Munchkin could be considered the most devious game ever: This is because of how it is played, the people that play it, and the potential friendship destroying wrecking ball that inevitably crashes through your wall when everyone starts to back stab each other in an old west saloon style shootout with cards flying around the table like bullets… where was I? Oh yeah, Munchkin!
There are a few things about this game that I love, from the design to how people actually play, but; before I get into that I feel like I actually need to talk about one particular aspect of the game that needs to be addressed. There are a ton of different versions of Munchkin and none of them are wrong to buy. Seriously pick a nerdy fandom and you’ve pretty much got a version of Munchkin for it. The vanilla Munchkin is pretty much a tongue and cheek DnD while there are other versions like “Space Munchkin” that plays with sci-fi themes, and they even have the Night Before Christmas and Cthulhu versions. I personally own three different copies of the game because every version is fun in its own way and offers a unique rule or two that affects the game.
Alright, now that we have that out of the way let’s get into what makes Munchkin so great:
- Munchkin card art looks great: Steven Jackson (Mostly by or helped by John Kovalic) makes really funny art for most of the games and you get to see some really funny illustrations that can be punny, cool, or just plain hilarious. The references are always fun and often make nerds chuckle. Just flipping through the cards can usually get a good laugh out of me
- The rules are really easy to teach to people: Usually after a round or two a new player has the rules mostly down and after a game they can play completely on their own. This makes Munchkin perfect for enjoying some cold drinks of choice with some good friends and just like with Catan the rules don’t get in the way of the experience itself. Games that can be pulled off like that are great for get-togethers or parties because you can focus on interactions and not be arguing over rules all the time
- Munchkin gets really crazy: You start off kind of all working together when you play Munchkin but any vet can tell you it is definitely PVP. The meta in my house is that you always want to be second place because you will spend the entire game trying to amass power and when you finally get into that win position everyone will throw everything they have into making you loose in an attempt to get one more round to try to win. So what you have to do is be the second strongest player so that when everyone spends their stuff you can swoop in before they can regain their strength.
- Munchkin can be played with anyone: Now we here at the collective believe that gaming is for everyone no matter what, but unless you have an extraordinary child most third graders will not be playing Warhammer or Risk with you. That being said there really is a Munchkin for just about anybody and I personally play the “Adventure Time Munchkin” all the time with my friends’ kids all the time. While the vanilla and some other copies of Munchkin can get a little PG-13, or even R depending on the game you play, there are child friendly versions that are still fun to play.
- Munchkin travels really well: Have you or a friend ever moved a board game like “Dead of Winter”? If the answer is yes then you know you need either a million little plastic baggies that make you look like a drug dealer or you have to play find a needle in a needle stack because your game pieces look like they were in a mini tornado. Munchkin consists of two decks and the box itself is separated by little cardboard dividers that actually account for putting in expansions. To this day none of my munchkin games have really gotten messed up. It’s easy to pick up a copy of Munchkin, throw it up in the air, open it up, and play a game and I’m not even exaggerating.
- Munchkin is a gateway board game: Most people have varying ideas of situations when they hear “nerdy game” and most interactions I usually see people just kind of turn their ears off. That is not the case with Munchkin though. It is a great game for people to kind of stick their toe into the hobby and you can save the Seafall for a little bit later.
I think that any board gamer casual or otherwise could benefit from any copy of Munchkin in their board game closet and the best part is that this game is in almost every game store you could think of. You really can’t shake a stick without hitting a copy of Munchkin. It’s really a pick your poison kind of thing. Just find your genre, pick up the copy, and have fun with up to 6 people. It also makes a great nerd gift!
Or get your own copy of Munchkin on Amazon!
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Happy Gaming from the Nerd Blog Collective!