SUMMARY: Beautiful borderless design from Randy Butterfield
The LUXX Elliptica deck is the third design in the LUXX series, and was the second contribution from Randy Butterfield of Midnight Cards. The Elliptica deck reflects a love for simple and beautiful borderless decks, and was inspired by a love for the classic Bee diamondback design. The aim was to make this the best value LUXX deck in the series, with the lowest price point yet, biggest print run yet, and largest range of colours. With that in mind, the Elliptica was produced in four different colours: Red, Green, Blue, and Purple.
The love for luxury is immediately evident from the richly produced tuck-boxes, which feature a wrap-around pattern that takes up the design from the card-backs, but uses brilliant gold foil to enhance the visual glamour and appeal, for a very stylish and classy look. They feel soft to the touch, but when held up to the light, the patterned gold foil is instantly eye-catching, creating a shiny pattern that stands out beautifully from the rest of the tuck box for a look of absolute class.
The card-backs feature a simple repeated design that has a powerful effect as a result of the borderless design, and has deliberate overtones of the classic Bee diamondback style. The court cards aren't a radical departure from classic styling, but a simpler colour scheme of oranges and reds combined with black creates a whole new look. I'm particularly fond of the way that the background to the court card character has a black or red colour that matches the colour of the suit, which is heightened by making the inside pip white. It ensures optimal and practical clarity, while still evoking a fresh feel and an original and stylish look - it's one of the things I like most about this deck.
The indices have a very straight forward and practical font, while the pips feature an almost heavy and bloated shape that adds real emphasis to them. One interesting feature is how the black pips are slightly lighter in tone than the indices themselves. The arrangement of the pips is also custom, with a tight unity that emphasizes the center of each card. The hearts/diamonds are given a sense of extra "weight" by the addition of stylish black borders that are slightly heavier on one side, to create a sense of emphasis. The Jokers take up the main motif from the back design on opposite corners, along with an original image of a juggling jester. This combination helps bring together the deck's theme, while retaining a very clear connection with traditional playing cards.
All the decks have the same face-cards, the only difference is the colour of the card-backs and the tuck box. But the fact that this deck comes in a choice of colours is a real bonus. If you are a fan of the classic Bee diamondback design, then you'll appreciate what the LUXX Elliptica offers: a more elegant and borderless design accompanied with superior paper quality, and at a reasonable price. It looks like an expensive high end end deck, and yet it is the best value of the entire LUXX range.
- BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame