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Munchkin title

Go down in the dungeon. Kill everything you meet. Backstab your friends and steal their stuff. Grab the treasure and run.

Admit it. You love it.

Munchkin is the mega-hit card game about dungeon adventure . . . with none of that stupid roleplaying stuff. You and your friends compete to kill monsters and grab magic items. And what magic items! Don the Horny Helmet and the Boots of Butt-Kicking. Wield the Staff of Napalm . . . or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment. Start by slaughtering the Potted Plant and the Drooling Slime, and work your way up to the Plutonium Dragon . . .

And it's illustrated (now in full color!) by John Kovalic!

Fast-playing and silly, Munchkin can reduce any roleplaying group to hysteria. And, while they're laughing, you can steal their stuff.

Munchkin box and contents
image © Steve Jackson Games

User Reviews (96)

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The Silver Heart
Video Game Fan
90 of 98 gamers found this helpful
“Funny at first”

You start with a character at level 1 with the aim of being the first to reach level 10, I will give a brief overview of the gameplay. The game has two decks, door cards and treasure cards. On your turn you pick up a door card, if it is a monster you can fight it – winning results in levelling up and receiving treasure, losing results in the ‘bad stuff’ on the card e.g. lose your head gear. If you don’t pick up a monster then you can fight a monster in your hand or get some treasure by looting the room. Other cards you pick up consist of races (e.g. elf) and classes (e.g. thief) for your hero, each with their own special ability; curses; equipable items such as armor and weapons; items that can be thrown into battle to help you or the monster – i.e. to help you win a fight and to make others loose fights and other random cards that mix things up. Players can help each other along the way but allegiances do not last…

Generally everybody is nice to each other until people reach about level 8 and then everything changes and instead everybody will be boosting up the monster you are fighting to make you lose.

Who is it for?
This game is far from serious, I would put it in the category for casual and social gamer but the theme is very much geared towards people who are familiar with the rpg world.

– The cards are funny and if you like dungeons and dragons then you will have a great time playing this game
– A good social game where you can just have a laugh with friends

– The rulebook is very confusing, it is best to learn from someone who has played the game before
– Very random and luck driven
– Replayability is low, once you’ve seen the cards then the jokes tend to get old. There are many many expansion packs however.
– Not for people who don’t like confrontation. This game can cause arguments

Should you own this game?
This game is fun to take out every now and again for a light gameplay experience or when drinking with friends but it lacks replayability. This game is not for people who like a deeper strategic game.

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I play blue
Book Lover
Intermediate Reviewer
Smash Up: Ninja Faction Fan
81 of 90 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1

1. a child or small person (origin: the “Munchkins,” depicted as a race of small childlike creatures, in L. Frank Baum’s 1900 work,The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
2. a classification of role-playing gamer who prioritizes game objectives such as loot and experience points over character development and narrative quality
3. a light card game designed by Steve Jackson that mimics and parodies classic role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons in a simplified dungeon crawl, where players – i.e. “Munchkins,” impish adventurers out for their own advantage at the expense of their fellow party members – draw “door” cards, resolve what they encounter, and win “loot” cards, until one “Munchkin” advances to level 10 and wins the game
4. a family of card games expanding the original game into several genres and themes, e.g. Super Munchkin

5. describing a number of board and card games transposing the artwork and characters of the original card game into new iterations of other existing games, e.g. Munchkin Loot Letter

How I Discovered Munchkin and Fell in Love with It
I was introduced to the Munchkin card games through the Munchkin Booty variant by some friends, and had a great first game. The card artwork was cheeky, and the puns and allusions on the cards hooked me. It was exactly my sense of humor, and at first blush, this game quickly joined my newly-formed Top 5 list. I bought the Munchkin Deluxe box for my birthday, hoping that the original game would scratch my growing itch for D&D. I love the little “Munchkin” miniatures and the dungeon map board that replaced an improvised level counter system: they made the game feel more like the large-scale RPG experience I craved. I loved looking through the cards and laughing at the artwork and concepts.

My Growing Dissatisfaction
But once I played it once or twice, I quickly became disenchanted:
– The game excels with larger numbers, so 2-player games with my wife were lackluster at best.
– The game demands a “take-that,” backstabbing, kind of play that is only really possible with certain combinations of cards, making the group experience frustratingly limited.
– The game promises a high replay-ability because of its wide variety of combinations for randomized character creation: races, classes, weapons, armor, etc; but as funny as the equipment cards are, they rarely add to the experience of play unless players really exercise their imagination, and much of the equipment is sold for levels without ever factoring into play.
– The game’s familiar dungeon crawl theme suggests a large-scale party dynamic, but actual play is usually very short and individual – one player flips over a monster from the “door” deck, resolves their combat, draws that monster’s amount of “loot” cards, and the next player goes.

Why I’m Only Now Writing a Review
I love this game’s theme, and its wit, and its art. I want to love this game’s easy-to-teach mechanics and RPG concept.
But this game has been collecting dust for a number of reasons:
– The theme is very nerdy up front, and when I try to explain it to non-nerd/non-gamer friends and family, they usually opt for something more accessible and concrete (usually either disease- or train-related…).
– Hoping to add variety and rejuvenate the game, I bought a number of expansions, paying probably twice the cost of the original game. There are now so many cards that players rarely draw even a fraction of them, and the work involved in sorting and selecting an appropriate number of cards that offer an enjoyable play experience far outweighs the actual play time.
– The rulebook is terrible. It over-complicates what should be a simple game by trying to address all the potential hiccups and squabbles without actually resolving any of them.
– Most of all, the stuttering pace of the game is very distracting. The game usually starts very slow, as players develop an understanding for play and try to work out how they’re supposed to relate to the other players in their “party.” Play continues slowly for four or five rounds, reading the cards out loud and laughing, exploring how much a person can do with what they have. By the time those dynamics are familiar, one player has reached level seven or eight, and becomes a target for the other players’ interference. The pace ramps up suddenly, leaving some people way behind and advancing one person to level nine: that last encounter before level 10 drags on and on as everyone throws their last possible wrench into the game, and all of those wrenches – wandering monsters, curses, and other disadvantages – take forever to resolve, and still that person usually comes out the winner.

My Conclusion (TL;DR)
Munchkin frustrates: I want to love this game, because it promises so much to a nerd who is far, far away from his college D&D group a long time ago. That’s why I rated it so high after first playing! But “Munchkin” is as “Munchkin” does. Just like my friends who ruined the quality, story, and characters of our D&D encounters by trying to go out alone or screw everyone over for XP, Munchkin delivers exactly what it promises: purposeless backstabbing, truncated and overly simplistic play experience, and mounting tension between players only out for themselves. I would now rate this game at only a 5. I want to love this game, but I cannot any longer. I give up.

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United Kingdom
Gamer - Level 5
56 of 63 gamers found this helpful
“Very silly dungeon themed game; needs expansions to keep it fresh”

Summary and conclusion

Munchkin is something of a modern cult classic. It takes a dungeons and dragons type theme which appeals to many hardcore gamers, adds in great artwork and humour for the more casual gamer, and packages it into an easily transportable card game.


It has a couple of drawbacks. Most games are roughly the same, and once you have become familiar with the cards you will be looking for an expansion to keep replay-ability. You win through a combination of luck and the choices of who your fellow players pick on, both of which can be very frustrating (and don’t play this with a sore loser).

