Sneeeeaaaak Preeeviiieeeww: Munchkin Zombies

Geek Culture


An early look at Munchkin Zombies from Steve Jackson Games

What Is It? Unless you’ve been living under a pile of rotting flesh, you’ve probably played (or at least heard of) the merriment of Munchkin, a role-playing card game from Steve Jackson Games. This tasteless diversion has spawned dozens of sequels and expansions, including the latest sequel, Munchkin Zombies. Nearly all of the Munchkin games are illustrated by the Gerent of Geek, John Kovalic. The game will be hitting stores later this spring, in April, but read on to learn how you might score a copy earlier!

Spill It, Somerset. What’s In The Box? You’ll find 168 cards, a really cool D6 with a silhouette of a Munchkin in place of the single pip and a set of rules. (The tokens in the image above are hearts from my copy of the game Frag.) The cards are absolutely beautiful and funny. Unlike Munchkin, the Zombies cards are full-color. [Edit: newer versions of Munchkin are full color.]

How’s It Different From Munchkin? The game is played pretty much the same way as Munchkin, with a few differences. First, the game begins with four cards from both the door deck and the treasure deck to all players, unlike Munchkin‘s two cards from each deck. [Edit: The newest version of Munchkin allows for the 4 per deck rule.] Where Munchkin stats look at Level, Race and Class, Munchkin Zombies use Level, Mojo and Powers.

The Mojo cards designate special zombie abilities with three types of cards: Atomic, Plague and Voodoo. While the Mojo cards come with some immediate abilities, they also enable you to play certain Mojo-specific items. If you don’t have a Mojo card, you’re just a regular old smelly, undead fella.

Power cards are a series of a half-dozen special, ummm, powers that turbo-charge your Romero-ruffian. Powers are tied to ranks, so if you are a level three zombie, you can only play powers with a rank of two or three. (There are also level four powers.) There are a handful of other special rules to the Munchkin Zombies game, but honestly, you’re just going to argue about them anyway, so we’ll leave it at that. Or you can just download the rules here. (Links to .pdf)

Is It Fun – Will I Like It? Munchkin is a wonderfully enjoyable game and Munchkin Zombies only improves on the concept because, well, it has zombies and the undead make everything better (excluding the ’08 remake of Day of the Dead). If you’ve never played Munchkin, you owe it to yourself to try — for one simple reason. While the game is challenging, funny and a roaring good geeky time on its own, it also contains a screw-over-your-neighbor component that will have you plotting revenge … before you’ve even been wronged. We absolutely loved playing Munchkin Zombies and, if I may make a suggestion, staying in zombie character throughout the game enhances the fun exponentially.

Come On, Tell Me Something Else That Will Get Me Even More Excited!! OK, this is pretty cool and unexpected, but Munchkin Czar, Andrew Hackard, at Steve Jackson Games told me that a limited number of copies of Munchkin Zombies will be for sale at PAX East next month. As if you needed another reason to go!

Munchkin Zombies will be available at your local game store or online at Warehouse 23 beginning in April of 2011. Suggested price is $24.95, but you can also pay an arm and a leg. Or three ears and a nose.

Disclosure: GeekDad was sent a review copy of this game.

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