This game will have you saying “I killed a spider with help from the cupcake, but I still got shot in the butt” in no time!
Munchkin: Critical Role is a game from USAopoly (The Op) based on characters from Critical Role, the popular web series where voice actors go on Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) adventures. Much like the show, the game features all of the outrageous items and characters that fans love.
This newest licensed addition to Steve Jackson’s Munchkin role-playing, card game series takes the funny cartoon characters of previous Munchkin titles and cranks them up to a new level of epic. Designed for 3-6 players, Munchkin: Critical Role plays like a regular Munchkin game with a bit of D&D twisted into it. This means it’s a crazy, unhinged adventure where anything can happen, such as gaining three levels in one turn, then losing all of them to a level two Phase Spider because your friends are “helpful” (read: very unhelpful) people.
Generally, this game follows standard Munchkin procedure. The game has a simple setup, with two decks of cards, seven oversized character cards, a massive rule book, a six-sided die, and — for this edition of the game — a 20-sided die. This die acts as a standard D&D die: You roll it for special treasure cards and when fighting your enemies, to add even more uncertainty to the game.
The goal of the game is to get to level 10 to win, and you gain levels by killing monsters. Your turn starts by putting down a door card and, if you draw a monster card, you must fight it. To win against the monster, you have to have a high enough number (determined by a combination of your level number, an item, and a dice roll). If you don’t pick a monster card, you can “look for trouble” either by playing a monster card from your hand or by picking another card from the deck. Beating a monster also earns you a card from the Treasure Deck, which is packed with extra items to aid in your monster-fighting endeavors.
While there are many moving pieces and a hefty rulebook, you can learn the mechanics of this game pretty quickly. And, once the game gets going, it’s a nonstop exhilarating ride to the end. I personally really enjoyed how this takes a web series that revolves around D&D (a fairly complicated game) and meshes it with a straightforward role-playing game, so that anyone can feel like they are playing D&D.
Also, this game is worth getting for the art alone. Artists Elena Muñoz and Tyler Hostettler integrate the game’s insane scenarios into intricate, stylized cards. While the monsters and items look epic, the set’s shining stars are the curse cards. Most of them have a witty saying, matched with even crazier art!
The gameplay takes about an hour to two, but the simplicity of the turns and constant adrenaline of fighting monsters and finding ways to level up keeps you immersed in the world for the full game. Another highlight is that, because the character stats are determined by random cards, you can never be the same character twice! It gives this game great replay value — one time you may be a mage, and the next you’re a rouge.
This game also requires no strategy: It is all up to luck, which makes it fun as a party game with six people, or as a smaller game for close friends who just want to go on an adventure. This standalone spin on Munchkin is perfect for anyone, whether you’re a Critical Role diehard, a Munchkin enthusiast, or a D&D novice who is ready to dive into role-playing games (and you can even mix it with other Munchkin sets)!
This game is available to preorder now, and will officially release on April 7.