Munchkin: uber-rocking simple card game

So last night one of the guys in our D&D group brought over his various card decks for Munchkin. And we didn’t play D&D for the rest of the evening.

This is one of the most amazing little games it’s ever been my pleasure to play. We went through about four hours of intense wheeling and dealing and backstabbing and cutthroat competition and pairs of people sneaking off to discuss plans followed by knowing glances and nods and winks over the table as the game progresses and repeated moments of “oh well, I guess he’s won - NO WAIT A MINUTE I HAVE THIS CARD THAT NEGATES THAT AND -” and we’d be off again for another round of tossing down cards by the dozen.

I am going to buy a copy for myself and see how many non-gamers I can get to love this game. I haven’t had that much fun in a long time.

What the game is: very simple card game - not collectible, so your wallets are pretty safe - that superficially takes the form of standard D&D type party adventuring: you go looking for treasure and killing monsters and gaining levels. But in practice the real point of the game is helping or restraining other players - the first one to level 10 wins - and about bending the rules so far they nearly break to suit yourself.

It works marvelously well.

I have heard others rave about this game and by “others” I mean internet denizens. The worst thing about being a gamer and getting older is not so much the advancing age as the people you know who lose interest in or are unwilling to play games any longer. If only I had friends that played card games dammit!!!

Games of Munchkin et al. can go really quickly or be endless, I’ve found. Not very good as a game. The cards are cute, though.

In the same vein, games that can be very quick or end within a reasonable amount of time are to be found in the Grave Robbers From Outer Space series, which also has cute cards.

You should also check out Chrononauts. Fun, and one of the few games where everyone can lose.

Munchkin is great! I moved away from friends who had it and introduced me to it so now I need to buy a copy of my own to get my friends here to play. I’m not an RPG fan and had never even played D&D before but I really had fun with this game.

Grave Robbers from Outer Space was the game you and Angie introduced me to at QuakeCon, right Matt? I liked that one a lot, too. That’s another one I should pick up.

I’ll play. Where is this Madison, WI you claim to hail from?

Munchkin is OK, but I think it gets old after not all that long. The cards are humorous, and the gameplay is quick and fun, but after a while the amusement value seems to ebb, for me at least. Adding a bajillion expansions doesn’t help all that much, though it’s nice to have a card to counter the Kneepads of Allure. Heh. I admit it, I still think the Kneepads of Allure are funny.

But I still think the game has less staying power than some less funny games with better gameplay, like many of these German abstract games like the Catan games or Puerto Rico for example.

But not to detract too much from your amusement, have you tried Ninja Burger? Same sense of humor, fun as long as you haven’t played it too much. The clan’s honor demands burger delivery in 30 minutes are less! Do not fail us, ninja, or your life is forfeit!

Speaking of Settlers of Catan, I just learned to play that for the first time last night. Fun game.

Gloom is a pretty fun card game too, although I’ve only played a few games, so I don’t know about it’s replayability.

Never really got into Munchkin, as I thought it’s mechanics were too simplistic.

Munchkin is a card game where the cards are fun to read and then the game becomes a matter of ‘pick on the leader until everyone is level 9 and then hope you outlast the rest’. It is less a card game and more a “Lord of the Flies” simulator or something.

If you want campy D&D humor, go read Dork Tower. If you want a good card game, pick up San Juan. If you want to line Steve Jackson’s pockets with cash for his overpriced stuff, at least grab Illuminati.

I dunno, I found Munchkin a bit too random (i.e. non-strategic) for my tastes, but the cards are indeed cute. WizWar is a bit more my style; I just wish they’d hurry up with the re-release.

  • Alan

I’ll like to recommend Lunch Money a fun little non collectable card game that’s all about a schoolyard fight. Works well in groups and the trash talking is part of the whole experience.

Munchkin is a lot of fun. I picked it up with the two expansion decks. Great fun for a couple of hours, but after several play sessions it gets old pretty quickly. It’s definitely a social game, but not in the best respects, since arguments about rules and some of the arbitrary card descriptions can get heated, which isn’t something that people like to participate in (usually).

Lunch Money, linked in the post above, is more fun and the rules aren’t as arbitrary, and it’s also very social for 4 people.