Fluxx

Dec 18 '12

Comments: 0

Fluxx

From Playdeck’s official announcement:

Carlsbad, CA – Playdek, award-winning mobile video game publisher, and the iconic table game publisher, Looney Labs, today announces that Fluxx will be available December 13 in time for the holidays!

Selling for $2.99, Fluxx is a universal game application for iOS devices, 3rd generation and above.

Designed and developed for iOS, Fluxx fuses the chaotic and fun game play of the fantastic Target version of the game with ever changing rules, with offline and online features that fans have come to love in a Playdek game!

Story

Not applicable.

Gameplay

The gameplay for Fluxx is incredibly smooth. Transitions are clean, animations are crisp and it feels very natural. This is where most trading card games that make the transition to electronic mediums often fails. The interface makes good use of the real estate available on the iPad, and the layout is similar to what you would find with most table top TCGs. The players play area immediately in front of them is set aside for their keepers, the middle section is devoted to the rules that all players will have to follow with the deck and the discard pile is to the left of the screen.

Gameplay is quick and easy, with very little learning curve and games can be completed in as little as just a few minutes, or push upwards of an hour depending on the number of players, or the luck with your goals and keepers. Multiplayer for the game has both offline and online modes and is smooth and polished. Offline play will see you passing your iPad or phone around between all of the players and the interface makes it so that it is virtually impossible to cheat. It accurately captures the feel of a social table top game, which is an impressive feat, and while it may not be the exact same as having a set of cards between you and your hand of cards clutched close to your chest, it is incredibly close.

Score: 10/10

Video

There’s not a whole lot in the way of video outside of the minimal card animations and the art or writing for the cards themselves. There are player icons which are entertaining and enjoyable, and they do offer a variety of choice.

Animation of the cards being played, activated or discarded is very crisp and clean. There was no tearing or artifacting, and in no circumstances did I notice any slow downs or freezes. This is of course keeping in mind that it is a card game, and hasn’t really been modified far from the original format of the tabletop game. With the processing power now available to mobile platforms, I think there is room to add more flair to the visuals; maybe some further animations for the keeper cards or when goals are met.

Score: 8/10

Audio

Just as with Video, this is a limited category for the game. There are audio queues and events, but they are unobtrusive background noises more or less. Each keeper has its own effect (as an example, Pizza will give you the sounds of a microwave being used or the Moon will give you sounds of space faring adventures). There is a song that plays lightly in the background of any games you play, but it is so low you probably won’t recognize it unless you’re playing alone with headphones on. Overall, audio isn’t a big thing with this game, though I would have liked to have seen it be a more engaging part of the game.

Score: 7/10

Value

This is a category where the game shines. It comes in at a mere $2.99, which is magnitudes less than other card games which can easily come in at twice as much. There are no extras to buy, no additional cards or modes to unlock and that is fantastic news. The goal is to get you playing and get you playing with your friends or strangers as quickly as possible and make sure you are having fun while doing so. Despite the relative speed of the game when playing by yourself or with one or two people, the game really gives you the same amount of replay value that you would have from any traditional TCG.

The bottom line is that you get a lot for the money you do spend on this game, and in truth it’s not very expensive. They could easily charge twice over what they are for the app and it would still be a great deal. Since obtaining the game, I’ve played it more frequently than I thought I would and have barely noticed the hours slipping by. This is a great bang for your buck

Score: 10/10

Parting Thoughts

Fluxx is the first game to really come close to capturing the feel of a traditional, physical, card game. It’s impressive in implementation and playability and brings back with it an element of social gaming that a lot of card games which transition over to digital media lose. I’ve played easily upwards of 50 games since receiving the game, and barely noticed as the minutes slipped into hours. That, if nothing else, is an astounding accomplishment.

Gameplay is smooth and polished and feels very similar to that of a table top game, and it maximizes the available space quite well. Visuals and audio are polished for what is there, but there is still room to improve on them, and I sincerely hope we’ll start to see the various Fluxx expansions and game types make it to the digital format. I could easily see this becoming a popular multiplayer game on the iPad, and that says a lot. I find it to be well worth the money you spend, and if you like card games I highly recommend picking it up.

The game is available on the Apple App Store.

Final Score

Fluxx

87.5

  • Great value
  • Polished game-play
  • Tabletop feel
  • Social

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