January 4, 2011 by dracs
New Year’s Day, the family are all round and yours truly has been tasked with keeping all the cousins amused. No worries, I can just stick them all in front of the Xbox and leave them to it, as is my usual tactic. Ah, it appears the living room is in full use already. O.K, I’ll just stick on a film for them all to watch. If only they could agree on a damn film. All seems lost and the cousins are becoming more bored by the minute. But wait, what’s this box I see before me, its lid towards my hand? And so I ended up spending most of New Year’s Day playing Munchkin with my cousins. My prayers were answered by what is definitely one of the most fun card games available.
Ok, quick overview for those who haven’t the slightest clue what I’m talking about. Munchkin is a card game playable by three or more people, and what it basically does is take the complete mickey out of all the established role playing and dungeon crawling stereotypes that are out there. From ridiculous magical weaponry (such as the singing and dancing sword) to fantastically ludicrous curses (Duck of Doom!), there isn’t any aspect of the role playing genre which is entirely safe from Munchkin’s irreverent touch. The aim of the game is to reach level ten before any of your friends, and as you may imagine this tends to lead to some hilarious (and often downright infuriating) tactics. Allegiances change quicker than they were formed, and one minute you could be soaring your way towards victory only to have everyone gang up on you and bring you back down to square one. In my opinion there are few things as utterly frustrating as being one level away from winning, with the next monster you face being a level 6 or something like that, only to have everyone play cards which now means that level 6 is now level twenty-odd. And I have never seen my cousins more unified than when someone other than themselves is about to win.
One of the best things about Munchkin is that it is practically suitable for any type of gamer. For the casual player, they can if they choose, merely stick with the game they have bought. There is no real need to expand it. But for those who want to delve deeper into the game, Steve Jackson Games, the makers of Munchkin, have provided a greater variety than the basic card game. First of all there are the different sets of Munchkin card games. From Pirates to Vampires (Munchkin Bites is the version I have), each are given the Munchkin make over, and it is even possible for players to combine their decks for much larger games. What if I’m not into card games? I hear you cry. Well have no fear, as there is also a Munchkin board game available, as well as rule books to play a proper pen-and-pencil style RPG based around Munchkin. But, it doesn’t stop there. The Munchkin website also has a selection of Munchkin themed merchandise. This may seem to be a bit of a shameless cash in, but the Munchkin merchandise has an extra-dimension of sweet evil to it. Each item can provide you with an in game bonus! Every plush toy and t-shirt ups your chances to win. Even the Munchkin app for the iphone can give you a boost. Just more and more reasons to set your friends to roaring in incandescent rage.
All in all Munchkin is definitely one of those games which everyone should try at least once. Always a good laugh, and very easy to learn, it is the perfect game to play when board or just wanting something less serious and more relaxed than your usual gaming experiences. If you feel like giving Munchkin a try, my advice would be to first go over to the official website, where they have set up an interactive demo of the card game to help you get to grips with the rules. So check it out at: