Welcome one and all to the inaugural FND review. Essentially a group of friends and I play games every Friday, and I've decided to turn our thoughts and experience into a pseudo board game review series. I say pseudo, because none of us have reviewed board games before, or generally know what's going on at any point in time. With that said, let's begin.
Munchkin deluxe is one of the numerous variants on the card game Munchkin. What sets this version apart, is that it comes with a board and character figures to keep track of as you play. Where the original version was merely a card only game.
The basic premise of the game is to kill monsters, gather treasure, and ascend in hero levels until level 10. At which point you win the game. It plays 3-6 players, and games last between 1 and 2 hours.
The rules are easy to grasp, and even encourage you to test, or sometimes even ignore them if merited. Gameplay proceeds by the player kicking down a door in the dungeon, fighting a monster if you draw one from the 'Door' deck, then claiming it's bounty and advancing to the next room. Which also progresses your level.
You don't always get a monster, irritating and hilarious alternatives await. You could be cursed, or granted a boon. If that's the case, you may choose to fight a monster card you already posses or loot the room. Which allows to draw another Door card, however unlike when you kick the door down, you may draw this card face down rather than having everyone see it.
After your turn has concluded, regardless of monsters slain, if you exceed the card limit you must donate them to the lowest level player. If there are multiple of them, you split them and decide who gets the bigger half.
The crux of Munchkin, is the player interaction. The fact that only one person can win, doesn't really start to play into it until people get to level 6+. The game itself allows for aiding other people in fighting their monsters, as well as interfering and royally screwing over player's fights also.
Everyone starts off friendly, helping each other, donating equipment others may find useful that you can't use, maybe even passing on treasure gained from helping someone. Then the penny drops, and so begins the real game. Trying to bribe, back stab, and generally deceive your way to victory. The main constraint on winning, is that you MUST kill a monster to reach level 10. So, obviously you're going to be heavily hindered by everyone else, come your attempt. You must scheme accordingly.
Ideally you amass enough back up plans to thwart any potential reckoning when the time comes. This normally means having an out against curses, and definitely enough items to power your character up to at least level 20+.
Munchkin Deluxe is a good game, it has everything a fun game needs. Pleasing aesthetic, a fun premise, easy to pick up, and most importantly player conflict. However, it's replay ability is mildly limited. The general game flow will come to a head, as someone attempts to gain level 10. Normally they will be thwarted by the co-opted efforts of everyone else. Then when the next highest person comes to try their luck, people generally don't have enough cards to stop them, and they win.
This problem may be changed depending on group size, we only played with 4 people. Or possibly with one of the many expansions.
Regardless, it's a solid game and very much worth your time. Easy to pick and play, hilarious, maybe too long duration for very new people.