‘Munchkin’ – A Little Holidays, A Little Horror

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Halloween’s still close in the rear-view mirror, but Christmas is already on many folks’ minds. (Me? I try really hard to appreciate November on its own, but whatever.) At any rate, let’s bridge the gap a bit with a couple recent offerings from the Munchkin team at Steve Jackson games.

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The Munchkin Zombies Guest Artist Edition is the latest in the series of updated, commemorative sets celebrating the game’s 15th anniversary, and is illustrated by Lethargic Lad creator Greg Hyland.

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Like the other Guest Artist Editions, Zombies is akin to the Deluxe Munchkin sets, including more cards (168) than a standard edition, and a gameboard with player tokens for level-tracking. Gameplay works like other flavors of Munchkin: kicking in doors, fighting monsters, and grabbing treasure in the race to be the first player to reach Level 10. (If you’ve never played the game, you can get a quick feel for the game in this official online demo, or take half an hour and watch this episode of TableTop.) One twist to this particular edition is that the player “adventurers” are, in fact, zombies, which means the “monsters” they fight are, you know – people.

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Hyland’s style is well-suited for the zombie theme – and be warned: There’s a decent level of cartoon gore here. I know gross-out humor isn’t for everyone, or appropriate for all ages, so if the cards shown here give you pause, you may want to steer clear of this edition.

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Also just re-released for the holiday season is Munchkin Christmas Lite, which got a limited release in 2015, and is now back for another short run. Although it’s packaged like one of Munchkin‘s expansion sets, this is a stand-alone game with a 112-card mix of Treasure and Door cards, with a Yuletide theme.

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Priced at $9.95, Christmas Lite – illustrated by John Kovalic – can be had for less than half the cost of a standard boxed Munchkin set, and was designed with gift-giving in mind, to offer a lower-cost gateway to the game. It doesn’t come with the necessary six-sided die, or the typical, sturdier Munchkin game box for storage. It’s also designed for just 3-4 players, instead of the usual 3-6 player capacity.

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I like the idea of a cheaper, slightly smaller-scale Munchkin as an introduction to the game, and as with all Munchkin sets, you can always shuffle these into any other deck if you want to add more players and more mayhem. (On a design note, the high-contrast green and red borders on the card faces make it super-easy to sort the Treasures and Doors after you play.)

Disclosure: GeekDad received review copies of Munchkin Christmas Lite and Munchkin Zombies Guest Artist Edition.

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