Published on November 21st, 2014 | by Luke Turpeinen1
A Comprehensive Guide to Munchkin
Munchkin is one of the most famous card games on the market. Made by Steve Jackson Games, it was a run away hit that took gamers by storm and now makes up 75% of Steve Jackson Games’ profits. By parodying D&D and the tropes and in-jokes that existed in tabletop gamer culture, Munchkin gave gamers a chance to laugh at themselves and celebrate our nerd heritage.
I own the base Munchkin game and a couple expansions, but I have played many of the other sets more commonly seen on the market. I recently had the idea to buy all the Munchkin sets and a copy of the Munchkin Blender and devise some sort of cube drafting system to go with all of it (along with a 30 minute time limit on games, because Munchkin is fun for exactly 30 minutes).
It turns out that there is a lot more Munchkin out there than I originally thought. So much so that my idea got completely overwhelmed, and just wading through all of the different items on Amazon was difficult without knowing what I was looking for.
That’s how this list came to be, and I hope that if you’re trying to find the best jumping on point for Munchkin or trying to complete your collection that this helps you out. As always, if I have missed anything please feel free to tell me in the comments!
Munchkin tends to sell its products in four sizes:
Base Sets are over 160 cards and include everything you need to play the game.
Deluxe Sets are have the exact same game as the base set they share a name with, but they come with spin-down life trackers and game pieces that you might find useful.
Expansion Sets are usually the numbered sequels to any of the Munchkin main games. They are typically about 60 cards, though there is some variance (as low as 30, as many as 120).
Booster Packs are 15 cards that you can add to any Munchkin game. These are not random packs like Magic the Gathering or other CCGs, each pack is completely identical.
The Munchkin base set is the product to get if you are looking for the original McCoy, the game that started the craze. Though Munchkin Deluxe is only a couple of dollars more and comes with some handy accessories.
Base Munchkin Add Ons
These additions are intended to modify your base Munchkin experience. Game Changers compiles the Munchkin Fairy Dust, Munchkinomicon, Munchkin Monster Enhancers, and Munchkin Reloaded mini-expansions together. It comes with some spin down counters and dice. The Munchkin Blender is a 120+ card expansion that helps you blend two totally different Munchkin base sets together better than you can without it.
The Holiday Surprise set is a reprint of the previous Christmas booster packs that is a little larger than a typical expansion, plus it includes some special cards only found in that box set. It also includes some spin-down counters and dice.
After poking fun at dungeon delving role playing games for so long, Munchkin comes back to its roots (sort of?) with the Pathfinder licensed version of the game.
Fantasy RPGs owe a lot to the monsters and myths of ages past, and Legends pokes fun at them without all of that other D&D stuff in there. The Legends line is mostly based on Ancient Greek myth, and the Booty line works in Pirate puns.
Munchkin Bites gets a lot of its jokes from the World of Darkness game setting, though it manages to throw in some classic horror tales and Universal monster jokes as well. The Zombie and Cthulhu jokes are something I’m sure you’re used to seeing reference to.
Science Fiction Munchkin
Want your munchkins to come in Warhammer 40k flavor or Avengers flavor? You could always mix them all for that galactic superhero feel- get a head start on the Infinity War movies!
Get your 007 or Pink Panther spy action comedy game fill with Munchkin Impossible, or laugh at wuxia and yakuza film tropes in Munchkin Fu. The Good, The Bad gives you all the Clint Eastwood and John Wayne you can shake a stick at.
If you are really into Axe Cop, Penny Arcade or the Guild then I have some good news for you!