There is a great off the wall card game called Munchkin. Every other month we have family game night at our house (we alternate between game night and movie night each month) and this past game night I introduced my kids to Munchkin. In a nutshell, Munchkin is a card game where your goal is to take your player from level 1 to level 10 within the game before anyone else. The first player to level 10 wins. You gain levels by "killing monsters", selling cards in your hand and playing special level up cards. But what makes this game really interesting is the teamwork or cutthroat tactics that occur during gameplay. It's quite the complicated little card game and if you just open the box and start reading the instructions it can be really intimidating. So don't do that. I have 3 kids, a 9 year-old, a 12 year-old and a 16 year-old and they all took to this game quite quickly. But there is a secret...don't read the instructions first. Here is what I suggest you do if you are interested in getting your family into playing this card game:
- Buy the Deluxe Version of the game. The Deluxe version comes with some extras that the regular card game does not. Most importantly it comes with a small game board that makes it easier to keep track of what level all the players are currently at.
- Watch the interactive game demo on the Munchkin website. This helps walk you through the basic mechanics of the game.
- Now that you understand the basics its time to see how just how much fun the game can be. Watch Episode 5 of the Will Wheaton series TableTop. In this episode Will plays Munchkin with Felcia Day, Sandeep Parikh and Steve Jackson. If the name Steve Jackson rings a bell its because he is the creator of the game. It's a 30-minute episode and it really helps to see how the game is played, especially when one of the players is the game deisgner himself!
- Ok, now if you must, go ahread and read the game instructions. But at this point you might be better off just jumping in and playing and reading the instructions as needed as you go.
I was amazed at how quickly my youngest picked up this game. She totally really got into the idea of tossing curse cards at people and then jumping in to help save the person from the monster in return for a level up or a few treasure cards. This is not your typical card game. Lots of interesting interactions and strategy but also a lot of goofy fun with some of the types of monsters, weapons and curse cards you get to play. Just don't make the mistake of trying to read the instructions first.