals to fans of both movies. Honestly I think this is a superb version in the Fluxx family. As a matter of fact, it’s become my most favorite way to play, even without the Creepers that I love so much. Overall this is a great game and one that fans of Fluxx or Jumanji will love. Players looking for a quick and fun card game won’t find much better than this one. This is one game that I highly recommend.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Jumanji Fluxx is a light weight card game of ever changing rules in the world of Jumanji. It’s a fast and easy game that can be played quite quickly. Most game sessions last around 15 minutes or so. The cards are excellent and have some really fun artwork on them. I really like that this game mixes both the old and new movies together. The rulebook is well designed and is really quick and easy to read through. The game itself is a lot of fun, especially for fans of the movies. This is a great family friendly game that even the younger players can join in on quite easily. It’s simple enough and fast enough that it will keep their attention. Fans of either of the Jumanji movies or players looking for a quick and light weight card game should enjoy this one. Players already familiar with Fluxx or one of it’s many incarnations, should find this one different enough to add to their collection. This is one that I highly recommend. Just watch out for those charging rhinos, Dr. Bravestone.
9 out of 10

 

For more information about Fluxx and other great games, please check out Looney Labs at their site.

http://looneylabs.com

 

About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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