Game Review: Munchkin’s Munchkinomicon

It’s always exciting when something new and weird gets released for Munchkin. After the fiasco of finally obtaining Munchkin Zombies, the glitz and glam of the game began to wear off and my friends soon returned to Munchkin Prime. But even with six expansions all cobbled together in one amazing mess, we’re always interested in something new and different that doesn’t break the game.

I adore the little expansions for Munchkin that come in booster packs. Fairy Dust is fun (but makes elves even more annoying) and Waiting for Santa and Santa’s Revenge are a hoot in December to play, but I’ve been looking for something different and then Munchkinomicon got released!

It’s the ultimate book of spells . . . the Munchkinomicon. But beware! If you aren’t munchkinly enough, the Munchkinomicon will slip away and find a more suitable host.

Contents: Munchkinomicon treasure, 14 Spells & Rule Insert

Usable with: ANY Munchkin game, but is not a stand alone

Retail Price: $4.99, available at Amazon or Warehouse 23

With only 15 cards, it’s amazing how much value this little booster pack adds. First is the Munchkinomicon itself, an impressive treasure that gives a +5 Bonus and is worth 666 gold pieces in a pinch. Plus it isn’t big and doesn’t take up a hand so it’s a bonus worth having. The only thing is: you’ll never get to keep it. It is worth noting that the Munchkinomicon doesn’t have the standard card back, so when it is on top of the treasure deck – everyone will know!

The Munchkinomicon changes allegiances quicker than most players and can be bribed to join you in a variety of ways – and at any time! If someone dies, they get it. If you curse (or trap or madness) another player, you get to take the book. Desperately need it in a pinch? You can sacrifice a level or three cards to gain control of it too!

But the +5 Bonus isn’t the only benefit of the Munchkinomicon, it also gives you access to a new stack: the Spells. The remaining 14 cards are an assortment of spells that range from hilariously unfair to depressingly mean. To get a spell you only need to do one thing: control the Munchkinomicon! When it comes under your control, you get to grab a spell. When you begin your turn and control the book, you get to draw a spell – and you will want these spells in your arsenal!

The spells allow for weird ways to win extra levels, summon monsters (both from behind doors and beyond the grave) or stack the deck in your favor while screwing over everyone else at the table. Whether you’re sacrificing your own levels for a temporary boost of a +10 Bonus with Throwing Yourself Into It or demanding that a monster comes out from behind a door with Monster, Come Forth! this is definitely a booster worth grabbing.

For people with multiple Munchkin expansions (or playing blender), you’ll want to make sure the Munchkinomicon shows up regularly, so shuffle the treasure deck then put it in near the top. Otherwise you may never end up seeing it.

What I really love though is how the Spells are given their own card back so they’re super easy to find when you don’t want to play with this version. The Munchkinomicon itself looks unlike any other Munchkin card, so it is easy to identify and keep apart during storage for the times when you don’t want to summon the dark forces to aide you in battle. In many ways, it’s the opposite of Fairy Dust as an expansion. The Munchkinomicon doesn’t encourage helping or sharing, it truly embodies greed and selfishness in the best ways possible.

Pros:

  • Cheap and a new way to play
  • Constantly changing action
  • Exceptionally mean spells

Cons:

  • You always know when the Munchkinomicon is coming
  • Desire to beat your friends to death
  • You need to stack to deck to make sure it shows up