06 September 2018
The creator of Fluxx returns with another card game tuned for social fun over strategy
Andrew Looney has created many notable games in his career but he’ll always be known, for better or worse, as the man who invented Fluxx. Get the MacGuffin, his latest, won’t do anything to change that reputation: it’s another fast, light game of changing roles and updating rules. It’s more elegant than its older sibling – and, at just 23 cards, a good deal slimmer – but unquestionably in the same ballpark.
There are two types of oversized cards in the Get the MacGuffin box: actions and objects. On your turn you must play an action from your hand, place an object in front of you, use an object already in play, or discard an object you can’t use. One of those objects is the MacGuffin, which is usually the last card on the table and therefore the winning card, because if you have no cards you’re out. A 'last MacGuffin standing' game, if you will.
The cards are fun. Some have an espionage/secret agent vibe, with spies, assassins, thieves and interrogators, but the tone is spoilt by the presence of hippies, shrugmasters and a mini-game of rock-paper-scissors. Cards change hands, hands change hands, the cards are gathered up and redealt, someone plays the crown to become the monarch, someone assassinates the monarch, and it’s finished in under ten minutes.
There are tactics here, but there are also cards that undermine any tactical play. The deck is tightly structured – but for fun and social play, not strategy. That’s clearly the game’s target audience. It worked for Fluxx, and it should do the same for MacGuffin.
Designer: Andrew Looney
Artist: Alex Bradley
Time: 15-20 minutes
This review originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here – or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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