Munchkin! It evokes joy from some, and grimaces from others. There are three pages of Munchkin games and expansions on the Geek. It's a behemoth. And now there's a version with a Marvel theme, and we're here to review it for you. Is it a Marvel-ous good time, or an Abomination? Let's find out!
If you've played any of the hundreds of thousands of Munchkin iterations (slight exaggeration), you'll know exactly how to play Marvel Munchkin. You equip stuff. Play allies. Kick open a door. Fight bad buys. And loot the room or their bodies. It's Marvel Munchkin.
But it's themed really well.
First you'll start with an Agent at Level 1. That's your character, who has special powers, such as being able to hold two extra cards in hand, or getting +2 to fight a monster you find when kicking open a door.
Speaking of...let's start the turn. First you Kick Open the Door, which means you draw a Door card. If it's a Monster, you'll fight it. If it's a Trap, it triggers on you. If it's any other card, you can play it (if it's legal at that time), or take it into your hand.
If you fought a Monster, you move directly to the Charity phase, which I'll explain in a second. If you didn't fight a Monster, you can Look for Trouble, which entails playing a Monster card from your hand and fighting it just as if you'd drawn it by Kicking Open the Door. Finally, if you don't want to fight a Monster from your hand (or don't have one), you Loot the Room, which means you draw another Door card and put it into your hand--or play it if it's a Power or Affiliation card.
Finally, for the Charity phase you have to discard in excess of five cards in your hand. You give the cards to the player with the lowest Level. If there's a tie, divide the cards as evenly as possible. If that's you, you just discard the excess.
You'll get Allies and Items and Powers that help you defeat enemies and raise your Level. The first player to reach Level 10 by killing a monster wins.
Firestone--So...I don't like Munchkin. At all. I'm not really into games that are just "silly fun." Munchkin almost always lasts way too long. And some of the jokes can be too risque for the game to even be a good family game.
So imagine my surprise when we had a great time playing Munchkin Marvel! Sure there's stuff I can't stand--like someone being able to raise their Level just because they drew a card! Are you KIDDING me?! But the whole family had a great time--my boys really loved it. And the theme is well integrated into the whole. There are enemies from across the entire Marvel universe to fight, and heroes to help you out.
Jeremiah--This will be the version of Munchkin that I introduce my boys to. Regular Munchkin is just on that edge of inappropriate, and while they'll play any fantasy-themed game we put on the table, the Marvel theme will really make this a solid favorite for a long time!
Firestone--There's no reason to buy this if you already have a Munchkin game--unless you really like Marvel. But if you don't already own a Munchkin game, and you or your kids like Marvel, this is a terrific option. It's missing the humor of the original Munchkins, but makes up for it with a strong theme. I also appreciate that the women aren't objectified like they are in so many comic images. There are women, and they're dressed like normal, everyday, powerful people who can kick the crap out you without a second thought.
Jeremiah--Yeah, the cards play off the theme well, but the gameplay isn't expanded or altered in any way. It's not pricey so if you're a Munchkin officianado you probably want to grab it. Otherwise the Marvel theme makes this a nice gateway into the hobby for those curious outliers.
Firestone's Final Verdict--A rich theme, great artwork, and a light and fun game make this the best iteration of Munchkin I've ever played. Bring on the expansions! Excelsior!
Jeremiah's Final Verdict--The Marvel theme introduces Munchkin and in turn the hobby to a whole new group of future gamers! Marvel Munchkin is a fun, lightweight game that is great for families and gamers alike!
Theology of Games would like to thank USAopoly for providing review copies of Marvel Munchkin. This in no way affected our opinions.
Thanks for reading!