The quote from the back of the box pretty much sums up the essence of Munchkins. It's a tongue-in-cheek game that pokes fun (in a nice way) at everything fantasy, mainly roleplaying and dungeon-crawling.
In the deluxe edition, you get the following:
95x Door cards.
73x Treasure cards.
6x player pieces.
6x player cards.
The difference between the standard and deluxe game is the gameboard, which is meant to make it easier to keep track of your character's level.
The aim is to be the first person to have their character reach Level 10. You can do this by fighting monsters, selling items worth 1,000 gold or using special cards in the decks.
The gameplay is fairly easy to understand. You take one of the Door cards, if it is a monster you fight it. If you defeat it you go up a level and pick up a treasure card, these cards are equipment and other items that help you in combat. The combat itself is straightforward, it's your level and whatever bonuses you have versus the monster's level. Sounds easy right? However the second part of the game is your opponents are trying to stop you. They can use curse cards, modify combat to make the monsters stronger or even add another monster to fight you. Yep, there's a lot of backstabbing in this game and you definitely find out what your friends and family are truly like. On the other hand, you can also ask them to help you in combat, for a price, of course.
I’ve found 3-4 players are the best number to play this game, two is too few as it’s easy to guess who you opponent is going to try and stop. The games I’ve played have only lasted 20—30 minutes, however if you wanted to make the game last longer, on the game’s website, there is a set of rules so you can make the aim to get to level 20 instead. One of the downsides to the cards is, while they are quite humorous , after you’ve played the game a couple of times the jokes do get old. On the other hand there are expansions to add, so you could add more variety if you wanted to.
Can be a very quick game.
Rules clear and easy to understand.
Combat can be straightforward.
It’s possible to expand the game.
The humour can be worn out quickly.
With all the backstabbing going on, you may lose a couple of friends (if you are the sort of person to take these sort of games seriously).
It is a great game, however it’s not one I play often. It usually comes out when I have friends over and we have half an hour to kill. That being said it is an accessible game, so one that a family can enjoy. The jokes do get old but you can expand the game if you intend to play frequently but if you play it every so often like I do, then it’s not too much of a negative. If you are looking for a quick, light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek game, then this could be the game for you.