When a game has a version of itself based on a licensed property, it's important that it do something related to that property and not just use the name and images from it. For example, the Lord of the Rings version of Risk adapted its rules quite nicely to match the action of the story, while there are untold versions of Monopoly that only change the names and artwork to match their new subject but keep everything else the same. The simple-yet-everchanging card game Fluxx has had several new versions, from Zombie Fluxx to Christian Fluxx to Stoner Fluxx, and now they've adapted the British comedy troupe Monty Python with their latest release, Monty Python Fluxx. I'm happy to report that this latest game from Looney Labs beautifully combines the silly humor of Monty Python with the rapidly fluxtuating gameplay of Fluxx.

The rules are simple. At the start of the game, each player draws a card and plays a card. There are five types of cards: Keepers, which represent items or ideas; Goals, which let you win, most often by requiring you to have two Keepers; Rules, which affect all players and can make you play more cards, draw more cards, or limit what you can have in play; Actions, which let you do anything from trash an opponent's Keeper to draw and play more cards; and Creepers, which are like Keepers but get played immediately, don't count against your draws or plays, and get replaced immediately.

But this game wouldn't be called Monty Python Fluxx without Monty Python, and the six comedians appear in both the cards and gameplay. Almost all the cards are drawings and quotes from Monty Python's Flying Circus and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Rather than simply redo Fluxx with new names, the Python mythos directly affects gameplay. For example, here Creepers (such as the Spanish Inquisition or Grim Reaper) keep you from winning if you have them -- except for certain Goals which require them! The card "What Is Your Quote?" lets you play up to three cards depending on how many lines of Monty Python you can quote, and "I Want To Sing!" lets you draw an extra card by singing a Monty Python song -- and another card if it's a song that hasn't been sung yet this game. You can discard the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch to blow up a Creeper, or wield Excalibur to send a Creeper to an opponent.

Like the original Fluxx, this game relies more on luck than strategy: The order in which you play cards does matter (I love when I can play a rule making everyone discard their hand down to one card when it's not their turn, then getting rid of the rule before my turn ends), but it's hard to plan on meeting a Goal when they change so quickly. With that in mind, Monty Python Fluxx is a fun, fast, easy game that's ideal for any Monty Python fan. Fetchez la vache!

Overall grade: A-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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