Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Munchkin» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Review of Munchkin from a family perspective rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Matt Kiser
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Munchkin is a quintessential example of the take that! style of board games where players fight their way to the top by directly attacking one another. Theme and humor are the predominant elements of the game's appeal and fun-factor. The premise of Munchkin is that players are dungeon crawlers battling their way through room after room filled with monsters and piles of treasure. Thematically, the game follows in the footsteps of RPGs, replete with the classes and races that tend to inhabit such fantasy worlds. However, Munchkin does away with all the heavy role-playing aspects of creating and acting out a character. Instead, players focus on kicking down doors in a dungeon, fighting the monsters behind them, and absconding with the loot they find there. This treasure is a hodgepodge of weapons, armor, and gear that can better equip the player to fight bigger, nastier monsters behind future doors. Defeating a monster levels up your character and the first player to Level 10 walks away a winner.



The RPG flavor is deep in the game; player classes are Wizard, Cleric, Thief, and Warrior; races are Human, Elf, Dwarf, and Halfling. As I mentioned before, the humor element is what really drives the entertainment value of the game. Nearly every card attempts to make you laugh with hilariously bad puns, in-jokes lampooning the RPG experience, and the humorous artwork of John Kovalic. Especially for the first few playthroughs, players will be laughing out loud whenever they kick down a door and encounter such monsters as the Insurance Salesman or the Potted Plant. And more snickers will ripple through the party when you equip your Limburger and Anchovy Sandwich or lob a Cotion of Ponfusion at an opponent.

The mechanics of the game are straightforward and fairly simple. You begin your turn by flipping over a card from the Door deck, which usually reveals a monster that you must fight. If your combat power (the total of your level and any gear that grants you a combat bonus) exceeds that of the monster's then you win the battle and take treasures from the Treasure deck. If you can't win, you'll either have to enlist the help of your fellow players (but they'll have the option to negotiate for some of your reward) or simply attempt to run away from the monster. Running away comes down to a dice roll and if you lose, bad stuff happens, such as losing levels or some of your gear. During your battle with the monster, though, other players can use their own cards to mess with you, either making the monster stronger, making you weaker, or even adding more monsters into combat.



The take that! element of gameplay may or may not be something you're looking for in a family game. There is definitely a heavy element of opponent-bashing, with players all-but-constrained by the cutthroat atmosphere of the game's play style. In order to get to Level 10 first, you'll likely have to attack other players during their combat so that you can keep them from gaining levels and acquiring loot. Many of the cards in Munchkin are specifically designed to mess with an opponent. You can even flat-out cause someone to lose a level or two with your cards. Players have the choice of whom they'd like to mess with (as well as the option to join forces and gang up on another player), which could have the effect of making one player feel singled-out. So, if your children (or anyone playing with you, for that matter) are particularly competitive (or prone to picking on one another), you might want to think twice about introducing them to a game that centers around the mantra of "stab your buddy" (printed as part of the tagline on the game's box). However, the humor of the game is so deeply entrenched and the situations are often hilarious enough that if everyone at the table is able to keep a good sense of humor and willing to give as much as they get, then it could be possible to have many fun-filled playthroughs without anyone's feelings getting deeply hurt. If, as a parent, you just don't want to provide your family with an outlet for directly attacking others in a game for personal gain, then I'd recommend searching elsewhere for some more cooperative or, at least, less antagonistic gaming experiences.

Another aspect of Munchkin that parents will want to be aware of is the potentially inappropriate nature of some of the art and humor contained in the cards. Depending on your personal barometer of what is and isn't appropriate, there could be a number of cards that you wouldn't want your kids, other family members, or friends to be exposed to. One of the great things about Munchkin is that you can remove any offensive cards from the game, without seriously degrading enjoyability or playability. The game doesn't break down with a few cards missing. There are so many cards that in any given playthrough, you aren't likely to go through an entire deck of Doors or Treasures, so there are plenty of cards you'd never see anyway. Follow this link: http://glossavia.wixsite.com/tablethattopic/munchkin-card-ga... to a gallery of potentially inappropriate cards so that you can make the call yourself as to whether this game is for your family or not.

All in all, my family has found Munchkin to be highly enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining. After we first added the game to our collection, we played it over and over, with plenty of laughs to go around. It was one of the first games we got once we started really getting into tabletop gaming. My 6-year-old can keep up and regularly wins. In the early going, I'd occasionally have to explain the wording of a card to her, but she knows them by now and can interpret the application of new cards since she's familiar with the Munchkin style of play. My 12-year-old loves the humor and enjoys attacking his dad in a vicious onslaught of potions and Ducks of Doom. Upon opening up the box, I removed several inappropriate cards before the kids saw the game and there has been absolutely no impact on the game's flow or cohesiveness. We've since added a few expansions and will probably acquire more. Although we don't play Munchkin as often due to the explosion of our gaming library, it's still a reliable source of fun and puns on game night.

This review was originally posted at Table That Topic: http://glossavia.wixsite.com/tablethattopic/single-post/2016...
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Miah
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Good review. Munchkin seems to have a terrible reputation amongst serious gamers, but it's still the only game my whole family can get together and have fun with. My daughter, who generally doesn't get into my games, has actually brought it to friends' houses to play. My only complaint about it is that it drags on too long for what it is and wears out its welcome. People with smaller children especially might want to cap the game at level 7 or 8 instead of 10.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Ligon
United States
Georgetown
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Great review of a classic. I appreciate the family perspective. My 7yo has been bugging me to play and we finally did one evening with a "ghost player" for a 3rd (used a 1-3, 4-6 dice roll on help/hurt with the ghost). He really had fun buy, yes, I had to explain away several of the more adult humor cards... or he just didn't get the joke and that's fine too. I'm going to take a look at the link you provided and see about just pulling the cards when we play or play using an expansion like "Star Munchkin" or the like that might be less mature than the original.
Again... many kudos.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.