Munchkin: Shakespeare Deluxe Review


By Judith Moore

When a friend (Editors note: MEEEE!) gave me the chance to try a new variant on Munchkin, I jumped at the chance. Munchkin original flavor is already a favorite in my household; the adults have read Shakespeare; what was there to lose? I was slightly concerned that the references would be too obscure for my kids to enjoy, but that concern was soon laid to rest --buried AND praised, if you will.


This was our first Deluxe game, and having tokens and a board to manage levels makes it easier on the small fry. The character tokens and cards are whimsically illustrated, in keeping with any good Munchkin game. All good and well so far, but what of the cards? The battles!? The monsters!? The LOOT!? After my husband and I finished laughing ourselves silly, we had to explain the best jokes to the kids. While the implications of the Cuckold Horns went right over their heads, the Monolog and Dialog were instant favorites (yes, they are actual logs…) and the monsters needed very little explanation.


We were able to jump right in to gameplay! The pacing of Munchkin: Shakespeare is very different than that of the first game. There are far more opportunities for multi-level advancement, and catastrophic level-losing slapdowns, than in the first game. There are also more opportunities to meddle with other players, to the great glee of all involved. The new Bard class, in particular, leads to some great shenanigans when paired with suitable dice rolls! After only one game, we were hooked. We could not stop playing until we’d seen all the cards!

By the end of the first session, Munchkin Shakespeare had taken its place as our favorite Munchkin variant to date. It also has inspired a desire in my oldest (8) to read Shakespeare! Is this game a comedy? Is it a tragedy? The answer is yes, it is all these and more, but above all, it is FUN.

(Images from

Relative Dimensions #35: "We're Bringing It Back Now, Geek Talk Style"

That's right - we thought the show we getting kind of stale just talking about games, so we took our current format and threw it out the window!  If you've been listening since the beginning I intended Relative Dimensions to be a general "Geek Talk Radio" type show, and that's the style that we are going back to.  We are currently coming up with new ideas for the show, so if you've got an idea then send it to us! http://ocdcast.com Intro/Outro Music - "L3" by Skyhawk on his album "Function"

Topics Covered

Philip isn't playing STO?!? / Sins of a Solar Empire Cherry Chocolate Rain? Chris' Birthday! / New Board Games Star Trek Attack Wing (Preview of the game: Munchkin Legends Pokemon games Kindle Books vs Physical Books iPhone repair issues - do it yourself??

News Stories

Steve Jackson Games Announces Munchkin® Legends

Google launches Internet-beaming balloons

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?

Munchkin Zombies Review

The last in this set of Munchkin review videos, this week I take a look at Munchkin Zombies!  One of my favorite sets to play, this version of Munchkin by Steve Jackson Games has the Munchkins be zombies and do whatever it takes to get to level 10, using whatever they can find around them as equipment.  Check out the video, and if you want to purchase the game, click here to go to Amazon and order it.  I'll get a cut back, and you get a great game!