Set up and learning the rules

Set up is straightforward and quick. Shuffle cards, deal cards, done.

Learning the rules is less straightforward. The first time play through is a little frustrating, and the first couple of times my group played this we misunderstood some of the rules. Even knowing how the game plays you will find yourself scouring the rulebook and debating particular effects of cards. I believe that this is meant to be part of the character of the game, a nod to D&D etc., but for casual gamers this is a turn off.


You start off as a level 1 human of your gender with no class (heh). This matters, as it is a character based role playing game, and the aim of the game is to get to level 10.

You have a hand of cards which you can play, and which get refreshed / bolstered throughout the game, to get you to level 10. Importantly, you will also have plenty of cards which will stop other players getting there.

On any turn you turn over the top card of the “Door” deck. This might be a monster to fight, a curse to curse you, or helpful stuff which you can add to your hand.

If you didn’t draw a monster from the “Door” deck you can either play a monster to fight from your hand or draw another card to bolster your hand.

As you might be able to tell, fighting monsters is key. It’s the main way that you level up your character, and you have to do it to win. Different monsters have different strengths, and generally give better stuff if they are stronger. You need to be stronger than the monster to beat it. Your strength is equal to your level + bonuses from items + the strength of anybody else who helps you. If you beat it you level up and draw as many “Treasure” cards as the monster told you to (if anybody helped you they will have normally have done so in return for them, not you, drawing these “Treasure” cards). If you don’t beat it you get to try and run away (a dice roll). If you escape, fine, if not the monster does bad stuff to you. Bad stuff could be anything from loss of an item, losing a level, or death.

When you are fighting, as well as helping you, other players can play cards to hurt you. The wandering monster might give you two monsters to fight, they might curse you, bolster the stats of the monster, or weaken you. Choosing who to use your player interaction cards on is key to winning this game, but it can get really nasty.

Fun element

Munchkin is fun. The cards are very funny, the game doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it assumes that you will all be mean to each other in the spirit of the game. Don’t take the game too seriously, and don’t worry if you don’t win. This isn’t a grand strategy game; it’s very very silly and it knows it.

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Master Grader
Novice Reviewer
Amateur Advisor
I'm Completely Obsessed
49 of 56 gamers found this helpful
“A game of chaos, betrayal and silly cartoon pictures”

Hilarious at times and infuriating at others, this game is well known to produce a crazy good experience. The cards are funny, the combos are overpowered and everyone cheats. Just a few of the reasons I love this game.

The basis of the game is this. You are a Munchkin. You and your fellow Munchkins go down into the dungeon and fight monsters, get loot and go home. Pretty straightforward. The interesting part comes when your so called Munchkin “friends” end up being more detrimental to your health than the monsters. See, it’s not about just winning and getting the loot, it’s about being the ONLY ONE winning and getting the loot.

As you progress through the game every player ends up with various cards they can use to hinder their friends/opponents. These can be used during battle to help the monster or just because you didn’t want them to have that particular weapon they seem to value so much. Oh, don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to be that much of a jerk. You can help your fellow Munchkins in a fight…but then you have to share that sweet sweet precious loot, and that just doesn’t seem fair considering it is your loot. Besides, they are cheating anyway.

Holding a small weapon in one hand and a small shield in the other makes perfect sense. But what if you wanted to also carry a chainsaw and possibly a giant two handed ax as well. It may be cumbersome and look quite awkward but with a Cheat chard (or two in this case) you are completely allowed to do this no matter how little sense it would make. A single Cheat card allows you to use any weapon you would otherwise not be allowed to use. Already wearing a helmet? Play a cheat card and now you have two helmets on. It may look cool or stupid, but you now get the benefits from both so who cares what you look like.

Keep a light hearted approach to the game and all the backstabbing will become hilarious instead of infuriating. The exact details of things might become a little difficult to keep track of throughout the game but embrace the anarchy and go with the flow and even when someone does something wrong it’s quite entertaining.

-Humorous art and flavor text. Good quality.
-Chaotic fun.
-Easy to get going and tons of expansions to add to the mix later.
-The silliness of the games makes even losing amusing.

-The chaotic nature of the game can turn some people off.
-Some rules can become a little confusing at times with certain card combos.
-Not everyone finds backstabbing or getting backstabbed enjoyable.
-The strategy is not very deep. Lots of random chance.

If you are looking for an affordable game that will appeal to a large group of people, even people new to board games/card games, Munchkin is an easy choice. The humor is obvious and the rules are easy to understand most of the time. Munchkin is a game that is usually a hit when I introduce it to someone even if it’s not the most in depth game. It probably won’t be a game you play with your group every time you get together, but when it does come out, expect it to be fun.

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Mantis Clan - Legend of the Five Rings Beta 1.0 Tester
Went to Gen Con 2012
46 of 53 gamers found this helpful
“Remembered as being far more fun than it actually is.”

If you, like me, were a kid in the mid-90s, you probably remember the Nintendo 64 game “Mario Party”. You’d be hanging out with your friends or your family, and want to play a game together, and someone would say “Oh, why don’t we play Mario Party? That’s always fun!”

Half an hour later, all of you are ****** off at each other, shouting that this game is unfair and stupid, punching each other in the arm, unplugging each other’s controllers, swearing openly when your stars got stolen yet again and Tyler got like eight without even TRYING. By the end, everyone is either angry, or just wants the game to be over with.

Then a week or so later, you’re hanging out again, and someone will say “Oh, why don’t we play Mario Party? That’s always fun!” The cycle repeats.

Munchkin is the Mario Party of tabletop games.

A comedy card game about adventurers out for treasure and XP, Munchkin’s high degree of randomness and “screw your buddy” factor have given it a reputation as a great party or “filler” game for avid gamers to unwind with in between RPG sessions or when they just don’t have time for a longer, more involved game. This despite the fact that while people are actually PLAYING the game, past the first few rounds, everyone is either angry or bored just wanting the game to end, and games can drag out to take up the whole night.

Gameplay is simple and easy to learn: every player is an RPG character who starts at level 1, with some treasure adding bonus levels, who fights monsters in the dungeon by flipping cards over from the dungeon deck. If the player’s total level is higher than the monster’s, they defeat it, gaining at least one level and some amount of treasure, depending on how strong the monster was. First player to level 10 wins. In addition to monster cards, the dungeon deck can have useful items for players to have, or to screw other players with, such as new races or classes, traps, or abilities to make other monsters stronger or weaker.

Monsters and treasures are lighthearted and wacky, and the premise certainly sounds fun, but it never really comes together. You need high levels to beat monsters, and beating monsters is the only way to get more levels (and treasure, which adds to levels), and when you kick in the door in the dungeon you’re just as likely to face a potted plant as you are a medusa, so players who get unlucky early on can get shut out pretty easily. In fact, most everything that happens until the very endgame is decided by luck, and there’s few ways to have or reward a good strategy. Nearly every game ends the same way, as well: one or more players are at level 9 and need to kill one more monster to win, every time they fight one, all the other players play their interfering cards on it to make the fight harder, and the one who wins is the guy who was lucky enough to come later in the turn order after everyone’s run out of cards, or the one who is lucky enough to fight a level 1 monster that the other players can’t buff up enough to beat him.

People remember Munchkin as fun because they really, really like the premise of it. A wacky comedy dungeon crawl card game just sounds like it should be a good time, right? But Munchkin just can’t live up to the promise of its premise. Some groups may find it enjoyable when they are actually playing it, but for most it simply isn’t worth the time or effort.

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I'm a Real Person
45 of 52 gamers found this helpful
“Feel the wrath of my Eleven-Foot Pole !!”

A- What is Munchkin ?
Munchkin is a card game simulating an RPG campaign … with players missing totally what ‘RP’ stands for.
Forget about Roleplay, scenario, relations between characters and NPC … naw, for a munckin, the only purpose of an RPG is to be the strongest most powerful than Gods of all the players. If it requires a little cheating, a little (discreet) change on the character sheet during the game, it’s not a problem.
So each player will begin as a level 1 basic character whose purpose is to become the first to gain the mythic level 10.

B- The components
Each Munchkin base games contains the same items : One D6 and two decks of cards.
One of the deck is the ‘Door Deck’ : It’s where all the monsters and traps are. But it contains too friendlier cards for players, such as Class and/or Race (Hey, what do you prefer, to be a lame basic human, or to be a mighty Dwarf Warrior ?) that improves player’s capacity and even ‘Cheat’ cards that legally allow you to cheat ! Some other cards are here either to help you, or hinder other player on their turn.
The other deck is the ‘Treasure Deck’ : Basically it represents the equipments your character can gain (Such as armor, sword, magic ring, potion …). With this you get some ‘Level Up’ card (like its name said : You get a free level) and some event to mess with other players.
The dice is used for some cards effect and to flee before monsters (more on that on the next section).
All in all, cards are good in quality … A little too small for my taste but nothing terrible.

C- The rules
You don’t need an IQ for 150 to play the game. The (very summarized) rules are :
– You open a door (Draw a Door card face-up) : If it’s a trap, you suffer the bad effect. If it’s a monster you have to fight it, otherwise the card goes in your hand.
– If you didn’t fight a monster, you can either loot the room (draw a Door card face down) or choose a monster card from your hand and fight it.
– After this if you have too much cards in hand, you give some of them to the player with the lowest level or discard them if you have the lowest level.
– Repeat with the next player.

The game end when you get the level 10 after killing a monster.

Combats are really simple :
Each monster has a level, a number of treasure and a bad stuff.
To win, your level and all you bonus must exceed the level and bonus of the monster. You can play almost every card of your hand to do this.
For example you are a level 1 Cleric and you fight a level 7 monster with ‘-2 against warrior’ written on it.
If you have a ‘Warrior’ class in your hand, you can change your class, so you become a level 1 Warrior fighting a level 3 monster.
You got a +2 Armor and a +3 sword in hand, you put it into play and now your Warrior has a fight value of (1+2+3) 6 against a level 5 monster … you win ! Except of course if another player backstabs you and give some bonus to the monster or even add a new one.
If the player wins, he gets 1 level and draws a number of Treasure cards as indicated on the monster card. If he loses he must flee and roll 1D6 : on 5 or 6 he flees, otherwise the monster catch him and the player suffers the ‘Bad stuff’ written on the card (Such as lose an item, a level … or die).
Sometimes, the monster will be really too tough for a single player. In that case he can ask another player help. Of course the other won’t help him like that but can bargain to get his share of the treasures given by the monster or even ask for some piece of his temporary ally’s gear. Once both players has settled an accord, the second join the fight and add his level and bonus too … Of course, if the monster is still winning, both players has to flee.

Well it’s not ALL the rules, but with this you get 85% of it.

D- Why people don’t like this game ?
For a lot of good reasons.
Yes, Munchkin is one of my favorite games, but I know it lacks some stuff.

First, strategies involved are really basic : To get the highest score to be able to kill alone any monster, and the luck factor is very important.
Simple strategies is linked with simple rules … Munchkin isn’t ‘chutes and ladders’ but it’s far away from Descent, Small World and Co. You get the rules in five minutes, you get the strategies in ten and the cards in thirty … and that’s all …
More than that it’s the kind of game where you must not win. If a player is unlucky enough to put himself in good position, every other player will try to screw him. The winner isn’t the best skilled. The winner is the one who put himself in position to win only when opponents had wasted their cards on them to prevent each other to win.
But the opposite isn’t impossible too : with some good draw a player can take so much advance that other can absolutely do nothing to stop him.
And worse, despite its simple rules, Munchkin game can be very lengthy … way to much lengthy … especially with 5 or more players.

E- Ewwww ! This game sucks. Why do your group like it ?

At first glance, it seems horribly random with luck mattering more than skill, but at second glance it isn’t so.
The cards are very fun and strategies are not that shallow.
The fact that you could ask for help add a lot to the game : Interactions between players isn’t only with cards, but with fast talk, treachery and lies … What can I say : For us, each munchkin game is a very cartoonish diplomacy game …
The cards are very unbalanced, but since everyone draw from the same deck we got a funny thing : ‘Cards are so unbalanced that the game is balanced !’. It’s very rare when someone is under lvl 7 when another player wins.
Serious player always seems to think the best way to win is to help nobody and keep his cards to screw someone who will win, which of course lead to a boring game (cf above), but once you learn that helping will give you very good cards (if you bargained well) and that screwing other players almost kill the ‘runaway player’, you get a dynamic fun game for an average time of an hour/an hour and half …
Cards are only half of the game, the other is brought by players … it’s their ability to deceive others.

I know I’ll probably the only one to like it but … The game is SO random, the numbers of cards are SO large (with some expansions) that every game you just don’t know what you will get and how the game will be played.

F- Is Munchkin a good game ?
With the right group of players, yes.
I will make a parallel with AD&D alignment.
You can be a lawful player, a chaotic player.

The lawful player hates random. Games like Chess and Agricola are for him.
The chaotic player love random. Drawing a card, flipping a coin, roll a dice …
Disclaimer : I know there isn’t only ‘I hate random’ or ‘I want only random’ type of players. If fact, this are extrems : and most players only tend towards of this types and can like games from the other types.
I think my group is a very ‘chaotic player’ one, and Munchkin is extremely random, so it has a very fertile ground to grow.
We discovered it about two years ago, and we haven’t done playing with it yet.

We love to lie, betray, tease, manipulate each other s(in game only), and Munchkin is the perfect tool to do this : A very simple mechanics that give lots of options.

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45 of 52 gamers found this helpful
“Fun for backstabbing fantasy fans”

You probably know that a Munchkin is a creature of diminutive stature that likes their roads yellow and constructed from a sturdy brick, you may know that a munchkin is a breed of small cat, and if you play role playing games you may have come across the term munchkin as a player who plays to win rather than for the roleplaying experience.

The latter term is what the Munchkin is referring to in this comedy card game for 3 to 6 players. Munchkin is a humorous pastiche (or **** take for those without A-levels) on common Dungeons and Dragons tropes. The aim of the game is for players to be the first to level 10 by amassing as much equipment as possible and killing monsters. Players take turns to enter the next room in the dungeon by turning over a dungeon door card and fight what is inside. Combat is simple; if your level and all your bonuses add up to greater than the level of the monster you win, claim the treasure and go up a level. If the total is the same or lower you have to run away by rolling a dice. Fail the roll and ‘bad stuff’ happens according to the monster’s card. Once the monster is beaten you get to take the treasure cards. These give you equipment which add bonuses or one-off abilities.

Not all of the door cards are monsters however. Some are curses that have an immediate negative effect. Some are random events that you can take into your hand and play later as either a bonus to yourself or a hindrance to the other players. Some again are classes and races that add bonuses to your character and allow the use of restricted equipment.

Often you are going to come across a monster that you can’t defeat, especially early in the game, so you can make a deal with another player to come to your aid. You then have to convince or bribe them to help you. What you offer in return can be absolutely anything. You could be offering up the treasure at stake, your current prized equipment or even having to mow the lawn or wash the dishes for a week. On the opposite hand you can try and hinder other players by playing events from your hand. This feature helps to level the playing field as players tend to pick on whoever is in the lead or the players falling behind tend to group together. This wheeling and dealing is what makes the game interesting; refusing to help a player that’s in the lead or having to give up your prised equipment for a player’s help.

The rules as written here seem really simple but unfortunately the rule book doesn’t like to put across these rules in a simple concise manner. The basic rule mechanics are fine, opening doors, fighting monsters are well explained but what isn’t clearly defined is what should happen when a class, race or effect is picked up from the door pile. This lack of rules clarity appears to be done on purpose, suggesting the game is supposed to cause arguments amongst players.

Humour comes in the form of cards and the players’ mischievous nature as you gang up on the leader or help out the runt of the group and change your allegiance at the drop of a hat. The cards themselves are funny providing you are aware of the fantasy RPG tropes, those people not au fait with vorpal swords and gelatinous cubes won’t get the joke. And the joke can run out quite quickly; in a 3 player game you will work your way through most of the deck, in a 6 player game you will easily go through the deck of cards a number of time. You can always add to your deck from one of the huge range of expansions and basic sets covering many other themes such as sci-fi, westerns and even Cthulhu.

One big drawback to Munchkin is its price. For a typical retail price of £20 you get one dice and two decks of cards. The cards are colour and are well illustrated by Dork Tower artist John Kovalic but the box seems very sparse and you never feel you are getting value for money. In addition you need something to keep track of everyone’s level. The rules suggest pen and paper or poker chips but when you’ve forked out that much you’d expect some tokens or counters in the box. You could argue that this is and expensive hobby and that seems a typical price but it comparing it to other boxed card games and you definitely don’t get as much for your money.

Munchkin is a fun game but its mechanics seem to be missing something. Its quick to set up and the game flows quickly but there is a lack of depth. The humorous cards and the blackmailing and backstabbing of your friends are what bring the game together but the jokes can wear thin quickly and it never feels like good value for money.

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Comic Book Fan
Novice Reviewer
45 of 52 gamers found this helpful
“A hilarious poke at Dungeon Crawlers that makes you rethink your friendships.”

When you think of munchkins you may think of yellow brick roads, lollipops, and the land of Oz, but when I think of munchkins I think of dark dungeons, breaking down doors to fight monsters, and backstabbing my friends all in the name of victory. Allow to me to introduce you to a game created by Steve Jackson Games. A game that is easily one of the most hilarious, tongue-in-cheek dungeon crawlers ever created. One of my all time favorite games; Munchkin.

Munchkin is a game that pits you against your friends in a race to reach level 10. Along the way you will “Kill The Monsters, Steal The Treasure, and Backstab Your Friends”. You gain levels by defeating monsters, playing “Go Up A Level” cards, and trading in items that add up to 1000 gold pieces. What’s great about Munchkin is even though it has a Dungeons & Dragons-like theme, it pokes fun at itself and some of the cliches included in that genre. For the sake of keeping this recommendation short I am only going to talk about the original Munchkin set.

During a normal game of Munchkin, players go around the table drawing from the door pile, also known as “breaking down the door”, and fighting monsters. On your turn you will flip a door card face-up. If you draw a monster card you must immediately fight it. Your level, as well as the bonuses you get from items and other helper cards, must be higher than the monster’s in order to defeat it. If that is the case then you count out the combat; I count it “1,2,3.5″, but it is completely up to you as far as how you count it out. Counting gives other players a chance to play cards either for or against you. Other players might add levels to the monster with a “+10 to level of monster” card, curse you to make you lose an item, or they may play a special card that kills the monster automatically, taking away all of your loot. If you successfully win the battle you get a level and draw treasure cards corresponding to the number on the monster card itself. If your level is not higher than the monster’s and you have no chance of defeating it you have two options. You can ask for help or run away.

When you ask for help your opponents can offer to join forces in combat with you. If they accept, your level is then combined with theirs giving you a better chance of defeating the monster. Other players can offer help for free or can demand something, such as receiving a share of the treasures. As the game starts off, other players will help each other because it is tough getting those first few levels when you are a weak human, but as the game progresses don’t expect other players to continue to bail you out. If nobody offers to help you, or you don’t feel like sharing the treasures, you can run away. To run away you take the dice and hope to roll a 5 or a 6. If you roll a 4 or lower you suffer from the “Bad Stuff”, listed on the bottom of the monster card. This can range from losing items, making you lose levels, or even death.

As I mentioned before, you will have items and other cards that will increase your overall level when you fight monsters. Items include things like the “Sword of Slaying Everything Except Squid”, the “Pointy Hat of Power”, a “Stepladder”, or even the “Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment”. It’s these kinds of ridiculous cards that make the game even more enjoyable. In addition to these items, players can also place “Race” and “Class” cards which give them different bonuses. You can be an Elf Thief, a Dwarf Wizard, a Cleric Halfling, or any combination of races and classes. There are even cards in the game that allow you to be multiple races or classes at once!

Munchkin is definitely a random game and whenever I have people over, it is always one of the first games I pull out to play. The art on each card is unique and helps illustrate your adventure, breaking down a door only to discover a Plutonium Dragon, a Gazebo, or even a puny Goldfish. The rules on each card add subtle twists in every turn and can make or break a character. Many people have cried “fowl” as they are cursed with a chicken on their head.

Munchkin is perfect for three to six players and is a game that can take anywhere between thirty minutes to an hour. On top of the original rules you can also play “Epic” Munchkin which has you playing up to level 20 instead, thereby making the game even longer! This game is easily in my top 5 favorite games and I could talk for days about how much I love it. Steve Jackson Games hit a grand slam when they made this game and the constant updates and expansions to the core set keep me coming back for more. To date there are over eight expansions for the original game and a dozen standalone Munchkin games like Star Munchkin, Munchkin Booty, Munchkin Fu, Super Munchkin, The Good, The Bad, and the Munchkin, and Munchkin Zombies. So if you’re sick of lugging around dozens of characters sheets, bored of the same old dungeon crawlers, or just looking for a fun card game to play with your nerdy friends, I urge you to pick up Munchkin; and then proceed to stab those friends in the back. Game on!

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Gamer - Level 3
Rated 25 Games
38 of 44 gamers found this helpful
“Great "take-that" type of game”

After having introduced my daughter to the world of “Take That!” games like Fluxx and Gubs, we were looking for something a little bit more, but not TOO overly complex. We wanted something that was still a manageable amount of time, but not over in 15 minutes and seeming like nothing we had done had any bearing on the win/loss.

In the case of Fluxx, we just wanted something reigned in a bit more. Fluxx was too messy/chaotic and was all over the place regarding length of play (60 minutes or even longer is way too long for the type of game I feel Fluxx is).

