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Munchkin

Great Games to Play for Father's Day

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Great Games to Play for Father's Day

Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 16, and I don’t know about you but I think games make great gifts. Getting together to play a game is a memory-making experience, and one that you can enjoy whether you’re a gaming family or you just want to try something new. Here are a few suggestions for games to play with your dad this weekend, or any weekend because who needs an excuse to play games?


Forbidden Island- GameWright Games

Cooperative games are great if you’re trying to get people into gaming. You’re all working towards a common goal so you’re helping each other rather than competing against each other. I like Forbidden Island in particular because it’s easy to learn, there are great moving visual pieces, and you can adjust the difficulty level. You play as two to four treasure hunters traversing a sinking island, and you have to locate four artifacts and get them off the island before you find yourselves in a watery grave. Leave no man behind (no seriously, if one of you gets trapped on the island you lose). If you have a group larger than four playing or you want to add additional rules and variants, try Forbidden Desert or Forbidden Sky.

How the last game we played wound up. Literally JUST made it.

How the last game we played wound up. Literally JUST made it.

 Hanabi- R&R Games

Hanabi is another cooperative game, but it has such a fascinating game mechanic that it truly is unique even amongst other cooperative games: you don’t get to see your own cards. Your goal is basically to line up 25 fireworks cards (5 different colors in order 1-5) by giving clues about what is in each other’s hands. If you play the wrong card, such as the red 3 before the red 2, your fuse gets shorter. 3 mistakes and your fireworks explode. Hanabi is a great game for communication and one of my favorites to play with new people for that very reason. You get to learn how they think. Theoretically, playing this game as a family means you’ll be in sync because you know each other, but let’s be honest, someone’s going to wind up shouting “Why didn’t you warn me I had a 5 in my hand?!” and as long as no one is super competitive, that’s part of the fun.

What do you mean you  forgot  which card was the white card?

What do you mean you forgot which card was the white card?

 Munchkin- Steve Jackson Games

Okay enough with being nice, let’s start throwing monsters at each other! Munchkin’s original concept is building characters and traversing dungeons trying to be the first to level 10, and using cards in your hand to achieve your goal and stop other players from achieving theirs. It rapidly evolved from a Dungeons and Dragons theme to over 30 different genres and expansions, from pirates, to Marvel, to Rick and Morty, to Shakespeare. It’s an easy to learn game that is guaranteed to have a theme that dad will like. 

Our community manager Anne got to sit down and discuss two of the newest editions: Unicorns and Friends, and Warhammer 40K at Essen Spiel

Coup- Indie Boards and Cards

Bluffing games! We all fudge the truth with our families, why not make a game out of it? With Coup you’re playing various influential figures in a dystopian future and you want to be the last one standing. Each card has a different ability, but nobody knows what card you have, so you have to call people out if you think they’re using the ability for a card they don’t have. Clearly, I have a running theme here, which is Short and Sweet, but if you like the idea of any of these types of games but want a longer version, they exist, and Coup is no different. If you want a longer bluffing game, try ResistanceResistance: Avalon, or Ultimate Werewolf (and if you want to really make a commitment, try Ultimate Werewolf: Legacy

I knew you weren’t the ambassador!

I knew you weren’t the ambassador!

 A Role-Playing Game. Any RPG (as long as you like it)

RPGs are great for family nights and great for all ages. You’re using your imagination, you’re communicating and thinking critically, and best of all, you’re telling a great story. If you’re an experienced player (or you’re a gaming family) you can consider a higher commitment game like Dungeons and Dragons or Starfinder. If you want something with more structure you can try an RPG in a box like Thornwatch. If you’re short on time there are plenty of one-shot options for a single game with easy-to-learn mechanics.

 

 Okay, not all dads are going to agree to this one (mine, for example, can’t bring himself to be creative, and doing so is NOT his idea of a good time) so use your best judgment. But if you think this is something your dad would agree to, give it a try! You might be pleasantly surprised.


What games will you be breaking out this weekend?

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Sneak Peek! Munchkin: Warhammer 40K

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Sneak Peek! Munchkin: Warhammer 40K

Munchkin: Warhammer 40K is slowly making its way to us, fam! If you have been thirsting for it since it was announced at Gen Con last year, then you’ll be super jealous to know that our friends at Steve Jackson Games gave us a sneak peak at the cards in production.

Don’t stay mad at us though, because we are passing them along to you!

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That being said… this did just arrive on my doorstep.

