Cthulhu Fluxx combines the frenetic gameplay of Fluxx with the beloved characters of H.P. Lovecraft. If you’re unfamiliar with Fluxx, it’s a card game that starts simple: each player has three cards, and you draw one card, play one card. From there, you can change the rules of the game, depending on what’s in your hand. Suddenly, a few rounds later, you’re drawing three cards and playing two, or drawing four, playing one, and you’ve got a hand limit of one card.
Sound confusing? It’s not. It’s a simple game where you make the rules as you go. The way to win is by fulfilling whatever the present goal is. For Cthulhu Fluxx, that goal is related to the Lovecraftian universe. And, since it’s such a dark place, there are also some Ungoals, too – meaning there are ways you can lose to darkness. Certain characters can be drawn and placed in front of you with an action. If you draw Keepers, those are good characters – the Socialite, the Poet, and the Reanimator are just a few. The Creepers are the bad guys who prevent you from winning – this includes the Body, Shoggoth, and, of course, Cthulhu. Creepers have Doom counters too, which adds to the chances of everyone losing. Put Creepers in front of you automatically; Keepers you play within your regular actions.
Goals and Ungoals have various criteria, each one tickling the Lovecraft geek’s horror bone. “The Whisperer in the Darkness” goal says that the player with the Professor and the Fungi on the table wins. The Dunwich Horror Ungoal says that if the table’s Doom count is six or more, and Yog-Sothoth is on the table, the game ends with no winner. Well, actually, the winner is Yog-Sothoth!
For me, Fluxx is a really fun game that can be played quickly and without that much competition. There’s not much to dislike about it: it’s super portable, easy to learn, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space to play, so you can really bring it anywhere. My friends and I played it in a diner booth the other day, and even when the food was on the table, we had enough room to keep going. But some people don’t like the frenetic energy of it, and avoid it at all costs. I played it with both kinds of people (as well as some newcomers!) and found that, no matter what, I enjoyed it. And being a Lovecraft nerd only helps with Cthulhu Fluxx.
tl;dr – Cthulhu Fluxx is a super entertaining game for anyone into Fluxx, Cthulhu, or any kind of fast social game. It’s quick, easy, portable, and most of all, fun!