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While researching Fluxx for a different question, I came across this chronology for editions of the game in Wikipedia:


Fluxx 2.0 (new card layout, use of color, bridge-sized cards)

Fluxx 2.1 (reprint of 2.0 with minor changes)

Fluxx 3.0 (many cards removed and added, to improve balance)

Fluxx 3.1 (two cards removed, one card added)

Fluxx 4.0 (card number increased to 100, all color, introduction of Meta rule and creepers)


I am now officially intrigued by the way Fluxx has evolved since its earliest incarnations. Can anyone provide a rundown? In particular:

  • What were the differences been Fluxx 2 and Fluxx 3? What unbalanced cards or combinations existed in 2.0 and 2.1?

  • What were the minor (but clearly vitally important) changes to the lineup between 3.0 and 3.1?

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random comment: fluxx seems to be the only game where every 'expansion' or variant is WAY better than the original. zombie fluxx, martian fluxx, and eco fluxx all rank higher on BGG... –  Gordon Gustafson Feb 2 '11 at 0:53
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@Crazy: That IS an interesting observation! I reckon it's because, when it comes down to it, Fluxx is like "bread", and the expansions are like "sandwiches". Bread is a good start for making a delicious snack, but you wouldn't want to live on it alone ;) –  thesunneversets Feb 2 '11 at 1:06
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1 Answer

up vote 12 down vote accepted

The Fluxx Wiki has lists of the composition of the various decks linked off this page.

Here's my attempts at answering your specific questions: Cards in v2 not in v3:

  • Doughnuts
  • The Eye
  • The Pyramid
  • Taxes

  • Coffee & Doughnuts

  • Death & Taxes
  • The Great Seal
  • The Mind's Eye
  • Money (No Taxes)

  • Pilfer the Trash

  • Trash Hand Limit
  • Trash Keeper Limit

  • Brain Bonus

  • Final Card Random
  • Government Cover Up
  • Hand Limit 3
  • Money Bonus
  • Secret Data
  • Tax Bonus
  • Time Bonus

New cards in v3:

  • Sleep
  • Baked Goods

  • Bed Time

  • Dreamland
  • Hearts & Minds
  • Rocket Science
  • Squishy Chocolate
  • Winning the Lottery

  • Empty the Trash

  • Go Fish
  • I Need a Goal
  • Jackpot
  • Let's Do That Again!
  • Let's Simplify
  • No Limits
  • Rotate Hands

  • Double Agenda

  • Reverse Order
  • First Play Random
  • No-Hand Bonus
  • Poor Bonus
  • Rich Bonus
  • Inflation/X = X + 1

The Looney Labs newsletter from Nov 14, 2002 explains the changes in v3.0 this way:

1.) What will be different? Roughly half of the cards in the deck have changed in some way, but in many cases the revisions are so minor that only a few people will notice them. Over 25% of the cards have been radically changed or are completely different.

2.) Can you be more specific about what's changing? The 4 "Bonus" rules have been replaced with a trio of stronger ones, called the Rich bonus, the Poor Bonus, and the No-Hand Bonus. The 3 new rules which we made into promos for Origins 2002 (X=X+1, Double Agenda, and Reverse Order) have all been added. Those annoying "hide a Keeper" rules are all going away, and we're getting rid of 4 rather wimpy Actions and putting in 7 better ones. We thinned the Keepers down a bit, increased the number of Goals, and made sure no Keeper was useful for only 1 thing. The 5 Keepers being dropped are the Eye, the Pyramid, Coffee, Donuts, and Taxes, but in their place we're adding 2 totally new ones: Sleep and Dreams. Changing the Keeper mix required us to drop a number of Goals that no longer made sense, but of course others were needed for the new Keepers. A couple of Goals also got renamed. Other minor changes included replacing the artwork for War (as I described a few weeks ago) and for Chocolate (since we've learned that a certain powerful Chocolate Corporation has strong attitudes about their trademark on a little slip of paper sticking out of a piece of candy). Final Card Random has been changed to First Play Random (it works better), the blank card has been eliminated (it's obsolete), and the rules insert will be larger (featuring the cartoon shown here). The tuckbox will be the same size, but it will look a bit different; the 6-pack display carton will change only slightly. To sum up: it's way better than before.

Looking further at the v3.x page, I think these are the minor changes:

  • The chocolate keeper has a kiss in 3.0 and a bar in 3.1
  • The 3.0 "The Sun & the Moon" goal is called "Night & Day" in 3.1
  • The "Go Fish" and "I Need a Goal" actions are only in 3.0
  • The "Jackpot" action is only in 3.1
  • The 3.0 "X = X + 1" rule is called "Inflation" in 3.1
  • The 3.1 Fluxx packaging included another card to "Join the Fluxx Fan Club"
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A full and excellent answer, so thank you! I'll go away and mull on the implications of all this for a while... –  thesunneversets Feb 2 '11 at 17:19
    
Does that mean different Fluxx revisions are okay to mix with each other (as opposed to mixing different expansions)? –  Matt Chan Aug 16 '12 at 11:59
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I only just saw this comment. To some extent you can mix Fluxx revisions. Fluxx v1 has different cards - shape and color of back, I think. I'm not sure there's a lot of value in mixing Fluxx 2 with Fluxx 3 necessarily though - you'd get a lot of duplicates. I think that from Fluxx 2 on, you can mix expansions with any base Fluxx version though I haven't tried. –  Andy Tinkham Nov 21 '12 at 22:24
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