During our game lab class this past Wednesday my fellow classmates – Steve, Matt, Duc, Chin Pang, Anastasia – and I were able to sit down and play two different card games. The first game we played and the one I’ll be writing my session report on is Flux, an extremely chaotic game in which rules compound rules, leaving objectives open-ended and often unbalanced.
Starting the game
Typical of many other card games, Flux begins by dealing each player three different cards from the deck. Then, the basic rules card is placed in the center of the table, which prompts players to draw one card and play one card per turn. However, once a player plays a “new rule” card, changes take effect immediately, causing chaos in the process.
We began our game in a somewhat chaotic state due to a rule card played by Anastasia that caused each player to draw three cards and play three cards per turn. The problem with this is that it prolongs each persons turn and compounds the amount of time it takes to really build momentum. Additionally, goal cards are played, which must be fulfilled in order for someone to win the game. However, goal cards can change constantly depending on cards played by the other players. This happened multiple times throughout our experience with the game. I played a “keeper” card – a item card that fulfills certain objectives on the goal cards – without realizing how time sensitive it was, negating any strategy I may have been able to impart in future turns.
Rules on rules on rules
As we continued playing, rules began to stack on top of one another. At one point, we have three different sets of rules dictating our actions each turn. We had to draw three cards and play them all in conjunction with bonus rules that grant extra draws per turn. What’s interesting about the rules aspect of this game is that, despite its ridiculous nature, learning to play within structured chaos isn’t as difficult as it seems. In fact, I felt quite comfortable with the plethora of rules and regulations by the end of the game.
Winning takes time
After about 45 minutes of gameplay, a goal card was placed in the center of the table that allowed anyone with moon and coffee keeper cards to win the game. At this point, everybody was playing 3-5 cards per turn, inevitably leading to victory for Steve. All in all, the hectic nature of the game builds as the rounds continue, making victory slightly more feasible with each turn.
Without getting into too much detail, Mafia is a game that focuses on trust and deception. Each player is dealt a card, but only one person will end up being the Mafia. The king is the sheriff of the town (who can try to pick out the Mafia once per round, the queen is the angel (who has the ability to rescue someone each turn) and the ace is the Mafia (who kills someone each turn). Other number cards represent townspeople.