Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

Munchkin» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A positive review of Munchkin rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
David Aubert
France
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
But before beware :
I don’t hold the Truth. If you hate Munchkin, after reading this, you won’t fall on your knees saying ‘I was blind, now I see ! Let’s play Munchkin all night long !’.
It isn’t a flame saying ‘Munchkin is a good game, only idiot don’t like it !’. There is a lot of game out there and, even the most successful ones have people who don’t enjoy it. (Honestly I only say this to avoid the ‘You got no taste’ replies after this )
I will only try to show, to curious people who may be interested by Munchkin, a little more good side than we usually see in the various Munchkin Forum.

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.

In conclusion
If you recognize your group in what I wrote, I think you could try Munchkin.
If you like to optimize every move you do and carefully plan your actions in a game ... well forget this game.
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wayne O'Keeffe
Ireland
Sligo
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Really like this game too (with the right group). It's easy to play, lighthearted and lots of fun.

The only (small) issue I have is with adding expansions. I have 2 expansions and the amount of new cards you add to the deck can be a bit of a problem. Basically it makes trying to develop a combination of cards (race to race specific weapons etc) very difficult and much more random.

But the base game on it's own is class.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Aubert
France
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Now we are sorting cards again because of the sheer size of the ... 'deck' ... (it take almost as space as Descent+expansion to stock ! )

The problem of 'orc only' items for example is not a problem really : a cheat card to use it or sell item for level.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
Connecticut
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm afraid you're playing the items incorrectly. You can't play items from your hand once the combat starts (so you can't use that sword) unless they are 1-shot items (like potions -- says on the card).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron
United States
Huntington Beach
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like the idea of the game fine. But the main reason most people dont like it is because it can go on way too long. As somebody said in another thread "Its 20mins of fun crammed into 2 hours".

When we play we set a 30 min timer. Whoever is the highest lvl when the 30mins hits wins.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
Connecticut
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Magrot wrote:
I like the idea of the game fine. But the main reason most people dont like it is because it can go on way too long. As somebody said in another thread "Its 20mins of fun crammed into 2 hours".

When we play we set a 30 min timer. Whoever is the highest lvl when the 30mins hits wins.


I wonder if that's a function of playing styles, Frankly I've never played a game that lasted more than an hour or so. Once you have a couple of people within striking range (8 or 9) it's real hard to keep one of them from breaking through to level 10.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Howard Arrrrrrrr
United States
Louisiana
flag msg tools
My friends and I have a lot of fun with this game. We usually get together several times a week to play one of a variety of games, and Munchkin usually gets elected at least once a week.

We have every expansion to the core game, and the deck is huge! I think it's fun trying to get the right combination of cards, bargaining with others for help, and trying to win despite all the monster enhancers thrown in to stop me.

I'd recommend this game for some fun get-togethers, with easy rules, and a good pace. (we average about 30 minutes with 4 people playing).

 
 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.