It felt like a time warp as he and I huddled around the table. The hour was long but time sped past. I knew I had to change my strategy to win: every play had to count.
Typically I’m not an aggressive player. I don’t like big risks. That night, though, I took risks. I didn’t know if he had a special card that might make me regret my actions. I breathed a sigh of relief when he didn’t.
I weighed my options while he took his turn.
Then, the enchanting bell of chaos rolled in my ear. Like The Magician’s Nephew, I had to know. I flipped the card over. Why? Why had I given in? It would make winning that much harder!
If Fluxx wasn’t enough of a challenge, Doctor Who Fluxx brings some new mechanics and plenty of fan service to the game. As a child, Tom Baker reminded me of Mr. Tumnus in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe with his wild hair and eclectic scarf. When the episodes with Sylvester McCoy began airing it seemed to not be broadcast consistently or in order. I stopped watching. I remember when Doctor Who came to theaters. I didn’t watch the movie, but my friend did and she loved it. Switching main characters was a weird concept to me. I didn’t really get it, and … it felt like when the role of Saavik changed in the Star Trek movies.
Later, when SyFy ported in the season with David Tennant, I fell in love again with the show. I went back and watched Ecclestone. I read all the books I could find even going so far as to order some from the UK that weren’t released here. I convinced my sister and my husband to watch it. My husband and I queued up Netflix discs for everything we could get (this was before streaming was a thing).
This game pays homage to all the doctors before Jodi Whitaker. It was published the year she began her role, but what with production constraints it seems they weren’t able to include her. There is, however, an expansion including both her and the War Doctor.
Here’s the breakdown:
Players: 2-6 Players
Play time: 5-30 Minutes
By: Looney Labs
Now I’ll rate it based off its Accessibility, Mechanics, and Engagement.
While the original Fluxx featured “keeper” cards that were easily recognized items or concepts, this game’s cards are themed around the classic British sci-fi series, Doctor Who. If you’re not familiar with Doctor Who then this game won’t be as enjoyable for you to play.
At the same time, however, this game is a little more balanced than the original with proportions of Keepers to Creepers and how they interact with goals. Many of the action cards accomplish similar tasks, so while there are more Creepers (cards that prevent you from winning), there are more opportunities to get rid of those cards. The goals are also less specific than in the original, so with multiple doctors and multiple companions making up the Keepers and the villains making up the Creepers, the opportunities to win increase in this way as well.
There is a lot of text in this game, and it’s an average size, so it might be worthwhile to break out the reading glasses for this game. Also, the coloration and art work on the Keepers are cartoon caricatures, which are not that life shattering, though they are kind of cute. The text is a bland, san serif font that is a mix of colors and sizes. I did stumble over a few of the cards with my mild dyslexia, but that could just have been the late hour and my tired brain.
The mechanics are slightly improved in this game versus the original: it is easier to win. The goal cards establishing the objectives are less precise, and there are more action cards allowing you to remove barriers to winning (Creepers).
There are a few interesting themed cards, and the play style reminded me a lot of Batman Fluxx (to be reviewed in the near future). It was a good standalone game, though.
Strategy and timing are still very important. It’s quite possible to accidentally make someone else win. The order that cards are played in can be extremely important, especially when encountering cards allowing you to play additional turns.
In small groups this can be very engaging, but with a larger group there can be quite a lag between turns.
It is very important though to pay attention to what others are doing. In this game alone (not to mention many others before) there were two instances where I took a chance that my husband didn’t have any special cards. There were also a few instances where we used cards that allowed us to block what the other was doing.
Final thoughts –
I do wish there had been more flavor text to further the theme. My husband said he felt it was very much themed to the newer doctors and didn’t pay as much homage as he would have liked to the first seven. Romana was especially missed.
This is still a fun game for Doctor Who fans. If you’re not a big Doctor Who fan, then I think you’d get much more enjoyment out of a more familiar rendition of the game like maybe Zombie or Eco Fluxx.
Doctor Who Fluxx is available on Amazon, and this is #notsponsored.
Happy Gaming! Play On!