Speed Review: Monty Python Fluxx
It’s time to reinstate the speed review as a review form on this blog. For too long have reviews taken one or two hours to write. No more, I tell you, not for all games. Instead, we’re going to speed review a few shorter games in future.
What is a speed review? A Speed Review is a review that is written in a faster time than it takes to play the game. Usually, this is done with games that last around 20 to 30 minutes. Today we’re going to be looking at Monty Python Fluxx, which has a running time of 5-30 minutes (according to the back of the box). We are going to take an average of 20 minutes for this article.
Let’s do this.
Monty Python Fluxx Review – The Speedy Version
“No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition!”
That being said, people do expect new versions of Fluxx. The beloved game, designed by Looney Labs, now has well over 30 incarnations, with new versions announced for the end of this year. They range from version to version, with different themes and concepts running through each one. Monty Python Fluxx is one of those versions.
Fluxx has become something of a cult classic over the past few years. It has been the subject of controversy for some gamers as much as it has been respected by others. The core concepts of every Fluxx iteration are the same though. You draw one card and play one card per turn. As you play cards you will play Keepers and Creepers, collectable units throughout the game, as well as Action Cards. There are no victory conditions until someone plays a Goal Card. What gives the game its name however is that the rules are constantly changing. They are constantly, if you will ignore the obvious pun, in Fluxx.
This means that, when looking at a game like Monty Python Fluxx it isn’t really right to judge the game play by itself. It is the same, after all, as every version of Fluxx give or take a couple of core fluctuations. If you want to know what Fluxx game play is like then you can read about it here. Otherwise, the core concept of the game is fun. It can be chaotic and interesting, and a bit of an exercise in computing logic as you work out what cards to play in what order.
It seems more pressing however, to see how the theme holds up on the framework of Fluxx. What is Monty Python like as a Fluxx theme? What do they add or take away?
Well, first thing is first, they take away the Surprise cards, which were cards that could be used to interrupt other players. This seems like a bit of a shame, especially when you consider the Spanish Inquisition joke I made at the start of this article. “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition”.
Especially if the card isn’t a Surprise card.
In regards to credentials to judge Monty Python Fluxx, myself and my girlfriend are both big Fluxx fans. We own 6 versions. We are also big Monty Python fans, having seen or own all the movies as well as a few specials and watching Flying Circus.
I have to admit, Monty Python Fluxx isn’t really Monty Python Fluxx. Instead, it should be called Monty Python and the Holy Grail Fluxx. There is very little referenced outside of The Holy Grail. There are only a couple of references to the series sketches (Dead Parrot, for instance), only a couple of references to The Meaning of Life, and absolutely no references to Life of Brian. There is also no reference to things like The Lumberjack Sketch or some of the more famous TV sketches. It’s kind of a shame for Python fans like myself.
That being said, there are a few really nice references on some of the lesser known Action cards. Where Fluxx is kind of defined by the picture cards, the Keepers and Creepers, Monty Python Fluxx has some really nice non-picture cards. There are cards like And Now For Something Completely Different and This Game Is Becoming Silly Now… both of which get a good chuckle out of Python fans. The issue being they are so few and far between.
There are 22 Keepers and Creepers if you add them together – 19 are from The Holy Grail.
That being said, I feel this is being harsh on Monty Python Fluxx. Although it doesn’t live up to its potential as a Monty Python game, it more than lives up to what we have come to expect from a Fluxx game. It is a good version of Fluxx, and the lack of Surprise cards is only a minor misery. If you ignore the above criticism, then Monty Python Fluxx does a remarkable job as a Holy Grail themed game. It is engaging and it encourages strong interactions between players. What is more, because The Holy Grail is such an iconic film, you find yourself speaking along with the cards. More than once we found ourselves mimicking John Cleese or Eric Idol as we played cards.
It is because of this that Monty Python Fluxx, despite its flaws, is an engaging and enthralling game. It draws you in as you find yourself recreating scenes from the movie. It pulls on your nostalgia for the absurdist group, and makes you long for the days when TV was like that again.
So, to conclude, since we are now drawing on 20 minutes, would we recommend Monty Python Fluxx? I think the answer needs to be threefold. If you have never heard of Monty Python or don’t like their stuff, then this is not the place to start. It’ll just be filled with references you either don’t like or don’t get. If you love all of Monty Python then this will appeal, although expect it to be heavily biased towards The Holy Grail. Finally, if you love Monty Python and the Holy Grail then buy this game.
So, review over, what do you think? Is Monty Python Fluxx the kind of game you would enjoy or would you rather give it a miss? Let me know in the comments below.