Notes From The Lab

January 25, 2011
Volume 4, Issue 1

Welcome to the free eNewsletter from Looney Labs! We hope you enjoy it!


Pirate Fluxx is almost here!

Yar! The newest version of Fluxx is about to arrive, and it's fantastic!

Pirate Fluxx features a boxful of new Keepers and Goals, with everything you'd expect in a Pirate-themed version of Fluxx: six types of booty (everything from Diamonds to Pieces of Eight), an armada of ships (ranging from a Sloop to a Galleon), various weapons, a parrot, a monkey, a treasure map, a strongbox, and even some fruit to stave off Scurvy. And for those who enjoy rules like Outrageous Accent and Talk Like a Martian, Pirate Fluxx has a Talk Like a Pirate rule.

But some of the most exciting elements of Pirate Fluxx are the totally new features. The biggest surprise is the new card type, called SURPRISES. These very powerful cards have a purple stripe and can be played when it isn't your turn to cancel something the active player is doing.

Pirate Fluxx also features a great NEW RULE, called Plunder! Since Pirates are all about stealing things, we took the relatively rare event of the Action Steal a Keeper, and changed it to something that happens all the time! With Plunder, you get to steal a keeper once every turn, as a free action! Of course, there are some limits to the power of Plundering... for example, you can't Plunder from someone who holds a Cutlass - unless you've got a Flintlock Pistol, that is.

But perhaps the most interesting new thing about Pirate Fluxx is the gameplay that revolves around a KEEPER called the Captain's Hat. Whoever has the Captain's Hat at the moment is the Captain, and must be addressed as such. While not enormously powerful, being the Captain has many advantages. For example, the Captain gets to decide who Walks the Plank, and who wears the Shackles, and the Captain gets to ignore Keeper Limits when the New Rule called Long Live The Captain is in play. (This rule also gives all players a +1/+1 for Draw and Play, since everyone benefits from the leadership of a Captain.) It's great fun being the Captain - so much so that some people focus more on getting to be Captain than on actually winning the game!

Pirate Fluxx is sailing into game stores on February 11, 2011. Call your local game store and let them know you want to pre-order your copy - or place your pre-order in our online store today!

Come Sign Up for the new Looney Labs Fan Club!

It's true - we have an exciting new web site for our fans - please come sign up today! The site launched a few days before Xmas and we already have over 200 members signed up, with lots of fun conversations going on about Looney Labs Games. If you want to get in on the fun of helping us promote Pirate Fluxx - read more about joining our new Demo Team on this project. If you were one of the 4000 registered fans in our old fan club years ago, please be sure you read Kristin's Request regarding the old Mad Lab Rabbit Program - Thanks!


Trivia Question

What is the significance of the date on the coins on the "Pieces of Eight" Keeper?

Scroll down to see the answer.


Survey of the Month

Which of the exciting new mechanics in Pirate Fluxx are you most excited about?

Take the Survey! We'll post the results in our next newsletter.


Results of Last Issue's Survey

Here's what the 125 people who responded to our Thanksgiving Dinner survey said:

What is your FAVORITE menu item?

  • 25.6% - stuffing
  • 18.4% - roast turkey
  • 9.6% - mashed potatoes & gravy
  • 8.8% - sweet potatoes
  • 8.0% - pumpkin pie
  • 7.2% - dinner rolls
  • 6.4% - pecan pie
  • 5.6% - cranberry sauce
  • 4.8% - honey-glazed ham
  • 4% - green beans
  • 1.6% - corn
  • 0% - jello salad

What is your LEAST favorite menu item?

  • 33.6% - jello salad
  • 16% - sweet potatoes
  • 12.8% - cranberry sauce
  • 8% - honey-glazed ham
  • 7.2% - green beans
  • 6.4% - stuffing
  • 4% - pecan pie
  • 3.2% - pumpkin pie
  • 3.2% - corn
  • 3.2% - roast turkey
  • 2.4% - mashed potatoes & gravy
  • 0% - dinner rolls

Ask Andy

Q: Why did it take you so long to add interrupts to Fluxx?

A: "People have been asking for a card they can play out of turn, to stop someone else from winning, since the earliest days of the First Edition of Fluxx. I was never willing to create such a card, for various reasons, but I finally managed to overcome all the obstacles. To begin with, a card that could cancel anything always seemed overly powerful, so instead I created a set of four cards, each of which only cancels a specific type of card (one of the basic four). Said cards, whatever they'd be called could cancel out other such cards, too. Also, I never liked the idea of calling them Interrupts, but also didn't have a better name... I really warmed up to the idea when the more fun name of Surprises occurred to me.

But the biggest issues was the problem that all cards in Fluxx must be playable at all times, and a card that only does something when used out of turn becomes annoyingly useless during Play All. So what made Surprises work for me was the idea of including instructions for something the card would do when used during your turn, as well as when played out of turn. One final factor, I think, was inertia (one of the most powerful forces in the universe). Having shunned the idea for so many years, it was easier to keep shunning the concept than to finally allow it entry. But with thoughts in my mind of pirates unexpectedly barging in, I decided this was time to change-up the ever-changing card game in this long-awaited way."


Trivia Question Answer

On one side, the coins say FLXX, which of course means Fluxx. On the other side is MCMXCVI, which commemorates the year, 1996, when Fluxx was invented. (Specifically, it was on July 24th 1996.)

Thanks for playing Looney Labs Games!


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