Munchkin, like Nekojin said, is hilarious, ridiculous fun. However it seems to have…exploded somewhat.
The original Munchkin was intended as a parody of D&D, which it does splendidly with so many jabs at the players and makers of the game that anyone with even a passing knowledge of a vague concept of what D&D could possibly be about would have a wonderful time laughing at/with this easy to learn game. But on top of that there are so many obscure references to old rules, monsters, and odd anecdotes from the community that the seasoned D&D veteran will still have as much, if not more, fun. And more is being added constantly. As of this writing Munchkin has 7 expansions (make that 81…or rather 102) each adding new content to the game.
But Wait, There’s More!
Since its original inception, the Munchkin card game has sprouted out to lampoon many other games and genres. These include:
- Star Munchkin: A take on the Scifi genre. It even adds weapon cards that you can stack together to make even bigger and more powerful weapons that, due to the overall theme of Munchkin, can count as one item that your character can carry in a single hand.
- Munchkin Fu: Which makes a mockery of martial arts movies.
- Munchkin Bites: A quite clever parody of D&D’s major competitor, White Wolf’s World of Darkness populated with werewolves, vampires, and pretty much all the other creatures from popular horror fiction.
- Super Munchkin: A lovely bashing of comic books and superheroes. This game introduced super powers, character origins and secret head quarters into the fold.
- Munchkin Impossible: All about spys. And who doesn't love them?
- Munchkin Cthulhu: This is the closest you’ll ever get people who’ve read every bit of H. P. Lovecraft’s stories to smile. This game added the Cthulhu Cultist character class, with the special rule that if all the players in the game become cultists then the game immediately ends and everyone wins/losses. This game actually has two expansions now to add to the seeping madness.
- The Good, the Bad, and the Munchkin: This is Munchkin’s wild west variant. It and Munchkin Impossible are the only games that have yet to be given an expansion.
- Munchkin Booty: Munchkins on the high seas.
- Epic Munchkin: This is not a full game in its own right, but a set of rules and amendments if you want to play past the level 10 cap up to level 20. It’s free to download from the Munchkin website and contains rules for all of the Munchkin variants.
All of these different Munchkin variants can be played separately, or combined together. It’s fun to play as a telepathic vampire samurai, riding a dinosaur, wielding a vorpal blade in one hand and a lazer-dazer-phaser-bo-bazer in the other.
Munchkin also makes a nice drinking game. This is how I actually learned to play Munchkin while simultaneously emptying bottles of mead. Every time you go up or down a level you have to take a drink.
- Drunkin Munchkin: Fun at parties, the only problem is remembering how to do basic adding and subtracting.
There is also a line of other Munchkin merchandise (e.g. bottled water, t-shirts, posters, bookmarks) all of which have their own rules that modify the game.
1 Munchkin 3.5: Clerical Errata is a set of misprinted cards that the community demanded. Steve Jackson Games announced that there would be a delay in Munchkin 3 coming out due to the printing mistakes, but everyone wanted the wrong cards anyway, so this set was made available along with rules that would make the incorrect cards…correct.
2 Munchkin Blender and Munchkin Dice are minor expansion sets that include cards to help combine the different sets and oversized ten-sided dice to go along with the games.
Sources: My own copies of the games and http://www.sjgames.com/munchkin/expansions.html.