We had Munchkin sitting here for a while, never opening it until a few days ago. Wow, were we surprised! My daughter was laughing at all of the silly items, curses, and monsters encountered. At first, we felt that the game was going to be too simple. “Oh, so we just flip a card over, and do what it says, go to next player?”.

But the game turned out to be a bit more than that, making you plan whether or not you want certain items equipped or carried, in your hand, when to play curses, when to help other players and when it is the right time to turn on them and backstab away.

I worried that my daughter might not get that aspect of it (she’s 7). I Told her I Would help her on a fight she was going to lose, if she gave me her flaming armor she was carrying (not equipped). She gave it to me. We won the fight. Then she cursed me, taking the armor away (discard). I laughed so hard, but was very proud. She wanted to make sure I Wasn’t left with the +2 armor to help in my next battle, as she had the lead and wasn’t about to give it up.

Things like that, make this game what it is. If you try to over-analyze or can’t handle the random nature of most card games (This is NOT a deckbuilder, it’s a random dungeon crawl of sorts), this won’t be the game for you.

But if you embrace what it is, and just enjoy it, it’s quite a fun experience. For those who don’t think the random nature fits the dungeon crawl aspect, I respectfully disagree. If you were to enter a dark cave out in the woods, jumping right in, would you find a rat first? Or might you stumble into a huge Grizzly bear?

Kicking the door down in Munchkin follows that logic/randomness. Sure, it sucks that you kicked the door down at the start of the game and out pops a level 20 Plutonium dragon. But hey, that’s life! Suck it up, princess, and get on with it! 🙂

BTW – for those that don’t want to backstab as much, I found the Fairy Dust (and Dice) add-on to be good for groups that want to play in a more “helpful” manner.

We have also added a bag o’ munchkin babes (for their little extra rule, and because my daughter likes them…lol), and the Demented Dungeons expanion.

We’ve also now added all 3 of the christmas expansions, because my daughter just LOVES the idea of kicking the snot out of Santa and stealing his presents…lol. Maybe it’s because he brought her a barbie last christmas, and she wanted a dragon…

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Gamer - Level 2
37 of 43 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Killing monsters, Stealing treasures and Stabbing Buddies!”

Killing monsters, Stealing treasures, Stabbing buddies! Munchkins is a game, and probably the only game I have, that I feel safe to pull out regardless of what types of gamers I am around. It offers something for everyone, great strategy, great humour, a good theme, variety and balance. But is it worth being pulled out at every opportunity?

In Munchkins, you can gain a class and race, some armour, weapons, hats and shoes. The descriptions of all these items are cleverly written, and the artwork is simple in its design, filled with genuine humour!

A typical turn of Munchkins plays out like this: A player reveals a card faceup and must confront it. If it is a monster, the player fights it. If the card is a curse, the player is affected by it. If the card reveals something that can be of use to the player though (like a new race or class), the player gets to put the card in their hand (or become that race or class).

If the player didn’t fight a monster, they decide if they want to draw another card and put it in their hand, or they can fight a monster card from their hand. After this stage, their turn ends.

Combat is simple, and no dice rolls are used. Most items give you some sort of a combat stat (the sexy leather armour, for example, gives +2). You add all these bonuses to your level, and that determines your strength for that fight. If your strength is higher than the enemy’s, you win.

Defeating monsters gives you new treasures from the treasure pile which more often than not, will help you get stronger. Most importantly though, killing monsters give you levels. If you reach level 10, you win the game!

Munchkins creates plenty of opportunities where you will not be able to win combat. In fact, more orten than not, you will not be able to defeat the monsters on your own. When this happens, you can ask another player for help to defeat the monster. This will result in deals being cut between you and the other players as only one player can ever help in any given combat. Sometimes the players will leave you to face the monster on your own in order to stop you from gaining levels and/or have some Bad Stuff happen to you (the bad stuff that happens is written on each monster card and ranges from losing a small item to instant death).

People can also interfere in someone else’s combat by making the monsters stronger (or by simply making the dissappear).

The theme and artwork compliment each other really well. But what happens when the jokes have become old and you stop seeing the cards for the funny desctiptions or artwork but rather see cards as stats. When the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment simply becomes a +4 2 handed weapon, is the game still worth playing? The answer is YES! Munchkins, when stripped down to it pure gameplay mechanics, is an extremely solid game that works, and works well! After 200+ games, I still carry Munchkins with me absolutely everwhere I go, pulling it out in restaurants and at parties regularly, and it still sees the most gametime out of all the games in my collection.

Munchkins is a must buy!

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PC Game Fan
Miniature Painter
42 of 49 gamers found this helpful
“Kick in doors, kill monsters and steal treasure from your friends while laughing!”

My 1st review so be gentle… LoL

What you get for $20.00
Single 6 sided die, average quality off-white color
168 cards, average quality with “cartoonish graphics” see box art
Rules sheet, easy to read large sheet folded in half.
Endless hours of tormenting your friends for laughs 🙂


Set up time and preparation
(2 to 5 minutes)
You will need to take 168 cards and sort them into 2 stacks, treasure & door. Easy enough as the back of the cards either have a picture of a door or a picture of a treasure pile. I recommend just using a rubber band to keep each stack together when putting the game away.

1) Sort the cards into a face down treasure stack, shuffle cards
2) Sort the cards into a face down door stack, shuffle cards
3) Roll the die to see who goes first, I use highest number goes first then turns go around the table in a clock wise direction.
4) Each player draws 2 door cards and 2 treasure cards
5) Each player can play any or all of the 4 cards you start with.

As you can see, super easy and quick to set up the game!


How to play the game
1) Play any cards from your hand that you can/want
*Race card, class card, item card, level up, steal your friends item and etc…

(Draw a card from the door stack and place it on the table face up)
*If it’s a monster you must fight or run
*If it’s a curse card, you get cursed (do as card says)
*If it’s something else, put it in your hand
*If you dont draw a monster, you can play a monster from your hand

3) Trade items with other players and or play cards from your hand

4) Charity, if you have more then 5 cards (dwarf can have 6) in your hand you need to either give the extras to the lowest level player or discard them.


For example, You have to fight a level 8 monster…
*You need to have a total of 9 or higher to win combat
*You are level 5, you have two items in play which are +1 armor and +3 sword. 5 + 1 + 3 = 9 so you win the fight!
*If your number is lower then the monster you can either…
a) ask for help, bribe your friends into helping you
(add thier numbers to yours)
b) run away, roll 5 or 6 on the 6-sided die
c) play a card from your hand

Now for the fun stuff…
Now lets say your friend is fighting a level 5 monster and his/her number is a 7. You could play a card on the monster that gives it a +5 and now the monster is level 10 and your friend losses the combat. Sometimes you get stuff for another player losing and sometimes you get stuff for helping your friends.

If you lose combat, the monster card on the bottom will have “bad stuff” like lose level, lose item and etc…

If you win combat, you go up a level and you get to draw treasure cards. The monster card will tell you how many levels and how many treasure cards.


How to win
First player to get to level 10
*Get levels from killing monsters
*Get levels from selling items (discard)
(each item has a gold value and 1000 gold or more gets you a level)
*Elf gets a level for helping someone else
*some cards give or take levels


Misc info
I have the normal edition, the deluxe edition comes with a mat and minis that makes it much easy to keep score.

Game will last between 30 to 90 minutes.

