Munchkin: Marvel Edition

Munchkin is a tabletop dungeon crawler. Every player must work together, equip their best items and slay monsters to be the first to reach level 10. In this review we’ll be looking at the Marvel Edition of this Dungeon Crawler. Although I’m calling it the Marvel Edition, I have combined both the Marvel and X-Men Editions of this game. The versions are similar and I thought it would be appropriate since the X-Men originated in Marvel Comics. Combining the sets supports 10 players and doesn’t take anything away from the game. Please join me as I look at Munchkin: Marvel Edition.

Starting the Game

Setup for this game is very simple. Each player gets a role card, 4 treasure cards and 4 door cards. The starting dungeon is revealed, then the players decide who goes first. The game comes with markers to keep track of your level. When I play, we normally ignore the role cards entirely and I encourage players to download a level counter app on their phone. An app is incredibly helpful at keeping track of your gear bonuses, but we’ll cover that later. For this review we’ll use the character sheets, but we won’t use their special abilities today.

Before the games starts, all players may equip any cards that they can. In my starting hand I had the following: 2 Power cards, 2 Ally cards, 2 Item cards, 1 Affiliation and 1 monster.

Powers have a Bonus and a Rank. You may have more than one Power, but the combined rank of all your powers must be less than or equal to your Base Level. One of my Power Cards has a Rank of 1, and one of them has a Rank of 2. Since I have a Base Level of 1, I can’t use the Rank 2 power, so I’ll keep it in my hand for right now. Now I fight an effective level of 2. 1 from my base level, and I have a +1 bonus from my Power.

Items will have a symbol in the top left corner signifying if they are a One-Handed-Weapon, a Two-Handed-Weapon, a Headgear, a Footgear or Armor. You may only use 1 footgear, 1 headgear one 1 armor at a time. You can choose to have either two one-handed-weapons or one two-handed-weapon. Even in the game, you still only have two hands. In my starting hand I had 2 Armor Cards so I chose the one with the best bonus. I chose Iceman’s Armor because it gives a +1 Bonus and an additional +2 if there is a container of water on the table, which there is. So far, I have a Base Level of 1, +1 from my Powers and +3 from my Armor. Making my effective level, or fighting level, a 5.

Allies will fight alongside you. You may have one ally at a time unless your cards say otherwise. I decided to use the Ally She-Hulk because it gives a +2 bonus. Now my effective level is 7.

Affiliations are similar to a race or class in standard munchkin. Basically every affiliation will have certain abilities, and certain monsters might have certain effects against different affiliations. I played The Defenders, their ability is to discard one card while in combat for a +2 bonus.

Having no more cards that I can play, I am ready to start my turn. Below is a picture of what my cards look like right now.

 

The other 3 players played their playable cards, so here’s a view of the whole table.

 

Turn 1

Every turn starts by Kicking down the Door to enter the next room of the dungeon. You do this simply by drawing a Door Card face up. If it’s a monster, you must fight. If it’s a trap, the trap affects you. Everything else you’ll either follow the instructions on the card or put it into your hand.

When kicking down the door I drew the card Spider-Friends. It’s an affiliation so it goes into my hand, but I still show it to everyone at the table.

Since I didn’t fight a monster I can either Look for Trouble or Loot the Room. If you Look for Trouble, it means you’re going to fight a monster from your hand. The only monster in my hand is a Level 16 Baron Zemo, I’m not strong enough to fight it so I’ll loot the room. When you Loot the Room, you draw another Door Card straight into your hand. When Looting the Room I drew the card Team Up. It allows me to have two affiliations, so now I can play my Spider-Friends card.

For the sake of this review not being very long, I’m going to somewhat brush over the other 3 players turns.

Player 2

Kicking Down the Door: drew a Guardians of the Galaxy Affiliation
Base Level: 2
Effective Level: 7

Player 3

Kicking Down the Door: drew a +1 Rank 1 Power
Base Level: 1
Effective Level: 3

Player 4

Kicking Down the Door: drew a +2 Rank 2 Power
Base Level: 1
Effective Level: 4

Turn 2

On my second turn I drew a Level 1 while Kicking Down the Door. Since my Effective level is 7 I am winning. If I win, I will go up 1 Level and gain 1 Treasure. Once determining that I will win, I need to give the other players a minute to react.

Going once…

Going twice…

Player 3 played a card INVINCIBLE… making it a Level 11 Invincible Lizard. Now I’m losing, but if I were to win I would gain 1 Level and 3 Treasures. Since I don’t have any cards that can help me in my hand I need to Ask for Help. Player 2 has an Effective Level of 7, together we would have a fighting level of 14, winning the fight. Player 2 agrees to help for 1 of the 3 Treasures, his choice. Only the player whose turn it is gains a level. No one else plays cards against us, so we win the fight! I gain a footgear, a one-handed weapon and 1 Level. I am now Level 2, and fight at 11.

If we were to lose, we would first try to run away. In any fight you can roll a die and successfully run away on a 5 or a 6. If you fail to run away, you must resolve the Bad Stuff. For our Level 11 Lizard, the Bad Stuff said “His genetic experiments cause you to change gender and have -5 in your next combat”. In this case, the Bad Stuff wasn’t too terrible, but with the higher level monsters they can be quite devastating.

The Verdict

Number of Players, 10/10

As I briefly mentioned earlier, my set of Marvel/X-Men Munchkin can officially support 10 players because I have 10 character cards. I really think that there’s no limit to the number of players it can support, within reason. Having more players will obviously make the game take longer, but if you know what you’re dong you can alter the rules accordingly. I’ll give this game a 10/10 for Number of Players.

Gameplay, 8/10

One great thing about munchkin is that they encourage you to create house rules and I feel like it really allows you to cater the gameplay to the group. I’ll talk about it more in later sections, but I really like being able to pick and choose what kind of character you want to be. I’ll give an 8/10 for Gameplay

Playtime, 8/10

As with most competitive games, this game can take a very long time. Fortunately, I think that this version of Munchkin is very generous with treasures which speeds up playtime a lot. Also you can easily alter playtime by changing the goal Level, or altering various other things. I like that this game has a wide range of playtimes, and for that I’ll give it an 8/10 for Playtime.

Fairness, 8/10

This game can seem unfair. For the most part though, it is only as unfair as the players make it. Every once in a while, players will gang up on one another to make a player lose a fight, but I’m not going to hold that against the game. The only area that I would really take off points is that it’s possible that you are unable to level up because you aren’t drawing monsters. That’ll make this game lose a couple of points. I’m giving an 8/10 for Fairness.

Replay Value, 9/10

Every time I have ever played this game it has been different. It has incredibly high replay value, however it may get a little frustrating for some players. Also, there are some people who I don’t like playing this game with. Because of that, this game will drop down to a 9/10 for replay value.

Final Rating, 8.6/10

I love this game, it’s a must have for any Tabletop or Marvel fan. Anyone who puts in the time to learn this game will not regret. My final Ranking for Marvel Munchkin is an 8.6/10

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