Head, Shoulders knees, and toes… Anatomy Fluxx gets a LEG up on other editions by adding a few new rules, making the game a little less cutTHROAT by putting a priority on BRAIN power! Fast paced and every changing, gameschoolers, budding biologists, and Fluxx fans will enjoy this new twist on the classic game.
Anatomy Fluxx is a hand management and set collection game for 2-6 players. Games can last from 10-30 minutes. Anatomy Fluxx is best at 4-5 players.
It all begins with one basic rule: Draw one card, play one card. Each player starts with a hand of three cards. On their turn, each player draws a card then chooses one card to play, following the directions written on that card. Other cards may change the basic rules, affecting everything from hand size, how many cards are drawn or played, and even the end goal.
Keeper cards go in front of the player to fulfill the win conditions (goal). In Anatomy Fluxx, these are parts of the human body, which also feature a fact about the pictured organ. But watch out for Creeper Cards! These can be placed on Keepers to prevent win conditions from being met until a player finds a way to get rid of them. Action Cards can be used to discard Creepers as well as other actions like stealing opponent’s Keepers or trading hands.
The object of the game is to complete the current goal. In Anatomy Fluxx, that is usually a combination of related organs – for example, a win via completing the Nervous System goal requires collecting the Brain and Nerve keepers. Additionally, Anatomy Fluxx contains some Ungoals – conditions (like Cancer) under which all players might lose the game.
The most interesting twist in Anatomy Fluxx are the Meta Rules, which enhance the educational component of the game. When a player plays a keeper, their opponents will have the opportunity to identify it or give a fact about it. If they can do this successfully, they’ll gain additional cards.
Gameplay continues until a player manages to fulfill the conditions of the current goal, or an ungoal brings the game to a close. Play time is variable as a result – a goal can be completed in just a few turns or may take quite a while during vigorous gameplay.
I’ve liked Fluxx for a while now – its easy to teach and games don’t last forever but the variations insofar as the rules changes during the games make it a little different and pretty ridiculous every time. I’m also a big fan of well put together learning games (whether it’s for myself or the kids). This edition isn’t groundbreaking, but if you’re a fan of Fluxx and you’re into biology (or trying to help someone with their anatomy homework) this is probably the set for you. In particular the facts on each card make this a fun set for learning about the works of each organ and the knowledge cards meta rules offer a trivia like aspect to play.
It seems like this edition has fewer ‘mess with your opponent’ type actions, which draws out gameplay somewhat. With fewer cards to shuffle around keepers and creepers, it’s very possible that someone might have a winning tableau but lack the ability to go out because of a creeper card, or that a set might be split with no foreseeable way to put them together. On the other hand, since fewer actions directly affect your opponent, it feels less cutthroat and may be preferable for younger players or those that don’t like too much head to head competition.
The art is informative. Each organ is pictured in a way that makes it easily identifiable without being overly stylized. Additionally, goals sets typically identify a major system (like the Circulatory System goal which requires collecting the Heart and Blood Vessels keepers) or a bodily function (like the Filters goal which requires collecting any two of the Liver, Kidneys, or Spleen keepers). All of these contribute to Anatomy Fluxx being a good teaching/learning tool for young or old. I mean, do you remember what the pituitary gland does? Or the spleen? A few rounds of Anatomy Fluxx will dust the cobwebs off those memories of high school biology in a hysterical and entertaining way.
If you’re already a Fluxx fan you should give Anatomy Fluxx a try – it has some fun twists but otherwise plays like the regular game. If you’re not a fan of Fluxx, this probably isn’t going to win you over. But if you’re an educator (or a lifelong learning fan) I highly recommend adding Anatomy Fluxx to your educational tools – its fun, smart, and could be a valuable teaching aid as well as a stepping stone to more in-depth study. No BONES about it!
Final Score: 4 Stars – Fluxx-y fun with a learning twist.
• Great anatomy learning tool
• A little less cutthroat than other versions for younger players
• Fewer direct actions can drag out the game
• Not different enough than other versions to warrant getting a copy unless you’re really into the theme