Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? If you know the answer to that question, you're a candidate to join in to the latest edition of Fluxx, featuring the Absorbent One himself, SpongeBob Squarepants! In fact, anyone who's a friend of fun and freewheeling card games should consider giving this one a try. Readers of this blog have already learned the basic concept of Fluxx since I've reviewed many of the previous editions here - in essence, it starts with draw a card, play a card, and meanders and morphs from there with ever-changing rules. Mixed into the proceedings are characters and concepts from the beloved animated show, presented on delightfully colorful cards which include an "under the sea" background.
The cards don't change up the game in any radically new ways, but that's not a bad thing for families and kids looking for a comfortable, familiar game during the uncomfortable time in which we currently find ourselves. There are no "Creepers" (cards that can prevent someone from winning) in this variant, and everything is friendly and light, much like the thematic source material. Some rules require players to talk like a pirate, or like a cartoon character (it's unclear whether you're supposed to choose a specific character or just improvise what a cartoon character sounds like to you; I'm guessing the latter is fine). Players who are uncomfortable being silly and "immature" - some teens, for example - might not be comfortable with this. Personally, I find it excellent. Mostly I feel anyone of almost any age (who can read) can have a fine time with the game. And that brings me to my one caveat - there is a LOT of text on some of the cards, and the first game or two, play will have to pause while someone reads a card. But this lessens with each successive game as the cards become familiar.
Like other recent editions, SpongeBob Fluxx comes with a collector's coin (a sort of poker chip) for passing around to show whose turn it is. I don't find it essential, (I think one of the cards refers to it) but it's nice to have, I am thinking of adding it to my poker set.
SpongeBob lovers, let's get nautical! You can learn more at Looney Labs.