This review originally appeared in Cerise Magazine
I’ve been a fan of Munchkin since I was a teenager, and though I’ve been playing for years it hasn’t lost its charm. I haven’t been as impressed with the expansions as with the original game, though. When I add a couple into my deck, the number of cards starts to become unwieldy, and while the individual cards in each expansion usually give me a chuckle, they don’t really alter the overall gameplay experience that much. The sixth expansion for Munchkin, Demented Dungeons, is something new, however.
Munchkin is a fast-paced card game designed for two or more people. The game is designed to be funny, and for the most part it succeeds, though it’s definitely funnier for players who have been involved in tabletop role playing games, and it’s a little less funny every now and then for those who are sensitive to sexist humor (some days, the “Kneepads of Allure” – which can be used to force other players to help you – crack me up. On other days, I am not amused).
The rules are simple to master – turns are short and easy to navigate, and the cards all have their uses printed right on them, along with fun pictures – and players can concentrate merrily on, as the tagline implies, kicking down doors, killing monsters and stealing their treasure (and backstabbing your friends). Without the sixth expansion to Munchkin, the action is assumed to take place in some sort of generic dungeon-crawl scenario – but the actual location of the game hasn’t ever been important.
Demented Dungeons introduces new rules and new cards that suddenly make location relevant. There’s a new deck with twenty distinct dungeons, represented by double-sized cards, and new “portal” cards that get shuffled in to the regular deck. When a player turns over a portal card, the party of Munchkins is transported to a new dungeon (or one of them is, or a new dungeon is overlaid on any existing dungeons) and new rules apply. In the Dungeon Of Foul Filthy Flypaper Floors, for example, players have a penalty applied to any attempts to run away from a monster. As in the standard Munchkin, the effects of each dungeon are printed right on the card, and applying the new rules each time a new dungeon is entered is easy to do.
Is It Fun?
Having played a lot of Munchkin, I can say with confidence that Demented Dungeons is the best expansion to the game that Steve Jackson Games has produced yet. Gameplay is significantly enhanced with the addition of just a few cards, as the combinations of dungeons with the regular cards in the deck create a variety of new situations for players to exploit. Demented Dungeons is also less expensive than previous expansions to Munchkin. When the dip in price is combined with the increase in gameplay novelty, it’s obvious that Demented Dungeons is a worthwhile expansion for any fan of Munchkin.
Munchkin 6: Demented Dungeons, Steve Jackson Games, 2008
Buy It @ Amazon.com
Robyn Fleming is the Senior Editor of Cerise Mgazine and is a regular contributor to feminist media blog The Hathor Legacy and daughter-blog Books@THL. When she’s not playing RPGs, reading books, watching sci-fi television shows, or writing about one of the preceding activities, Robyn works on her original fiction and poetry, samples of which can be found at RobynFleming.com.