Daily Illuminator

April 25, 2024: Confessions Of A Munchkin Fan: How This Game Created An Obsession

All my life, I have enjoyed playing board games. My earliest memories are playing Mouse Trap, Monopoly, chess, and Cathedral with my family. One Saturday in college, a friend purchased Munchkin and introduced it to myself and another friend. What was this game, and why did I love it so much? It was funny, complex, and so different from anything I had played before. I was instantly hooked. 
Instead of weekend parties, which was par for the course amongst my classmates, my friends and I dedicated hours upon hours to playing this hilarious game. Each Saturday, we would gather at the family home of my friend Alex and begin playing around noon. But we didn't just play one game of Munchkin; we played over and over again all day and into the night. John Kovalic was suddenly my favorite illustrator.
After a month or so, it became evident we were playing so much that we needed to add some expansions. Our next choice was Super Munchkin, followed by Star Munchkin. Then one day, the Epic Munchkin rules, which added hours of fun to our games. (You can download it here for free!) If you are unfamiliar with it, Epic Munchkin includes special rules to take your game to level 20. However, if you combine it with Munchkin Bites and draw the card Mine Goes to Eleven, you can extend it to level 22! Suffice it to say there were tons of Doritos, countless bottles of Gatorade, and many, many meals from Taco Bell consumed as we played mega-sessions from noon until 2:00 am.
When I moved 1,200 miles away for graduate school to a state where I knew no one, I found my new friends after seeing their game club on Board Game Geek. Now I had an entire group with which to play this amazing game! I soon discovered an entire world of gaming: Worker placement, pick-up and deliver, press your luck, and deck building soon became a part of my lexicon. My eyes had been opened to an entirely new future: one of adventure, social deduction, mystery, and humor. But most importantly, gaming camaraderie. Thursday nights became the best night of the week, as we met in a local Target cafe. A year into living in my new home, my parents visited and I showed them my new-found hobby. They fell in love with these unique and complex games, and they now have a collection rivaling my own.
Some cool accessories I have enjoyed pairing with Munchkin are the Colossal Munchkin Level Die, the Munchkin Steampunk Kill-O-Meter, the Munchkin Dice Bag: Duck of Doom, and the completely free-to-download Munchkin Mask. Grab it on Warehouse 23 – you won't regret it!
Over 15 years later, Munchkin remains not only my intro into gaming but also my all-time favorite game. I own over 20 stand-alone sets and more expansions than I can easily count. I have completely run out of shelf space for my massive collection of games, and I know I'm not the only one! Pro tip: the best shelves are the Kallex from Ikea! I could never have imagined that a college obsession would one day lead me to work for Steve Jackson Games! 
I hope you have tons of fun with your Munchkin games. And remember: Never pick up a duck in a dungeon!
(Are you a mega-Munchkin fan? If so, you'll want to make sure you check out Munchkin Big Box!)

-- Michelle Richardson

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