Talk Like A Pirate Day isn't until September 19th, but Munchkin Booty -- the most recent game in the Munchkin series from Steve Jackson Games -- lets players act (and talk) like pirates any time they want. The two expansions for this game are Munchkin Booty 2: Jump the Shark and Fish & Ships, offering differing amounts for the original game.

Jump The Shark (sample cards shown below) doesn't change the original game as much as it gives it more th' same (to borrow a Lovecraftian phrase). There's one new class -- the Explorer -- and an odd way of supporting our troops: Four monsters suffer a penalty to current or former members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines, while current or former members of other military areas start at level 2. Otherwise, Jump the Shark gives more -- 112 cards more -- of the monsters, curses, treasures, modifiers, and classes that make Munchkin Booty so much fun.
Fish & Ships gives exactly what the name says: more fish-based monsters and more ships, along with modifiers for each. This is a substantially more modest set -- 15 cards -- but this also adds to the pirate feel of the game, as adding Fish & Ships to Munchkin Booty greatly increases the odds that players will get a ship, or ships, during the game. (Whether the opponents let them keep those ships is another story.)
Steve Jackson Games seem to be experimenting with both large and small expansions for their Munchkin games (Star Munchkin has a large expansion (The Clown Wars) and a 15-card set devoted to ships). While I'd be happier if the expansions were consolidated into one, they manage to keep the sense of humor and cutthroat competitiveness of the original game without making it impossible to play without them. I liked Jump the Shark more for providing a much greater variety (and quantity) of cards, but Fish & Ships certainly delivers what it promises.

Overall grades:
Munchkin Booty 2: Jump the Shark: B+
Fish & Ships: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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