The Munchkin line of games began as a spoof of spoof of power gamers and the sword and sorcery/D&D genre.  Since then, Steve Jackson Games has expanded the line to cover different genres, along with expansions for most of these games.  So which genre to go with for retail stores?  The well known, apparently: Munchkin Legends utilizes well-known characters and items from ancient mythology and current urban legends -- and returns to the sword and sorcery genre in the process.

Originally released exclusively to Target (disclaimer: I work for Target -- even on hot days), Munchkin Legends wraps the old in their new.  The rules are the same as the original Munchkin: Players equip themselves with various items (with a limit of one set of headgear, two hands' worth of Items, one set of armor, one set of footgear), become different classes (Cleric, Fighter, Thief, Wizard) and races (Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, or the default of Human), and kick down doors to fight monsters, get hit by Curses, or collect cards.  Killing monsters gives players levels and treasures if the player wins; if the monster wins, players run away or suffer Bad Stuff, ranging from losing items to dying.  Other players can interfere with combat, help someone win combat (usually if offered some of the treasure in return; and with only one player able to help, bidding frequently happens), or interfere and then offer to help!  And whoever reaches level 10 first wins!

I wasn't thrilled that Munchkin Legends has the same rules and classes as the original Munchkin.   Fortunately, Munchkin Legends has the same terrific sense of humor as the best of the Munchkin games.  While other games have included Loki, Minotaur and the Kraken, it's safe to say that none have a Boogie Man that's a werewolf in disco clothing.  Or Bermuda Shorts of Invulnerability, a Viking Duck, Achilles' Heels, Johnny Zucchiniseed, Flying Monkeys (wearing helmets and jet packs), or a card that makes players shout "Ra!  Ra!  Ra!"  And more current legends are here as well, like Bloody Mary, Slender Man, and Candy and Cola.

Munchkin Legends could have used more originality with the rules, but those rules work well -- and the game's extremely funny.  This game has moved fro a Target exclusive to the friendly local gaming store (FLGS), and Munchkin Legends will appeal to fans of ancient and current mythologies.  Or those who just want to laugh while screwing over their friends on the way to level 10.

Overall grade: A-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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