Munchkin Booster Review: Conan the Barbarian

Munchkin is trying something new when it comes to their expansions, instead of just coming up with weird concepts they’re diving deep into the mythology of pop culture. That’s good because it means less Fairy Godmothers and more Conan the Barbarian!

Suggested Ages: 10 and up
Requirements: At least one Munchkin core game
Number of players: 3-6
Playing time: 1-2 hours
Contents: 15 cards (9 treasures, 6 doors) and a rules insert
Retail price: $5.95 and is available on Amazon.com or Warehouse23

Unlike other past expansions that add a whole different level of absurdity to the game, Munchkin Conan is delighfully plain in a twisted way. Don’t confuse plain for boring though because this mini expansion is anything but.

Intended to be released in time for the movie, you don’t need to be a fan of the muscle bound barbarian to enjoy the additions this booster offers because the new monsters and treasures push Munchkin into a whole different direction. The backs of the cards use the classic Munchkin design too, so there will be no issues combining it into your stacks of doors and treasures.

Of the six new doors, five of them are new monsters to fight that really show that Steve Jackson Games is pushing the boundaries of what this game can do. The Sand Warriors return one shots that get played on them during combat, giving everyone at the table an incentive to load them with potions. Meanwhile The Dweller can borrow weapons from any player during its combat to utterly destroy someone. In the realm of curses, the Wheel of Misfortune is a mean combat trick that both takes a level and forces the player to fight alone.

In the treasure stack, many of the cards aren’t terribly exciting. Hanging Out With Conan is your standard go up a level, while Mouthful of Ale just gives +2 to either side in combat. Those are boring and make me feel a little cheated out of two actually new cards instead of functional reprints.

But there are some nice gems of loot, like the Barbarian Booties that can never be lost to Bad Stuff and give +2, or the Serpent’s Tooth that gives either side +X, where X is a die roll. I suggest trying to use a d20 once before everyone insists on a d6. But my favorite card in the pack has to be the Sword of Khalar Zym which is either one hand or two hand and gives either +3 or +6 respectively! The legendary Mask of Acheron is up there too as a piece of headgear that allows one player to discard a card and raise the dead over and over again during combat.

As a booster pack, this one fits in seamlessly with the classic Munchkin game. But the slightly higher price of $6 for only 13 new cards just feels way too expensive. I absolutely love the game, but 50 cents a card feels way too high even with it being a licensed brand.

Pros:
Innovative monsters
Unique treasures
Conan the Barbarian!
Classic card back

Cons:
50 cents a card!
Two functional reprints
No actual Conan card