Astronomy Fluxx Review

Astronomy Fluxx is a game by Andrew Looney, published by Looney Labs. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players will not only be playing cards in an attempt to fulfill the current goal and win the game, they will also be learning. In this educational version of Fluxx, players will encounter the planets, galaxies and asteroids, as well as learning about the Hubble Telescope, the first Space Walk and other moments in NASA history. Of course like any game of Fluxx, the player that can deal with the changing rules and have the correct Keepers in place to fulfill the goal 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 deck. Each player is then dealt 3 cards. The deck is then placed face down next to the Basic Rules card, in the middle of the play area. The first player is 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 goes on, New Rule cards will be played which will change the way the game is played. This could mean drawing more than 1 card per turn or playing more than 1 card per turn. These New Rule cards will take effect as soon as they are played. Sometimes these cards will even enforce a hand limit, meaning that the player may have to discard cards at the end of their turn to comply with this Rule Card. Besides the New Rule cards, there are also 3 other types of cards that player can play on their turn. There are Keeper cards. These are played face up in front of the player and remain there unless another card removes them. These are used to win the game by fulfilling the Goal card. Goal cards, when played, are placed face up into the middle of the play area. If there’s already a Goal card in this area, it is discarded and replaced with the new Goal card. The Goal card will tell players exactly which Keepers that they need to have in front of themself in order to win the game. Finally there are Action cards. These are one time use cards that when played must be followed and then discarded. Once the player has drawn the appropriate number of cards, played the appropriate number of cards and discarded down to the appropriate hand limit, as dictated by New Rule cards, then the player’s turn is over. Play will then pass to the next player in turn order.

One thing special about this educational version of Fluxx is that some of the cards have abilities that allow the player to draw an extra card for performing a certain action, such as naming a constellation. One particular Action card, when played, has each player to look through their hand for a Goal card with a date in the lower left corner of it. The player then covers up the date with their finger and shows the rest of the card to the other players. In turn order, each player will then try to guess the correct date, until someone is correct. The Goal card then goes into play. This continues for as long as players have dated Goal cards.

The game continues with players following the steps of their turn until someone is able to fulfill the conditions of the current Goal card. The first player able to do this is the winner. Players are even able to win if they’re able to meet the current Goal on another player’s turn.

COMPONENTS
The game contains 100 cards. The cards for the game are really great quality and unlike other versions of Fluxx, have a black background. This concerns me a little bit as I’m afraid that with repeated play it might start to show more so than the white background cards of the other versions of Fluxx. That said, the dark background is pretty darn cool looking. The finish is very good which makes the cards easy to shuffle. The artwork on these cards are all photo quality pictures of the various planets and other space related items. Each one looks amazing and is very impressive. I really like how everything looks and it’s very pretty when the cards are laid out on the table. Overall I think the quality of the game is very good and the cards were well thought out. I’ve very pleased with the overall look and feel of this version of the game.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is a large double sided sheet of paper that is folded several times in order to fit nicely inside the box. When unfolded, the sheet is rather large but folding it up, it fits nicely inside the box. There are a couple of pictures on the sheet including a sample of a game in progress. There’s also a very large picture of the other educational Fluxx games on the back of the sheet, including Anatomy Fluxx, Nature Fluxx, Chemistry Fluxx and Math Fluxx. The rules include only a few examples to help you understand the game, but that’s fine as the rules are quite simple anyway. The sheet has a few notes on things that may occur while playing the game, such as what to do if the deck runs out of cards. The rules are very simple to read through and understand. I’m pretty sure that no one will have any problems understanding them. Overall I think the rules do a good job of explaining everything in a very concise and easy to learn way. Once again, I’m pleased.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
It’s no secret that my family and I have enjoyed playing Fluxx for years. It should then come as no surprise that we enjoyed playing this one as well. As Homeschoolers, we’re always looking for new games that we can play with the kids to not only have fun with but that can also help teach them too. This version of Fluxx, as part of the educational series of Fluxx games, looked like something that would fit the bill quite well. I will say that the extra cards that have players naming constellations or trying to guess the year of a major space related event are quite fun and do have a touch of learning to them. That said, I found that there were really too few of them to actually be considered as an educational game. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy playing the game, like always. I just felt that if it is going to be dubbed as an educational style game, then it should have more educational value to it then what this one had. Of course, the game is solid as all versions of Fluxx are. I did appreciate the attempt at making education fun. However the few cards that have educational value to them just don’t appear near enough to make this what I’d hoped for it to be. I will say that I love the photo quality images and the cards looks amazing. This is a game that we will enjoy playing. It just won’t be one that we will incorporate into our science curriculum as I’d hoped to be able to do. In any event, it’s still a fun game with or without the educational tag.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Astronomy Fluxx is a family friendly card game that is a part of the educational series of Fluxx card games. It’s very quick to play. Most game sessions last about 10-15 minutes. The cards are really nice to look at. The photos used on the cards looks great but I have concerns that with repeated play, that the dark backgrounds of the cards will begin to show wear fairly quickly. The rulebook is well designed and easy to follow as usual. The game itself is a fun game that faintly touches on the educational aspects of space and NASA. The few cards that have educational value to them, don’t show up near enough to actually be able to call this an educational game, in my opinion. That doesn’t mean that the game isn’t fun. It is and it’s family friendly which means that all ages can play. While I don’t recommend this as an educational game for all my Homeschool families, it’s still a game that I would recommend, especially if you’re like me and have a love for space. In any event, I think fans of Fluxx will still enjoy this one. Overall it’s a good game.
8 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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