Last year, Steve Jackson Games got me to break a six-year Kickstarter-free streak with two personally-irresistible projects, one of which was Munchkin Shakespeare Deluxe. It came through marvelously, serves as a fine introductions to new players, and is now available through your Friendly Local Gaming Store. Here’s a look in the box.
Munchkin has been around more than a decade and a half, but if you’ve still never given it a try, or want to gift it to a new player, I find that deluxe versions are great intros, since they include the familiar elements of a board and markers to keep track of levels, which means there’s no digging up d10s or pencil-and-paper tracking. (It’s worth noting that there’s no “regular” edition of Munchkin Shakespeare-the big-box version is the only one produced, retailing for $29.95.)
The Shakespeare version of Munchkin relies on the game’s standard format, and nothing unusual rules-wise. Halfling, dwarf, and elf are the non-human races, and classes are cleric, thief, warrior, wizard, and (of course) bard.
The wordplay and art of Munchkin cards have always been one of my favorite aspects of the game, and as a lifelong reader and theatre fan, I really think that the Shakespeare edition is, top-to-bottom, my favorite iteration. I mean, it’s even inspired me to look up the Shakespeare jokes I’m not getting–so, yeah, educational, too! It’s brilliant and groan-worthy and fantastic, and if you know a theatre or literature-leaning gamer, I don’t see how you can pass this up.
Disclosure: Steve Jackson Games provided a review copies of Munchkin Shakespeare.