Reviews

Review – Anatomy Fluxx (Looney Labs)

Anatomy Fluxx - Looney Labs Official Website

Review – Anatomy Fluxx (Looney Labs)

Anatomy Fluxx is Looney Labs’ latest addition to their education line.  This time taking players deep into the human body.

The Story

Anatomy Fluxx takes players deep into the human body, and from “Blood Vessels”, “Bones”, “Testes”, and “Uterus”, the game is packed with body bits that keep you ticking. Be on the lookout for “Virus”, “Mutation”, and “Bacteria” Creepers; and UnGoals like “Cancer”. The game also includes two learning rules to get your brain in gear with anatomical trivia. Anatomy Fluxx is for external use only!

Gameplay

Anatomy Fluxx
Anatomy Fluxx

It all begins with one basic rule: Draw one card, play one card. You start with a hand of three cards, add the card you drew to your hand, and then choose one card to play, following the directions on your chosen card. As cards are drawn and played from the deck, the rules of the game change from how many cards are drawn, played, or even how many cards you can hold at the end of your turn.

The best way to learn to play Fluxx is to jump right in and play. And if you’ve played one version of Fluxx, you have the basic idea. There just might be a newly added spin on the version that you are playing. These spins are usually tailored to the theme of that version of Fluxx, which is pretty cool. The rule sheet also does a great job with the “Frequently Asked Questions” and pointing out exactly what is different with that particular version.

What’s New in Anatomy Fluxx?

There are two card types in Anatomy Fluxx that I have not encountered yet. (Note: I have played most, but not all, versions of Fluxx available). The “UNGOAL” cards are similar to Goals, but if the Ungoal’s conditions are met, the game ends immediately and all players lose. The “META RULE” is a card that changes the gameplay like a New Rule, except Meta Rules go into effect at the start of the game and remain in effect until the game ends.

Anatomy Fluxx Contents

The Meta Rule for Anatomy Fluxx introduces the “Learning Mode” to the game. This requires that one of the educational New Rules (Knowledge Bonus or Name That Organ!) must always be in play. At the start of the game, the Name That Organ! New Rule card is put into play on the table before shuffling and dealing the starting hands. During the game, the current educational New Rule can only be discarded by playing the other one.

The Knowledge Bonus card requires that before a Keeper is played, it must be announced by name. If the next player correctly tells the fact at the bottom of that Keeper card, that player draws a card immediately. The Name That Organ! card plays in reverse. Before a Keeper is played, the fact at the bottom of that Keeper card is read aloud. If the next player correctly names that organ, that player draws a card immediately. There is also a New Rule card called Alternative Factlets where players can state a different fact about an organ different than the one printed on the card to earn a free card draw. So knowing anatomy facts is helpful!

Authentic Anatomy

Anatomy Fluxx cards
Anatomy Fluxx cards

The Creeper cards (in the form of Virus, Mutation, and Bacteria) attach themselves to Keeper cards in play, and a player cannot win if they have a Creeper in play. There are New Rules and Action cards that come into play that affect these Creepers. The It’s Spreading! New Rule can cause a Creeper to attach to TWO Keepers. But the It’s Cured! Action card discards all Creepers as well as the It’s Spreading! New Rule if it is in play. The It’s Contagious! Action card causes the Bacteria and Virus in play to detach from their current Keeper and move to another player close enough to be touched. The receiving player then attaches that Creeper to a Keeper of their choice in front of them.

The Appendectomy Action card makes the player a surgeon, who “removes” the Appendix Keeper card (from in front of any player or from their hand too!) and they draw a bonus card. If the Appendix had a Creeper attached, they get to draw an additional card. The Antibiotics action card detaches the Bacteria Creeper card from any Keeper(s) in play.

These are just a few examples of the anatomy and physiology related cards in Anatomy Fluxx. Medical experts were consulted during game design to validate the accuracy of the data on the cards.

The Good

Fluxx is one of my favorite series of games, and it is always fun to see what new twist the Looneys put on the latest version that they release. This time, the educational theme of anatomy is the star of this game. I like how there are certain New Rule cards and Action cards that are tailored for play with the Anatomy Fluxx theme.

The card quality is comparable to previous Fluxx versions. Decent cardstock that will hold up to multiple plays. The artwork is educational and looks similar to something you would find in a common anatomy textbook. It keeps it a little more serious than if they were to use more cartoony drawings.

The Bad

There’s not much bad that I can say about this game. Fluxx is fun! I’ve reviewed other Looney Labs creations (including Doctor Who Fluxx and Get the MacGuffin), and I have always had a good time when playing these “chaotic” games.

Anatomy Fluxx Meta Rule
Anatomy Fluxx Meta Rule

If I had to choose something, I would say that the recommended age range is off. It states ages 12-Adult, which I think is due to the educational New Rule cards. If the Meta Rule is not included in gameplay, I think that younger players, especially those familiar with Fluxx gameplay, could play this game. They just might get a little bored with the body parts and want to play Adventure Time Fluxx or Batman Fluxx instead.

Final Thoughts

Where was this game when I was learning anatomy in school? This is great! Looney Labs does it again with another great game that adds an educational twist while still being a lot of fun.

Gamers with different experience levels will enjoy this game. While another IP may be more enticing for regular gameplay, this is a fun option to have when looking for an educational gift for students of many ages. And don’t forget about the other educational games in the Looney Labs Educational Games Catalog! They have award-winning games for a variety of subjects – including Chemistry, Math, History, and Language Arts – for the full range of ages, from early elementary through college/university level.

Game Statistics

  • Release Date: April 5, 2018
  • MSRP: $16.00
  • Playing Time: 15-45 minutes
  • Age Range: 12-Adult
  • Player Count: 2-6

 

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About the author

Shanon Connelly

(a.k.a. “Super Muffin Girl”) is an avid board gamer, cosplayer, and all around nerd girl. She has been cosplaying for over 10 years, attending several conventions every year. She recently started a YouTube gaming channel, "Time to Play!", which previews and reviews board games. Follow Shanon on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@supermuffingirl).

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