The Amazing Mini-Review of: Munchkin
In Munchkin you control an adventurer, representing a RPG character, trying to beat other adventurers in leveling from 1 to 10.
A player levels up by defeating monsters or playing cards which allow him to do it automatically.
Players start with some cards and find others during their adventures. These cards usually bring some advantages to the player, but also allow him to mess with his opponents. This “messing with your opponents” is really what the game is all about. The “Munchkinny” path is the way to go.
|Publisher||Steve Jackson Games|
|Time||30 minutes to 5 hours (by personal experience)|
|Number of Players||3 – 6|
|Luck Influence||Medium | Importantt|
Get the rules HERE
Watch a playthrough video HERE
Watch a Starlit Citadel video review with a gameplay description HERE
- The humour: The game is filled with inside jokes related with geek and pop culture, and for me that is a plus.
- The Interaction between players: I’m not always into “take that” games, especially when several players may go against one, but in Munchkin that kind of interaction goes with the theme.
- The choice of the theme: Getting a RPG, stripping it to the bare-minimum, and making a game is a good design choice, which proves successful in terms of sales. Was it perfectly implemented? The opinions diverge…
- The humour wears out. With multiple plays you may still get some smiles from user interactions, but when it comes to the cards, it only works once.
- The game tends to be hard to explain to new players, especially those who never played RPGs or card games like Magic, for instance. This is not exactly a “weak point”, but sure made it hit the table lesser in my group, and led to some incomplete games.
- Munchkin is not “game enough” for the amount of time it sometimes takes. That is my main issue with the game. I had a 6-player 5 hour game! It’s too much! The game has no variability or evolution during a play to hold the players entertained for that long. If, somehow, the design was changed in a way to limit the time to 30-45 minutes, this would be – still today – one of my most-played games. As it is… it is not!
|Bits and Pieces||4|
Munchkin (the Deluxe version) was the first board game I bought “as a grown up”. After contacting for the first time with “modern” board games while in university (I played Puerto Rico in a game design class), and as a way to diversify the “post-dinner” time in my group of friends, I went online and searched for something like “good board game for beginners”. After reading a lot of Google’s results, I decided on Munchkin. So yeah, I can’t deny the game’s appeal.
Munchkin was, for months, the only game I had, it got played a lot of times, and it was entertaining. I even offered a copy of the game to a cousin for Christmas.
I didn’t know better…
As I bought more games, I started realizing Munchkin is only “an OK game”. And as I realized I mostly preferred to play something else, and some people I played with ALWAYS preferred to play other games, Munchkin’s destiny was settled: I sold it! But that’s for another blog post…
Should you buy Munchkin? Well, do you have a geeky group of friends, long gaming nights, and wish for a game to play while drinking, without thinking too much, go ahead. But even then, there are better options. The remaining population will be better with other games. However, if you can get a really cheap copy, or find somebody with the game, try it. It won’t hurt. At least not the first time.