Very high reply value, never the same game twice.

Sense of humor is required!

Tongue N Cheek humor based from Dungeons & Dragons.

Classes are warrior, thief, wizard and cleric.

Races are Elf, Human, Halfling, Dwarf or half.

3 to 6 players / 2 people can play just longer and not as fun or random

Can play it almost anywhere, been known to play this at work on my lunch hour

TONS of expansions and add-ons

Luck and randomness plays a big part of the game

Age range, I would say 10 and up

Who would like the game best? Old school D&D players that have a sense of humor and have friends that like to tease each other.

Who would not like the game? someone who hates the box art. someone with no sense of humor, someone who can never take a joke and someone who hates the idea of one of thier friends teasing them in a joking manor.


Learn to play 8/10 (easy to learn & teach but some questions not answered)
Replay value 9/10 (never the same game twice)
Game play 8/10 (fun and addictive game)
Game components 6/10 (no way of keeping score, I just use dice. Card graphics could be better)
Fun Factor 8/10
Over all score 8/10 with a high recommendation of getting this game!


Lastly… go over to youtube and search for Munchkin. You will find a video of Steve Jackson himself playing with 3 other people. It’s a great video that will teach you how to play the game and explain everything much better.

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Z-Man Games fan
I play red
Indie Board & Cards fan
42 of 49 gamers found this helpful
“A funny, yet flawed, crawl through the dungeon.”

Kick down the door. Kill everything you meet. Backstab your friends and steal their stuff. Grab the treasure and run. Each player is trying to find the most stuff and slay the most monsters to level up. The first player to level 10 wins the game.


The basic set of Munchkin comes with a die, rule book, a set of Door cards, and a set of Treasure cards. The box is dived in to four sections, and for expansions and add ons. The cards feature artwork from John Kovalic. The artwork is great and really brings out the humour of the game. They are of decent stock, but you may want to get sleeves for them for frequent plays.

If you don’t like adding parts to your game, get the Deluxe Version. In this version you get 168 cards, 6 pawns, 6 player cards, gameboard, rulesheet, and a six-sided die. Given how close the two versions go for, I highly suggest the Deluxe version.

One thing that is not included with the game that does make the game easier to teach and play is card management sheets. While the game is 100% playable with out them, I recommend downloading and printing some out. They can me found on the official Munchkin site:

There is also a variety of expansion and subsets you can purchase. While they can add to the humour, they are not required to play.


Munchkin is playable by three to six can players. Divide the cards into the Door deck and the Treasure deck.
Shuffle both decks. Deal four cards from each deck to each player.

Decide who goes first, and you are ready to go.

Game Play – Basics

A player’s turn is dived up in to 4 basic phases: Kick Open The Door, Look For Trouble, Loot The Room, and Charity.

To Kick Open The Door, a player draws one card from the Door deck. If the card is a monster, combat begins. to resolve conflict, compare the level of the player vs the level of the monster. If the player has the higher level, he defeats the monster and wins the number of treasures on the card. More importantly, the player goes up one level. If the monster has an equal or higher level, the monster wins and the player must run away.The player rolls the 6 sided die. If you roll a 5 or better, you successfully avoid the monster. If not, read the “Bad Stuff” portion of the monster card and apply the penalty.

If the card is a curse, it is applied to you immediately. Any other card type goes in to the player’s hand.

If you do not find a monster, you may Look For Trouble. To Look For Trouble, simply play a monster from your hand.

If you did not find a monster or look for trouble, you may Loot The Room. Take a 2nd card from the the Door deck and add it to your hand.

One all other actions are performed, the active player must either play enough cards to get down to 5 cards in his hand, or give away any extra cards to the player with the lowest level. If the active player has the lowest level, he must discard enough cards to get his hand down to 5.

Play continues until the first player reaches level 10 by defeating a monster.

Game Play – Advanced Tactics

Besides the 4 basic actions, there are several other mechanics of the game based on the different Door and Treasure cards.

Some cards are level cards. These cards allow a player to go up a level for free. They can be used at any time, except to gain level 10.

There are also Race and Class cards. These cards gives you a special ability. Keep in mind that you start the game with no race or class abilities.

The next type of cards are items. These can be one shot, or re-usable and add to your combat score without raising your actual level. Items also have a gold value. Players can sell any combination of items worth more than 1000 gold combines to go up a level.

The are also Curse and Monster enhancement cards. These cards can either lower or raise the combat skill of the player or monster durring combat.


So now they we’ve gotten through the nuts and bolts, it is time to get to the best part of Munchkin…the game is REALLY funny. It’s a very silly game that takes several RPG tropes and uses them for comedic purposes. Here are a few examples of some of them in action:

“Don the ***** Helmet and the Boots of ***********. Wield the Staff of Napalm . . . or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment. Start by slaughtering the Potted Plant and the Drooling Slim.”

If you are in to dungeon crawlers, or other RPGs, you’ll likely find something to make you laugh. And if you don’t, there’s likely an expansion that will. Like Ninjas? There’s Munchkin Fu. Like zombies? Well then there’s Munchkin Zombie.

As mentioned previously, the artwork is done by John Kovalic. Kovalic is best known for his Dork Tower comic book, comic strip, and webcomic. If you are still on the fence about the theme, check out Kovalic’s work. If you like it, you’ll enjoy the game. If not…you might want to stay away.

Replay Value

With the number of different monsters and items, there are a variety of ways to win a game of Munchkin. That being said the game is VERY random and the humour can be lessened on repeat plays.

Over All Impression.

Munchkin is a funny, easy to pick up, dungeon crawler without the hassle of a traditional RPG. So why did I not rank it higher? Well the game suffers on the later turns as everybody gangs up on the leader. This slows the game down. On top of that, there is not a lot of variety in the game play. The game can take 2 hours to play. At that point you may not enjoy doing the same thing for the 20th time that night.

That being said, this is a game that everybody should play once. It’s fun, is easy to teach, and will get your gaming group laughing. After the first play? Well then it becomes a matter of your group. If your group likes the game and enjoys it, you’ll likely pick up some of the MANY expansions. If however your group groans at the slow down, it may end up being a game that doesn’t get brought out very often.

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Intermediate Reviewer
31 of 36 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“The most fun you can have while stabbing your friends in the back!”

Components. (Based on the colour edition)
The box is a sturdy affair featuring samples of the card art found within and a brief blurb on the reverse about the game theme and contents. One of the most striking pieces of text is found towards the bottom of the blurb which states that the game has sold over a million copies in 15 different languages! This is evidence of the quality of the game, to sell that many copies of a card game speaks of a fantastic product and Steve Jackson delivers quality by the truckload!!!
Inside the box we first happen upon the rules, which in the case of card games are often not presented in the best way. The rules for Munchkin are given on a high quality glossy, three fold A4(ish) sized pamphlet. The breakdown of the rules and play sequences are well spaced and so painfully understood that anyone can pick them up within minutes, the humour of the game itself is evident in the rules also with clever little jokes and puns thrown in that make reading the rules from end to end a laugh and a joy.
Under these rules the box itself is separated into four segments, one of which contains the Munchkin die, used primarily for running away in terror when you face a monster that can make jam out of you! It is a very nice die, it has a good weight to it and is very well made, with the one spot being a silhouette of a munchkin head. This alone is worth a bonus point as too often companies cheap out on the dice provided (I’m looking at you Claustrophobia.) and give you cheap, floaty dice with no weight to them and which feel horrible in the hand, and thats for games where dice are the common mechanic! This game uses it every now and then and it is of excellent quality.

