While Steve Jackson Games continuously releases new Munchkin-branded products, the craze that urged players to "kill the monsters, steal the treasure, stab your buddy" started over 10 years ago with original fantasy-themed set. It's been a whole two years since that line has seen any new cards, but that is all about to change with this month's release of Munchkin 8: Half Horse, Will Travel. Rest easy, Munchkin fans, the pun well has not run dry.
But with seven sets already on store shelves, what does one add with an eighth? Well at this point in a game's life, the answer is simple: you give the fans what they want. Back in 2005, when Steve Jackson Games made custom Munchkin dice, they packed in a few promo cards that put a new spin on the game. They were class and race enhancers such as "dark-," "high-," or "master-," all being descriptive terms you could tack onto your character for a little extra boost. After going out of print, these same cards were included in the Munchkin Reloaded booster, but according to the Munchkin Czar himself Andrew Hackard, "fans have asked for more [enhancers] for years."
For a better example of this type of card, take a peek at the "Elite" class enhancer, an unreleased card from the upcoming Munchkin 8 set, shown for the first time here on MTV Geek:
The Elite class enhancer. Yeah, that's gonna result in a lot of dead monsters.
Sifting through the rest of the set, the most significant addition is two new races: the Centaurs and the Lizard Guys. There are also a slew of sidekick-type cards that give you the opportunity to roam the dungeon with a full party rather than just one solo adventurer. Munchkin 8 greatly expands upon the hireling and steed card types that can join you as allies, a concept last focused on in Munchkin 4 and Munchkin 5.
Lastly, we get to the humor. Munchkin's success is built around the fact that is it refuses to take itself seriously, and that doesn't change here. If you're worried about the series getting a bit long in the tooth, all you've really got to know here is that the heads at Steve Jackson Games have still got it. If anything, the decade that has passed since the original Munchkin is ripe with parody material. For instance, you can look forward to squaring off against the Level 6 "Gecko on the Telly." There's also plenty of horse and lizard puns to be made here, and don't worry, they don't hold back.
In a somewhat related note, I would have led off this post with a pun about beating a dead horse, that is, if it weren't for the fact that the western-themed The Good, the Bad, and the Munchkin 2 – Beating a Dead Horse, is also releasing later this month. Seriously, you can't out-pun these guys. Munchkin 8 - Half Horse, Will Travel includes 112 new cards releasing later this month, and will retail for $19.99.