Fall into a hobby with fantasy games like Munchkin Quest

By Stephan Bazzocchi

There is a chill in the pumpkin spice-scented air. Thoughts as well as bodies are looking indoors – not that I am an outdoor person to begin with. The chip bowls are full, and the fridge is stocked with Half Pints craft beers.
You’ve shaken down your guests and confiscated their stash of Monopoly money they had tucked away in sleeves, the board is set up, and your guests are fighting over the race car token. Slyly you pull out your token of a little horn-helmed guy brandishing a rather intimidating-looking chainsaw. “I get an extra 200 dollars and get to roll three dice instead of two for every turn,” you triumphantly exclaim. You are met with blank expressions of disbelief.
After a few moments of awkward silence, someone demands to know exactly what it is you are talking about. “It’s right here in the rules,” you state as you pull out the rule book for Munchkin Quest and point to the section that explains using your munchkin in other games and the bonuses it brings. More silence – perhaps some anger – and now definitely some chips and popcorn are being thrown at you.
Once the barrage has abated, someone asks you to explain what this Munchkin Quest is. You happily pull out the box, explain that the premise is running around a build-as-you-play dungeon, helping and hindering the other players in a mad race to gain the most loot, get your munchkin to Level 10, and beat the boss monster.
Shortly thereafter, the Monopoly board is put away, you’ve handed out the starting cards and tokens, people have picked their munchkin token, and the first room tile is on the table. You start as a Level 1 munchkin with no class, and believe me, class goes out the window when this game comes out.
Munchkin Quest takes the role-playing game genre and adds some fun and lunacy to it. Every turn you pick a room tile, and place it where you like, connecting to another room in the dungeon like a giant puzzle.
Monsters ranging from giant goldfish to floating noses appear. You fight them. Search the room for loot. Collect weapons, armour and potions. Gain levels, and so on and so forth. Sounds pretty basic.
The real fun/friendship-breaking/divorce-inducing portion comes in during the monster fights. You can ask your fellow munchkins for help in return for a share of the loot. They may choose to help you or do nothing. They may also decide to help out the monster.
That little Venus flytrap that seemed so harmless a moment ago is now a rampaging horror that makes the mind gibber at its sheer obscene repulsiveness – and it makes short work of defeating you in one round of combat.
You sit there dismayed and start drafting up written proclamations of vendetta as your spouse/BFF-turned-nemesis sits across from you giggling maniacally as they proceed to take all that sweet loot you could have had.
Munchkin Quest is fun, plain and simple. It’s refreshing to play a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously – or seriously at all for that matter.
The pieces (and there are lots of them) are sturdy so they withstand the heated excitement that comes with such a competitive game. The artwork is comical, making fun of all the standard fantasy game tropes.
There really isn’t any other way to create frenemies with such whimsy. You can pick the game up at your favourite board game store. Also, check out the regular Munchkin game. Same premise, no room tiles – all the same mayhem and lunacy.

3 thoughts on “Fall into a hobby with fantasy games like Munchkin Quest”

  1. Local game convention JimCon is happening this Friday through Sunday – http://www.jimcon.ca

    Local game developer Trevor Lehmann of Convergent Games is in the middle of a KickStarter for Crop Cycle – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1776342422/crop-cycle?ref=category_location

    Yet Samrt Biz is forgoing the local happenings in the game scene to promote a game which is the latest in a long-running series from Steve Jackson games in Texas? That’s just not right.

    1. Hi Craig,
      We have a gaming reviewer who has pretty free reign on the topic – I’m not very up-to-date on the gaming world.
      That is exciting that a local game developer is working on something new, however – I’ll bring it to his attention and make the suggestion to him for next time.
      When it comes to time-sensitive events (like JimCon), we sometimes have a tough time covering them since we are a monthly paper – but you can certainly give me heads-up about events like this for me to tweet out about in the future.
      Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

    2. Hi Craig, thanks for the heads up on JimCon. I first heard about Jimcon the other day on reddit but unfortunately due to other circumstances, I sadly will not be able to attend.

      Also sadly, as someone who does spend a large amount of gaming daily in front of his pc, I don’t have a chance to really to peruse kickstarter to see whats new on the horizon. Eve, and now a serious Secret World addiction, do take up a large amount of my free time.

      Even more sadly, for board games, I tend to write about them when I don’t have a video game to write about as my column is more about video games, and unfortunately my board game shelf is rather small and limited, so I write about what I have, but mostly I write about the experience, as you might note in my Munchkin article, its more about the game night, than the game itself.

      Also, a little about my production cycle for Smartbiz. That article was written back at the end of September, so that I could meet my early October deadline, so that all the publication stuff can get done, layout, sending it to the printers, distribution, and what not. From the date on the kickstarter page, the project’s funding period began on Oct 29th, well after the article was already submitted. So you’ll have to accept my apology, writing for something that will be read in the future, at times can be hard enough, let alone seeing whats coming down the pipe.

      Rest assured, I may attempt to get in contact with these two game devs, if I can tear myself away from The Secret World.

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