Kill The Monsters * Steal The Treasure * Stab Your Buddy - In Space!
The latest game in Steve Jackson Games' Munchkin line of games, Star Munchkin does for Science Fiction Role-playing what the original Munchkin did for Fantasy RPG's - namely, parodies the heck out of it. Designed by Steve Jackson and illustrated by John Kovalic, it is a worthy companion to Munchkin. Unlike Munchkin, many of the references and in-jokes in Star Munchkin specifically poke fun at other Steve Jackson games, and there's even a reference to Tom Wham's legendary game, Awful Green Things From Outer Space.
As with the original Munchkin, the goal of Star Munchkin is to get to Level 10 in any way possible, but particularly by killing monsters. Many of the cards in Star Munchkin are based on cards in Munchkin - Half-Breed, Super Munchkin, Cheat!, and Wandering Monster are unchanged; Curses are now called Traps; Grenades are like Potions; Leather Armor is replaced by the Cellophane Space Suit.
However, there are enough significant changes to consider Star Munchkin as its own game.
- Races: The three races in Star Munchkin (aside from Human, which you are automatically) are Mutant, Cyborg, and Feline.
- Classes: The four classes in Star Munchkin are Gadgeteer, Psychic, Bounty Hunter, and Trader.
- Sidekicks: Star Munchkin adds a new play mechanic, the Sidekick. You can have one Sidekick in play at any time (Traders can have two). Most Sidekicks provide a combat bonus, a special ability, or both. All sidekicks can be sacrificed to save you from the Bad Stuff you would normally suffer for losing to, and failing to run away from, a monster.
- Laser weapons: All Laser class weapons in the game can be combined together to make one bigger Laser weapon. This is usually a good thing, but there are some drawbacks to stacking them all together...
While the basic rules for Star Munchkin are essentially the same as the Munchkin rules, they have been rewritten for Star Munchkin, and many rules have been clarified. In addition, an optional rule for a Quick Start has been added, and greatly improves the game's playability, in my opinion.
In response to gamers' complaints about the original Munchkin decks looking too similar, the two decks in Star Munchkin are notably different colors. The Station cards are light grey on the back, and light blue on the face. The Treasure cards are black on the back, and dark blue on the face. This makes it much easier to keep the stacks separate, and to sort out the cards if they should happen to get mixed up.
Finally, for extreme silliness, Steve Jackson Games points out that you CAN combine Munchkin and Star Munchkin for one huge game... Be warned that Elven Bounty Hunters don't get much action!