The cards are next and these are separated into two different piles, Doors and treasure. On a players turn they will be turning over door cards, revealing monsters, curses and the occasional bonus in order to gain treasures with which to strengthen their munchkin and progress to level 10 and win the game (more on this in a minute). The cards are really nice, they are well made and feel nice in the hand with a smooth finish and well rounded edges. The art work is brilliant. Drawn by John Kovalic they are comical and are as much a part of the game as any amount of text, they add to the humour with their portrayal of the ridiculous denizens of the dungeon such as the Lame Goblin and the Duck of Doom curse. The box allows ample room to add many more cards to these piles before another storage solution would be required and with literally dozens of expansions this is very welcome.

Simple, frustrating, hilarious and above all so fun that you’ll come back again and again.
The game begins with each player receiving four cards from each pile, the door and treasure decks. You begin as a “level 1 human with no class (heh, heh.)” (straight from the rule book page 1!) and at the beginning of your turn can play/arrange your cards in any way you see fit, be that equipping new weapons and armour to increase your level, such as the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment which raises your strength by +3 or by playing cards like the Potion of General Studliness which advances you up a level immediately. You can sell items with a total value of 1.000 gold pieces to buy a level also and trade items with your fellow munchkins. When the cards are satisfactorily sorted you “kick open the door” by drawing the top card from the door pile and turning it face up. If a monster is revealed you may attempt to fight it by comparing your strength to the monsters level and if your strength is greater you defeat it and gain a level and any amount of treasures the monster card says. If the monster has a level equal to or greater than your strength you have the chance to use items to raise your strength, run away by rolling 5 or better on the die or asking for help from your friends. This is where bargaining skills are developed early! You can offer your friends any items you have or the treasures you will gain for aid if they aren’t inclined to offer freely and they can easily still refuse and put you in the unenviable position of attempting to run away. Even if you are stronger than the monster they can still wreck your day by playing cards to strengthen the monster, weaken you or even adding more monsters to the fight! Being a ruthless bugger with no conscience is key in this game, choose well when to help and when to hinder your friends and you will soon be on your way to level 10 and winning the game!

This game is as close to perfect as I have ever seen! I haven’t a single criticism for Munchkin and am happy to give it a perfect 10/10

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I play black
46 of 54 gamers found this helpful
“Enjoyable, so long as you have good, interested friends. And beer.”

Munchkin isn’t for everyone. While it takes a lighthearted approach to roleplaying games in general, it is easy to get quite heated and upset about the mechanics of the game.

That being said, I have gotten a few of my friends more interested in other more hardcore games due to Munchkin. It has a multitude of expansions that keep it fresh to some extent, although it is usually just more of the same.

There is good humor in the game, IMHO, and if you can keep from actually wanting to literally stab your friend in the back for playing all of his best cards to prevent you from winning, only to see the guy next to you win on the very next turn, then I believe Munchkin will find a nice home in your game collection.

Hardcore gamers beware, though. This ain’t D&D.

Replay Value (****) is completely dependent upon those you play with. Luckily, I have a great core group of gamer friends.

The Components (***) that come with the game (I have the deluxe edition that comes with character pieces and a board) aren’t much to scream and shout about, but they aren’t terrible either.

Munchkin’s Learning Curve (***) is made a whole lot simpler if you are playing with at least another experienced Munchkin player or you yourself are familiar with basic roleplaying games. Otherwise, the rules can be confusing as they are intentionally vague to encourage the backstabbing and conflict.

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Critic - Level 2 Beta 1.0 Tester
51 of 60 gamers found this helpful
“Not for Me but Maybe for You”

I will be honest. I have played this game and I can’t get myself to enjoy it for what it is. This is a light take that game at it’s core. If you enjoy the RPG genre or poking fun at the RPG genre, then this game is right up your alley. At it’s core the goal of any Munchkin game is to level up to Level 10 by defeating 10 monsters. You fight monsters, level up, gain treasures, and fight more monsters. As you fight these monsters your fellow gamers are also trying to prevent you from defeating these monsters or black mailing you for their assistance.

The game is simple and easy to learn. The basic mechanics of the game can be picked up by almost anyone. My problem is that the gameplay can tend to drag after awhile. I think this is a great 20-30 minute game. However, most games that I have played go for 1-2 hours. I think if this game was timed and whoever had the most points at the end was the winner. It would be a much better game.

I understand why there are so many expansions and themes of this game. Half the fun is seeing the humorous cards. Well once you have seen them all they aren’t really that funny anymore. So you have to get new cards to keep the game funny.

Overall, Munchkin is a light filler game. Yet it tries to be something bigger than that. And this is where is falls short. I would like this game alot more if it had a little more structure and was shorter. It’s too long for what it is.

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Stratagem fan
45 of 53 gamers found this helpful
“Look for Trouble... find a hilarious game”

Munchkin is to D&D what Scary Movie is to Horror flicks. The game plays like a D&D type game where you build a character, explore a dungeon, collect treasure and fight monsters. Only it does all this in a very comedic way. For example, a footgear item card is “Boots of Running Really Fast: Gives you +2 to run away.”

Munchkin is a 3-6 player game, though I’ve played with more, it just takes longer. A player who’s character reaches level 10 wins. In a nutshell, players start their turn by “opening a door” (picking up a dungeon card). If it’s a monster they fight it. Other players can choose to help either you or the monster. Players usually try and negotiate a deal to either help you or to not help the monster such as “I want half the treasure if I help you win.” If there is no monster to fight the player can decide to “Look for Trouble” by fighting a monster they have in their hand. After the monster has been killed the player can “Loot the Room” for any treasure. The rules are slightly more complicated than that so you will refer to the instructions often when you’re just starting out.

The game comes with rules, 1D6 and 168 cards. The art of John Kovalic is simple but works very well for the game. At first I misjudged the game because I thought the art was lame. But after playing the game a few times the art grew on me and now I think it’s perfect for the game. The game is light and funny so realistic detailed drawings or paintings just wouldn’t work for this game. I mean how do you paint a warrior holding a duck in a dungeon? The comic strip like characters are just a perfect fit. I also like how the artwork is consistent across expansions too.

Speaking of expansions, there are many to this game. Each expansion is another deck of cards that could be played stand-alone or shuffled right in to Munchkin. Blending different genres is funny and works well.

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39 of 46 gamers found this helpful
“Mixed Feelings”

Munchkin holds a special place in my gaming collection. It was the first game I bought and really helped introduce me to the hobby. Our group played again and again, bought numerous expansions and had a great time. After a bit though the game started loosing its appeal. As we were exposed to more games the random nature and lack of depth put Munchkin at the bottom of our collection. It is hard to review a game in which you have so much fun with but yet you never have the urge to play again.

So, starting with the basics, Munchkin is a card game that pokes fun at Dungeons & Dragons and the role playing experience. Each player plays theirself and throughout the game they will equip weapons and armor and battle monsters. Everything is luck of the draw so your equipment and the monsters you face will vary greatly between person to person. Here is where the real problem lies. If someone is about to win and draws a low level monster the game could end with no climax and this happens more than I would like.

