Using the awe inspiring power of my Kneepads of Allure, I force you to help me defeat this ancient Maul Rat!

Munchkin game

Munchkin is a light-hearted card game designed by Steve Jackson and published by the appropriately named Steve Jackson Games. It will accommodate 3 – 6 players from ages 10 to adult and takes about 90 minutes to play.

I played Munchkin last night for the first time in three years, and this was only my second play of the game. This is a game that has sat on my shelf for at least seven years I’m guessing. I even mentioned it in a post about unplayed games back in 2007. Why so little love for this cute little box?

Gamers love to hate this game. It’s random, silly, and can bog down at the endgame as players team up to keep each other from winning. I think I had all of those thoughts already firmly lodged in my enthusiast gamer head when I first tried the game a few years ago. I got it out again last night because my son thought the box art was funny. The game had recently been featured on an episode of Wil Wheaton’s TableTop, and that episode had made me want to give this game another chance.

Maul Rat Card
Get it? Mall Rat? …never mind

We ended up having a great time! I discovered that the real fun in this game, for me at least, lies in negotiation. I will help you defeat that Insurance Salesman if you give me first choice of two of the treasures. It’s even better if you can create a situation where another player will have to ask you for help. The cards are still pretty funny, even if some of the humor is a little dated. There was a pretty funny moment when my daughter defeated a Maul Rat monster and my buddy Joe and I were chuckling about the reference. My 13 year old had no idea what a mall rat was. I said, “You know… mall rats? Kids that hang out at the mall?” She looked at me like I had just stepped out of a crashed spaceship. Don’t kids hang out at the mall anymore?

The game was totally random and was filled with great moments of backstabbing and teamwork. I have no idea why I disliked this game, and I imagine this will get played again soon.

2 thoughts on “Munchkin”

  1. Yeah, I’m ok with Munchkin, too. It’s not something I want to play very often, but the humor is pretty good, and at times it’s been the game my son and his friends had a good time with. So we own about three of the sets, including one he received at a birthday. It seems pretty clear that this “franchise title” is the backbone of Steve Jackson Games, and who can fault him for that?! In fact, he’s been pretty lucky or skilled at riding those waves at various times, first Car Wars, then (I think) GURPS, and now Munchkin. I WISH his microgaming talents could’ve kept the business humming along all these years, but only Car Wars did that…and did so by leaving its micro roots in the dust.

    Munchkin is actually one of the better fantasy games as far as I’m concerned because it cuts through everything to get right to the monster-bashing and loot.

    1. I was surprised that I had so much fun, because I didn’t have fun the first time I tried it, but I didn’t understand how negotiation can play such a big part in the game play. You know Steve Jackson, right?

      I totally agree with your thoughts on microgames. I wish there was a way to revitalize that kind of game. It seems like all of the new games that would fit the parameters of that kind of design don’t fit the old microgame price tag.

Comments are closed.