The hit card board game Munchkin is being adapted into a video game, bringing the classic, if slightly ridiculed, dungeon crawler to Steam later this year.
A tongue-in-cheek dungeon crawler that we casually think is one of the best card games out there, Munchkin puts you in the shoes of an upstart adventurer. You and your party of competitive hero wannabes will take turns attacking satirical creatures, collecting loads of loot, and discovering various magical items.
It’s all very silly. Munchkin is essentially one big spoof that takes aim at the self-indulgence of classic high-fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons. You’ll use items like the Horny Helmet and Staff of Napalm to take down equally strange creatures with names like Plutonium Dragon and Floating Nose.
This upcoming digital adaptation, releasing this fall, looks like a faithful recreation of the original card game. As announced (opens in a new tab) by developer Dire Wolf Digital, will let you play multiplayer online Munchkin games, or a series of solo challenges, on PC, Android, and iOS devices. Even his cartoonish art style seems to have been transferred directly.
Divisive Dungeon Crawler
Although Munchkin has been one of the most popular tabletop card games of the last twenty years, it has earned a rather divisive reputation. It is often highlighted as a fantastic entry game for those new to the hobby. Its simple rules can be learned quickly, its art is charming, and it relies on many mechanics that players may be familiar with from video games.
It also encourages a lot of interaction between players. Between kicking down dungeon doors, you’ll take every opportunity to stab your friends in the back. Much of the game is about effectively blackmailing your way to victory, while throwing monsters at your friends to force them to call for help and take their treasure for you. Expect to make plenty of backroom deals, before inevitably breaking those promises to win a bigger piece of the loot-laden pie.
But then there are those who swear against the Munchkin, calling it an overly simplistic game with a long play time. The elements are unbalanced, and the reams of spin-off expansions, adding everything from more cards to a Warhammer 40k theme, certainly haven’t improved the game’s image.
The novelty of his fake fantasy world might wear off eventually, but don’t write off the Munchkin as a total joke. It’s a fast-paced dungeon crawler at heart that’s as good at making you laugh as it is at testing your friendships. One for those who prefer silliness to strategy.
This adaptation is certainly in good hands. Dire Wolf has developed several digital board game adaptations in the past, including the asymmetrical strategy game Root, the charming city-builder Everdell, and the board game Game of Thrones. All have been well received for comprehensively porting the original board games into a sleek digital interface.