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So, the green-eyed monster may have returned - and frankly, I understand if it did. The art will delight and tantalize all Warhammer fans and Munchkin fans alike and there are 168 new cards to explore in the box. It comes with a game board as well as a custom six sided die and twelve standies with even more of that classic Munchkin art from John Kovalic.

Dare I open it on APN for all to see? Tell me in the comments if that’s something you’d like to see!

BUT! Don’t let me have all the fun! You should head to your FLGS and preorder because this game will be hitting shelves in March!

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Interview: Steve Jackson - Gaming Goliath and Munchkin Mastermind

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Interview: Steve Jackson - Gaming Goliath and Munchkin Mastermind

Legendary Game Designer, Steve Jackson of Steve Jackson Games

Legendary Game Designer, Steve Jackson of Steve Jackson Games

Munchkin has been around since 2001 and has worked with countless properties to developing its several serial versions. Back when you were creating the base game, what hole were you trying to fill?

I just wanted to do a simple parody of the dungeon-crawl genre. I had no idea where it would go. We found out, though . . . Munchkin didn’t create the genre of humorous card games, but it lent it a lot of energy.  

What has been the most rewarding thing about designing this game?

Definitely, the personal feedback. The game has touched a lot of people in ways that my other work hasn’t. Players want to make Munchkin part of their lives! We hear all the time about Munchkin-themed birthday parties, and there have been at least three Munchkin weddings and several proposals and “little Munchkin on the way!” baby announcements. 

When you are looking for partners for the various new installments, what’s your criteria?

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 The property has to be one that lends itself to the Munchkin tropes, and the licensor has to be willing to “break the fourth wall” a little bit, and let us be silly even if the property is not primarily humorous. Warhammer 40,000 is a good example; Games Workshop has given John and Andrew a lot of latitude to jump right through the fourth wall and poke gentle fun not just at their game but the players. It's respectful and always, always trying to laugh with, not at, and to me that's an important key to make Munchkin work. We're all in on the joke together, even when we're the butt of a particular giggle.

Is there a partnering property that you would love to work with on a Munchkin game that you haven’t yet?

Yes. Yes, there is  :)

Do you have a favorite card?

I might have a dozen favorites; narrowing it down to one is hard. I do really like the Potted Plant, the Net Troll, the Plutonium Dragon, and the Gazebo from the original set.

Is there a set that you’re most excited about debuting this year?

Yes, absolutely. Munchkin Warhammer 40,000! Aeldar and Death Guards and tanks, oh my. The Games Workshop crew have been very good sports and fun to work with.

Is there a favorite Munchkin game of all time and why?

Well, my very favorites to play are (1) the original set, just because; (2) Munchkin Cthulhu, because we got to do a lot of really silly cards AND put in a good alternate victory condition; (3) Munchkin Booty, because pirates!  Lots of Arrrrr! jokes, and avast wasteland of low pirate humor. And (4) whatever I am working on right now!

How did the now iconic partnership with artist John Kovalic come about?

I think his first game for us was Chez Geek, and we had been regularly working with him on the “Murphy’s Rules” feature for PYRAMID Magazine, and I thought his style would work well with the tone of the cards. Oh, my, it certainly did! He really gets the game, he’s very prolific, and sometimes we read each others’ minds when it comes to developing the look of a card. And we pay a lot of attention to every single card because we know that an important element of the game is the “look at the card and laugh” phase! 

How did the Munchkin CCG come about? Was the concept developed internally from the start, or did the designers come to you with the game and suggest Munchkin as a good fit? Or somewhere in between?

We developed the concept internally but we knew we wanted to get an experienced CCG designer to make it happen. I’m very pleased with the results. The “bluff” mechanic is, as far as I know, unique to the Munchkin CCG, and it adds a lot to play. Eric, Kevin, you done good!

There's been a variety of supplemental Munchkin accessories released, like dice, pins, character pawns, plushes, etc. Is there anything else like this in the works that you can talk about?

We’re coming out with a couple of play mats that will alter the game slightly and provide (yet another) way to keep track of levels. And the Starfinder “I Want It All" box includes a level tracker, a Kill-O-Meter, dice, and metal “credsticks" based on the currency of the Starfinder RPG. The Unicorns and Friends “big box” has Boxes of Holding and a Kill-O-Meter as well. People like Stuff and we are happy to create new Stuff for them!

Munchkin is often cited by fans as being the game that opened the door for them to modern board games. Any good stories about teaching the game to new players?

Just the observation that new players tend to win a lot. I have finally figured out why . . . I think. It’s very important in the beginning and middle game to make a lot of deals, and people tend to help, or accept help from, the new player just to show them the ropes. That advantage adds up!

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