‘Munchkin’ board game review
By Ed Appleby, Illustrator
Munchkin (n): a derogatory term for someone who plays a role-playing game (RPG) and instead of focussing on storytelling, focusses on over-powering their characters, getting all the loot, and killing other players. The term came from more experienced role-players commenting on other players’ immature and petting gaming style.
But sometimes, it’s fun to be petty.
Munchkin is a card game for three to six players, designed and published by RPG royalty Steve Jackson in 2001 and illustrated by Dork Tower cartoonist John Kovalic. Each player outfits themselves in ridiculous gear, fighting their way through monsters and stabbing each other in the back in order to be the first to reach level 10. It basically takes an RPG and gets rid of the annoying story.
The original game takes the theme of a Dungeons & Dragons-style dungeon crawl, but other versions of the game play in other genres, like zombie, superhero, western, sci-fi, or even Christmas. Each game can be combined with other genres to create some hilarious combinations.
The game is really fun, and incredibly funny, and has a very hardcore fanbase. However, I have found that the complexity of the game, as well as the mechanics that openly sabotage other players, can make the game frustrating to the uninitiated. The game sometimes has the tendency to go on too long, with players at the upper levels just trying to stop the others from winning.
As much as I enjoy the game, I would recommend it to more experienced players and those who can handle the highly competitive nature of Munchkin. If you do decide to play, you will find a rich culture of complex and hilarious gaming that Munchkin has become famous for.