Things are not all bad though, taken for what it is, Munchkin can be really fun. With the right group of people and the right mindset, screwing over a friend can be some of the best fun had at a table. All in all, I actually do like Munchkin. It has provided hours of entertainment and I got a little burnt out on it. Maybe one day we will pick it back up and have some fun.

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44 of 52 gamers found this helpful
“Great fun to be mean”

Munchkin is a great game that let’s you enjoy D&D combat without the role playing. What I must love about this game is trying to level up other players enemies and then offering to help them slay it… for a price.
The core game comes with some great cards and the many expansions and spin-offs are all compatible with the main game meaning that you can have some really unique and interesting matches for years after buying the initial set. Definitely worth a go and a good way to ease people in to RPGs later on.

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Z-Man Games fan
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
34 of 40 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“The game equivalent of Mad Magazine for D&D players”

Why is Munchkin named Munchkin? The world may never know. But what we do know is that this game was pretty much made as a nostalgic parody of roleplaying games, particularly for power gamers. The goal of Munchkin is to be the first one to reach level 10…by any means necessary.

The rules are pretty easy to understand, especially if you’ve played RPG’s.

You begin play as standard human lv 1 adventurers. You can play cards to change your race and class. Obviously each one has its own advantages and drawbacks. You also get to play cards that function as equipment such as weapons and armor. To gain levels, you either play quickie level-up cards, or fight monsters. The only exception is when you are leveling from 9 to 10- in that case, you MUST level by defeating a monster.

To beat a monster, you add your level and all the bonuses you get from your equipment, and if the total is higher than the monster’s level, you win. Winning levels you up and you get however much treasure as the monster is worth. Lose…and Bad Stuff happens. What is the Bad Stuff? Depends on the monster.

If a monster is too powerful, you can always bargain with or bribe another player for help. But this is a game of perpetual backstabbing, so don’t assume you can count on help all the time.

In fact, people will try to sabotage one another all the time. I mean, that’s the point. This is quite a chaotic and dramatic game. When someone is about to reach that final level, get ready for the inevitable pile on. Many times it works, and people may not like that part of the game because they think it’ll drag things out. In my experience, this only happened once. In any case, there are suggestions in the rules for how to shorten games like that.

Sometimes there are long stretches where there are no monsters, and I don’t think it was just bad shuffling. What that means is that when you do have a final monster, everyone has ammo against you. I think the lulls are a bigger problem than the fact that everyone piles on whoever is in the lead. However, by the time this type of thing happens, you are usually already a decently high level, so its not so bad.

I think this game is best played with maybe four people, because then there are enough players to create decent competition without making it so hard for someone to come out as a winner.

The components are decent. I’ve had my cards for a good while and they’ve seen some use, but they are still in decent shape. That’s really all you’d have to worry about.

The really cool thing about the Munchkin games is that they are all designed so that they are compatible with one another. You can combine Munchkin, Star Munchkin, Munchkin Cthulhu, etc. into one massive wild game! They effectively become full games that double as expansions for each other. I haven’t seen too many game franchises do that so much, and I love that aspect of it.

This is a fun game, but it needs an audience that is familiar with at least the concept of RPG’s or fantasy adventures. You also need to have a bit of thick skin, because the game gets a bit cutthroat. Don’t try it with people with short fuses, they might get mad when you stick it to ’em. 🙂

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I'm Completely Obsessed
Book Lover
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29 of 34 gamers found this helpful
“Great Tongue In Cheek Game”

Munchkin is an extremely fun game, and the original version is a very entertaining spoof of classic fantasy role-playing games (particularly the hack and slash style of old school Dungeons and Dragons). My friends and I have had many entertaining nights playing Munchkin and its many expansions and sister-games. The game designers show a keen sense of the games that Munchkin is making fun of, and an awareness of the many memes, gamer legends and history of the subject material that Munchkin is poking light-hearted fun at. An example of this is the dreaded Gazebo, which references the D&D gamer story commonly called “Eric and the Gazebo” (for those not familiar with this story, it has been retold in many forms but the basic gist is that in a now rather infamous incident, a player of a certain paladin evidently did not know what a gazebo was… and proceeded to attack it). Needless to say, in Munchkin, the Gazebo really can get you.

Munchkin is very straightforward to play and easy to learn or teach. Players have a hand of cards from which they can play class or race cards, treasure, monsters (either on themselves to “look for trouble” and advance their character or on others using cards like “Wandering Monster” in order to foil the other players) and various modifier cards.

The basic idea is to make life easier for your character, mess up life for you opponents, and generally have fun playing a largely dysfunctional party of adventurers. Each monster you defeat (as well as a few other cards in the game) gives you one or more levels for your character, and first one to level 10 wins. You can assist each other (usually in exchange for treasure), but in the end you generally end up stabbing your buddies to get ahead.

Choose Your Game or Mix and Match
In addition to its many expansions, Munchkin also exists in many variants now, including Star Munchkin, Super Munchkin, even Munchkin Cthulhu. Each variant focusses on a different genre, be it science fiction, super heroes, zombies, the Cthulhu Mythos, or even spaghetti westerns, so you can pick the Munchkin game that best suits your personal tastes. The games are also all compatible, so you can mix and match different variants into a single game – if you feel like pitting your party of elven wizards and Cyborg warriors against zombies, space aliens and cowboys, you can. Personally I rarely mix the games, being a bit of a purist, but I have played a couple of very entertaining “mash up” games in the past.

The Pros
This game is hilarious, and my game group and I have always had a ton of fun and laughs playing it. Even for non-gamers who maybe don’t get all of the in-jokes the game has to offer, it’s a fun game and easy to play. For obvious reasons the people who get the most entertainment out of a game like Munchkin are those who are familiar with games like D&D and fantasy RPGs and can really appreciate the humorous take on the old school side of fantasy gaming. That being said, pretty much anyone can see the joke of the Psycho Squirrel, who viciously assaults male characters unless they have protected themselves with the Spiked Codpiece.

The Cons
There are really only two things I can say that could be counted as points against Munchkin.

Genre Humor: The main one is that this is really a game intended for gamers, and while anyone can have fun playing it, players who aren’t familiar with fantasy gaming and the like may not get all of the jokes, thus missing out on some of the fun (and possibly staring at the gamers at the table in a bit of confusion trying to figure out what’s so funny).

Can Run Long: While most of the Munchkin games I have played have been fast and fun (the last time I met with my game group, we packed a half a dozen different Munchkin variants into an evening), once in a while a game of Munchkin can run long, usually due to bad draws or overly enthusiastic backstabbing of fellow players. On those rare occasions when the game drags on, the humor can be lost as people just want it to be over. This can happen in nearly any game, though, and is hardly unique to Munchkin or a fault that can be held against the quality of the game itself.

Overall Review:
This is a favorite at our game tables, and great to play when you want a fairly quick game that doesn’t take much time to set up or learn the rules to. Just shuffle the cards, deal everyone their starting hands, and let the laughs and mayhem ensue. The most important pieces of advice I can offer to anyone planning to get into Munchkin is pick the variants that you and your game group will find the funniest and most suited to your specific tastes, and play with friends – a big part of this game is back stabbing and chicanery, so if you have that touchy gamer in your group that doesn’t like getting occasionally (or frequently) messed with, that personally probably won’t enjoy this game. For everyone else, though, it’s a potential laugh riot.


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