Loot a castle. Slay a dragon. Betray friends and poison neighbors. Sounds like the perfect Friday night. Munchkin is a hilarious card game based on role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. However, unlike DnD, there is no Dungeon Master required to create the game’s story. All gameplays are decided by the cards and the players. This results in a wacky game with hundreds of different ways to play and an infinite number of outcomes.
The goal of the game is to reach level 10. Each player (or munchkin) begins the game as a level 1 with six cards in hand. There are two types of cards: treasure cards and encounter cards. Treasure cards are generally items like different types of armor, swords, weapons, and other things to raise ability points. Encounter cards are the scary things: monsters and curses. Each monster has different abilities and points and can attack differently depending on the player’s class or faction. When a player kills a monster, they advance one level and win treasure cards. There are also cards that can increase a player’s level or decrease it.
The caveat? Players do not get to actually fight the monsters. If the player has a larger number of ability points than the monster they are fighting, they automatically win. If they do not win or if other people in the game pile on curse cards or give the monster extra points they have to take the “bad stuff” written on the card. This can include anything from losing one’s headgear to losing a level to dying. Yes, players can die in this game.
Munchkin is no ordinary card game. The cards are wacky and random and the gameplay is hilarious. One card is only allowed to be played during the hours of 7AM to 7PM. Another gives the wielder the ability to dismiss a monster with no questions asked (very fun to use on friends when they are trying to fight a monster for points). Some let players add points to the monsters and encourage them to eat opponents while others add points to the opponents to preserve the player’s friendship. Even the instructions are witty and funny. The first instruction is to “decide who goes first by any method that will not lead to excessive bloodshed” and later “any disputes in the rules should be settled by loud arguments with the owner of the game having the last word.”
There are currently 15 different stand alone Munchkin games including Munchkin Zombies, Munchkin Cthulhu, Adventure Time, Star Munchkin, Munchkin Fu, and others. But there are also over 20 booster packs ranging from Munchkin Princess and Munchkin Holidazed to Munchkin Conan and Munchkin Booty: Fish and Ships. Many of these games can be combined to a bigger set and more crazy possibilities.
Munchkin is a wacky and funny game perfect for all ages. Kids will enjoy the funny cards and action packed gameplay, while larger kids (often called adults) will enjoy betraying their friends and battling to win. Whatever the age, everyone will enjoy spending time bonding with (or vowing vengeance on) friends and family.