Recently I picked up a copy of Atlas Games, Munchkin Gloom! STOP, before you read any further! This is NOT a Munchkin game. I know the box is sized like any other munchkin game, and the art style is just like any other Munchkin game. BUT it is a GLOOM GAME! With a Munchkin theme! Surprise!
I bring this up because in my excitement at seeing the box. For a moment thought that I had, in fact, purchased a Gloom Munchkin game not the other way around. From what I have since heard on the subject I am not alone in nearly making this mistake. I have also learned that a few people I have spoken with did, in fact, make that very mistake. Having assumed it was another munchkin clone. Not this time friends, this is a GLOOM clone, with a Munchkin skin. Best of all, I think that it more that succeeds in doing the job of feeling both like Gloom and Munchkin wonderfully!
So what is Munchkin Gloom you ask? Well in munchkin Gloom, you are playing an adventuring party of heroes and telling stories about their heroic adventures. Followed closely by their eventual but inevitable demise in the standard gloom storyteller glory! The players go around the table telling tales of each of our hero’s rise and fall and eventual untimely painful demise. The player in the end with the most tormented miserable party measured by Self-worth is the winner!
As I mentioned earlier the artwork really feels like Munchkin. That pure munchkin look and feel is beautiful in its very munchkin way. John Kovalic’s art style is unmistakable and it is nice to see that they took full advantage of his work in this project. The Gloom treatment of transparent cards is still here. Additionally, the transparent cards really make John’s artwork pop! Overall it is just a darn good looking game.
Gameplay wise it is 100% Gloom, But Munchkin was not forgotten at the artwork alone. The flavor of Munchkin was deeply embraced to keep you feeling of the (Munchkinvers) setting? Maybe it is the gamer in me, but I found it easier to really get into Munchkin Gloom stories. Maybe that is the Evil GM in me coming to the surface or the many years of telling stories with my fellow gamers about the trials and tribulations of other adventuring parties in games of old.
One of the reasons why I think this is such a wonderful merging of two products. Most Munchkin players will tell you that they already roleplay and do a bit of storytelling when they play. As gamers, we just tend to embrace the moment. In Gloom that is the whole point of the game!
Munchkin Gloom encourages storytelling with each card play! With no “curse” aspect in Gloom but being a core theme of Munchkin. Gloom relies on the use of its event cards to help give that backstabbing underhanded feel present in Munchkin.
Munchkin’s style of humor is on full display with cards like “Crossed the GM, Grappled with a Gummy Golem, Paid for the Pizza and Failed to Kick in the Door”. Between the art and the well thought out cards and Events. At least for a short time, you may find that you much prefer telling stories about Munchkin and their downwards spiral instead of racing to level 10!
Gameplay is quick and simple, Each player starts with a number of adventures depending on the number of players and the length of the game that everyone would like to play. After the players are selected each play draws five cards and play begins. You take two actions on your turn.
ON YOUR TURN
- Play an Event for its effect and discard it.
- Play a Modifier on a Character, and leave it there (Yours or other players)
- Play and Untimely Death card on a Character with negative Self-worth, as your first action only. You may play this on your or another player’s character
- Discard your entire Hand
- Pass your action by doing nothing
After you have passed or taken two actions. you draw back up to 5 cards hand size unless you have a card that says otherwise.
Overall this is a fun game of storytelling and gloomy silly endings that should be fun for everyone around the table. Fans of Munchkin I am fairly certain will enjoy this game as munchkin fans are use to cursing and backstabbing one and other for the sake of humor and fun.
If you are not a fan stick it to your partner kind of games this might not be the game for you. Also if you are not into sprinkling some story and roleplay into your games you might also consider avoiding Munchkin Gloom. Because much of Glooms charm comes from the crafting of the stories with the cards.
Have you played munchkin gloom yet? Let me know what your thoughts were about the game? Were you one of the gamers out there that thought they were picking up a munchkin game? If so did you end up liking Gloom as well? I would love to hear from you!
Runkle Plays Games gives Munchkin Gloom a solid 16! I felt I could not go higher because of the need to story tell to really make gloom shine. As well as the ingrained stick it to your nature of Munchkin is not for everyone either. Lastly the game play can be a touch long coming in at 60 min.
If you have good storytellers in your group and players that are okay with the competitive gameplay. Munchkin Gloom will likely rate much higher for you. In the right group, I can see this being an 18.
If you have not played it but are interested in giving it a try. Support my blog and pick it up from Amazon at no extra cost to you.