Oz Fluxx

Oz Fluxx | Savvy Game Night

Fluxx games are the games that are super-difficult to review. Not because they are complicated or challenging to play, but because the game is never the same twice. At the very beginning, the rule is simple: “Draw 1 card. Play 1 card. Play passes to the next person.” But from there, the rules – and the goal of the game! – are constantly changing.

Oz Fluxx Cards on Savvy Game Night

So it is difficult to explain any version of Fluxx without diving into the mechanism.  We own Oz Fluxx, the (you guessed it) Wizard of Oz-themed version. There are six types of cards:

1. Yellow “New Rule” cards, which change the way the game is played. These might be as simple as changing the number of cards you draw or play on each turn, or they might be a little sillier. The “Magic Slippers” card, for instance, says that if you click your heels together 3 times, you can draw and play an extra card on your turn.

2. Pink “Goal” cards, which change the aim of the game. Examples might be “The Smartest Dummy Ever,” which says that whoever has both the Artificial Brain and the Scarecrow cards wins, or “I’m Melting!,” which lets you win if you have the Wicked Witch of the West and the Water cards.

3. Green “Keeper” cards, which help you meet the goals. These are the Artificial Brain, Scarecrow, Wizard of Oz, Toto, Yellow Brick Road, etc. cards as well.

4. Blue “Action” cards, which you use once and discard. These might let you exchange Keeper cards with another player or steal something from another player, for instance.

5. Black “Creeper” cards, which keep your opponent’s from winning.

6. Purple “Surprise” cards that can be played at any time to disrupt your opponent’s play.

Because there are no set rules, this game is super easy to learn and pick up. It is great for groups with mixed experience levels!

Mechanism:

The game of ever-changing rules, no 2 games of Oz Fluxx are the same.  See above for more!

Number of Players:

2-6. We generally prefer it with 4+.

Set-Up Time:

None. Just shuffle and deal 3 cards to each player.

Play Time for New Players:

20 minutes to an hour

Play Time for Experienced Players:

20 minutes to an hour

Age Range:

8+

Overall Rating for Oz Fluxx: 6 out of 10.

Psst: This post contains affiliate links. I only ever recommend products that I use myself.

Pandemic: A Cooperative Game

Pandemic: A Cooperative Game on Savvy Game Night

Let’s talk cooperative games. Rather than the typical board game format, in which there is one winner and everyone else loses, in a cooperative game, it is all or nothing: either everyone wins together, or everyone loses. In the case of Pandemic, either you find cures for or eradicate all four deadly diseases that have broken out around the world, or everyone dies.

So far, Pandemic is Dan’s and my favorite cooperative game. It is nicely balanced, and it is neither too difficult to ever win, nor so easy that it doesn’t feel like much of a challenge. I’d say we win about 2/3 of the time. And more often than not, we lose because we run out of player cards, not because there were so many outbreaks that we couldn’t control them. There have been several occurrences where we just needed one more turn, maybe two, in order to get all the cures or eliminate the last disease.

Pandemic In Play on Savvy Game Night

Unless you are playing with five people every time you play Pandemic, the game changes a little bit each time. Each player is given a role with a special ability: the Medic can treat all the illnesses in a city at once, rather than one per turn; the Dispatcher can move other players around the board; the Scientist can find a cure with 4 player cards instead of the usual 5, and so on. Since the roles are randomly assigned, the combination of special abilities available in the game changes a bit each time (again, unless you are playing with the full five players).

Note: A newer version of the game was released in 2013. Apparently, it introduces two new roles and reduces the maximum number of players to four. So if you purchase/play the newer version, the combination of roles will change every game, even when you are playing with the max number of players.

It’s a fun game for Dan and I when we aren’t feeling all that competitive and want to work together. And because it is a cooperative game, Pandemic is a great one to pull out when we have friends over with mixed levels of experience with or interest in board games.
Pandemic, a cooperative game. Don't let too many outbreaks happen, or everyone loses! On Savvy Game Night

There’s an outbreak in Essen, and the blue disease has spread to all neighboring cities. Don’t let too many of these happen, or everyone loses!

Mechanism:

Pandemic is a cooperative game, so either everyone wins or everyone loses. Four diseases have simultaneously broken out around the world. Players must research to find a cure for or completely eradicate all four diseases before the epidemics become too overwhelming to contain. Each player may take up to 4 actions on their turn to move around the map, treat infected cities, research a cure or build a research station. At the end of each turn, the diseases spread just a bit more, unless an Epidemic card turns up, which accelerates the infection rate.

The game is over when: all the diseases have been cured and/or eradicated, there have been 8 outbreaks, or there are no player cards remaining.

Number of Players:

2-5. It is much more difficult to win with just two players, but it is still doable.

Set Up Time:

5-10 minutes

Play Time for New Players:

1 hour.

Play Time for Experienced Players:

45 minutes – 1 hour.

Age Range:

8+

Overall Rating for Pandemic: 8/10

Pandemic Player Cards on Savvy Game Night

Note: This post contains affiliate links. I only ever link to games I’ve played and enjoyed myself. Most of the links above are to the newer version of this game. If you’d like to purchase the version of the game photographed here, click here.