Saturday, May 17, 2014

Munchkin

Munchkin is a 3-6 player card game that has a humorous take on role-playing games.  It is suitable for players 10 and up, and is very quick to set up, with an average game running between one and two hours.  It has been around for about 14 years and won a 2001 award for best traditional card game.
Gameplay
At the beginning of the game, each player is dealt four cards from the “door” deck and four cards from the “treasure” deck.  Each player may then choose to play a race and class card that is available to them.  A player may only have one each of these in play at a time though.  Each player may then play any item cards down in front of them.  These items do not have to be used right away, but may be played down anyway for the purpose of trading them later in the game. 
On each players turn, they go through four steps.  Step one is to flip the top card of the door pile (referred to as kicking open the door).  If it is a monster that is revealed, you must fight it immediately.  The only way you can fight the monster is if your bonus (level plus additional bonuses from items played in front of you) is higher than the monster’s level.  If you defeat the monster, you can take the number of treasure cards indicated on the monster card from the treasure pile.  If your bonus is not high enough, you can ask other players for help (they are allowed to play cards to benefit you), or you can run away.  In order to run away, you must roll a 5 or 6.  Any other roll and the monster catches you and “bad stuff” happens (as indicated on the monster card). 
If it is not a monster, you add it to your hand.  At this point, you can go looking for trouble, meaning you play a monster card from your hand in front of you and act as though you just found it in the room. 
If you did not find a monster, or you did not go looking for trouble, you can loot the room, which means you take the top card of the door deck and add it to your hand. 
The final step of your turn is to “discard” down to 5 cards.  You do this by giving any cards in excess of 5 to the player with the lowest level.
Winning the Game
The object is to get to level 10.  You can do this by defeating monsters, selling treasure, or by playing a “go up a level” card.

This game is incredibly flavourful, and very humorous.  The card art is quite funny, and adds to the overall experience and fun of the game.  The multiple classes and races make each game play differently, and the strategy will keep players wanting to play more to improve their game.  Munchkin is not very complex; a group of new players can learn it very fast, and immediately begin having fun with it.  If you are a fan of role-playing games, this is a game you are sure to love.

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