How To Make Car Rides Better With Munchkin

That's right, I passed the time during this holiday season by playing munchkin in the car with Chloe (well, we also tried out the Ticket to Ride app on the iPad but more on that later).  Want to know how we did it?  Read past the break to find out.

My family and I live in Maryland near Ashley's family while my parents and my extended family all live in North Carolina.  We typically spend Christmas here in Maryland but go down to NC a few days later to spend time with my parents up until New Years.  The trip from Maryland to NC can be 6 hours or more - and anyone with kids will tell you that's a long time to keep a child still.

Over the past few months, Chloe has become addicted to Munchkin.  She loves playing it and is always asking me to play with her.  I may have to watch how much she actually plays because she's getting REALLY good at it - specifically the backstabbing part.  She loves to bump up monsters so that I have to ask her for help.

So, for the car trip down to NC, I decided to ride in the back seat with Chloe and keep her entertained.  We decided that we would play a few games of Munchkin during the trip.  Wait, you might be saying, isn't Munchkin a card game?  How did you play it in the car without all the cards going everywhere?  Truth be told, it wasn't easy, but we managed to make it work.  Here's how we did it:

1) Ditch the board and game pieces - we tried at first to play the game like we normally do, which is with the official Munchkin board and pieces.  However, the first time Ashley turned the car, the pieces just slid off the board.  So we decided to not use the board and stick with just the level counter apps for our iOS devices (I used my iPhone, she had her iPod touch).

2) Use cup holders for the doors and treasure decks - my car has a small arm that comes down in the middle of the back seat that contains two cupholders.  We used one of these for the door deck and one for the treasure deck, placing them in the cupholders sideways so they would fit.  The discards would just get put in the back of the cupholder arm.  They would occasionally slide together, but for the discards it wasn't that big of a deal.

3) Use pillows for tables - I had two pillows in the back seat, so both of us had one in case we got tired.  I end up hurting my neck when I snooze in the car against the door, so for long trips I like having a pillow available.  Well, as you can see in the image above, we used these pillows as card tables for our items.  The pillow fabric made it so the cards would slide all over the place as the car moved and made it possible to actually play the game.

Other than these 3 things, everything else was pretty normal.  We were able to play the game, but it wasn't without its trials and hardships.  Yet it helped pass the time and it kept Chloe from being bored like kids easily get during car trips.  I did, however, come up with a few ideas to make the gameplay easier:

1) Magnetize the game board & pieces - this way we could still use the game board without worrying about the pieces sliding around.

2) Card Holders for draw/discard piles - I want to get plastic cases (probably magnetized to the munchkin board) where I can slide in the draw and discard piles and not have to worry about piles of cards falling over.

3) Non-stick tables for items - pillows are nice, but get too many items and the cards will start sliding down the curvature of the pillow.  I think something similar to a laptop desk covered in non-stick materials would be much easier for holding cards.

Ill have to work on these ideas before we go on our next big road trip.  Do you have any suggestions I could use?