When comparing Munchkin vs Junk Art, the Slant community recommends Junk Art for most people. In the question“What are the best board games for beginners?” Junk Art is ranked 9th while Munchkin is ranked 13th. The most important reason people chose Junk Art is:
The basic premise of Junk Art can be taught within a minute or two. The whole game revolves around stacking pieces and getting points from your structures. Each game has three rounds – three cities you must go to, which are either chosen or randomized at the start of the game. They are sort of like mini-games that each have their own rules – what must be built, what is the win/lose condition, etc. The goal of the game is to be the player with the most fans after three rounds. For example, Indianapolis makes players simultaneously flip the top card of their 10-card deck, find the matching piece, place it, and say “Done!” The last player to say it doesn’t place the piece. This is done until all cards have been played, the player with the most pieces gains the most fans.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Encourages both cutthroat and cooperative play
On top of casual banter, you’ll be actively talking with the other players throughout the whole game. You'll want to gang up in earlier rounds to defeat monsters, but tensions are bound to rise nearing the end of the game.
At the start players are too weak to take on most monsters so it’s best to band together, but, obviously, not everyone wants to help you for free. You will haggle for the price of assistance – a share of the treasure, an equipment item from the player, or anything else. It’s up to you, you can even, say, make a player complete a dare you just made up.
The end of the game can get loud -- even the game’s box states that it revolves around backstabbing your friends. Some comments are bound to fly around as players announce what cards they’re using to flip the round in the monsters’ favor and take away that sweet victory that was just about to be achieved.
Pro Amazing replay value
The game offers a lot of variety because of the big card count, which ensures that every game will be different. There are 168 cards in total, which include monsters, player classes and races, equipment items, special cards, spells, and much more.
Furthermore, Munchkin has a lot of expansions. Each of these offers even more cards with all kinds of different mechanics.
Pro Hilarious theme
The game is a parody of fantasy role-playing board games in its purest form, and the art on the cards reflects that. The game is filled with all kinds of funny characters and references that parody the board gaming culture. For example, there’s a card called “Whine at the GM” which makes you go up a level. Also, every expansion comes with a brand-new theme filled with more humorous content to bring to the table - the wild west, holiday-themed stuff, and yes, even hipsters. All the cards are illustrated by the popular cartoonist John Kovalic.
Pro Easy to start playing
The basic premise of Junk Art can be taught within a minute or two. The whole game revolves around stacking pieces and getting points from your structures. Each game has three rounds – three cities you must go to, which are either chosen or randomized at the start of the game. They are sort of like mini-games that each have their own rules – what must be built, what is the win/lose condition, etc. The goal of the game is to be the player with the most fans after three rounds.
For example, Indianapolis makes players simultaneously flip the top card of their 10-card deck, find the matching piece, place it, and say “Done!” The last player to say it doesn’t place the piece. This is done until all cards have been played, the player with the most pieces gains the most fans.
There’s almost never a dull moment while playing Junk Art because most of the time everyone’s playing at once. Every round will be different – some cities are time-based, others just require you to keep building, but all of them involve some sort of interaction between players – passing cards, swapping places, cooperating, etc.
There are plenty of laughs to be had while playing Junk Art, be it funny creations, memories of someone’s tower falling apart, or a specific city.
There’s a sense of achievement when you manage to create something that looks cool and doesn’t instantly fall apart. Creations tend to get quite unstable, so there are going to be some intense moments where they wobble around a bit, but both outcomes are good – it falls, and everyone laughs, or it doesn’t, and everyone still laughs.
Some of the cities you’ll encounter in the game can also create hilarious and memorable moments. for example, Montreal, where you must choose one out of three cards, pass one to the player on your left, place the piece you received, and then swap places with the next person in the direction of play. Basically, you pass bad cards to your opponents, but if your opponent manages to place them, then that becomes your problem in just a few seconds.
Pro Good components
The game excels with truly high-quality components. The box itself is made of wood and works as a great storage for all the small pieces. The stackable pieces are either wooden or plastic, depending on which edition you’ve got. Either way, both materials are durable and do not feel cheap.
Many of the stackable pieces are unusual shapes – partially curved figures, dumbbells, flowerpots, etc. However, their centers of mass are very well-balanced, which means that no piece is better than another – it’s all situational.
Pro A lot of variety
You will never play the same game of Junk Art twice. Usually you’ll get different combinations of cities and your constructions will be unique every time. The base game comes with 12 cities (one of which requires the game “Flick ‘Em Up” to play) and 3 blank cards for custom cities.
The 12 cities are diverse – some require you to be the fastest, others make you compete in creating the highest structure, and there are even some especially interesting cards, for example, Montreal makes you swap places with other players, or Paris requires you to cooperate and create one structure together.
Con Very long play time
Munchkin is not really a game you can quickly play out before doing something else. A normal match takes anywhere between one and two hours, but some people have reported playing for up to 5 hours. This is mostly due to the social factor – almost every action in the game is impacted by whether the other players choose to help you or undermine you. This is especially true for the end-game where each player is looking for the lucky draw to win and everyone else is trying to deny the win by enhancing the monsters.
Con Highly luck-based
Whatever you draw will directly impact the game, as is typical for a card game. Some games will just not go well for you, be it not getting good equipment cards, tackling monsters too strong for you, or other players drawing the right cards either to win or mess up your game.
Con Not very accessible
Munchkin isn’t something that people would call a great gateway game. The basics are not too difficult, and the mechanics of the cards are purposely simple, but there is simply too much to take in for a complete beginner.
If the player happens to be playing with more experienced players, then he’s at a huge disadvantage. There’s quite a lot to explain – levelling up, equipment, combat, and, most importantly, cooperation to defeat monsters. There are many variables to everything. For example, almost every equipment piece has some conditions and exceptions tied to it.
The beginner is probably unsure of the value of the cards in his hand either, which is very crucial in a game where every card matters. There’s a lot of reading to be done to find out what each card does, and this gets worse if you’re playing with expansions.
Con No easy way to keep track of levels in non-deluxe versions
Though the deluxe version comes with a handy gameboard and character figures, the regular game really lacks a universal and convenient way of following progression. The game can get intense at times, which can make some players mistake their level and miscalculate attacks. Most players end up using a piece of paper to mark the levels, others use coins or poker chips.
There’s an official mobile app that resolves this problem and, on top of that, helps track attack values, but it comes for an extra $5.00.
Con Not for people with shaky hands
It’s no surprise that dexterity games require steady hands, otherwise creations risk falling. Some cities allow room for errors, but in others the round ends as soon as someone drops a piece or two, which is fine occasionally, but if it happens too often because of trembling hands it kind of ruins the gaming experience with an abrupt ending.
Junk Art is quite a pricey game due to the components – there’s a lot of them and they are of high quality wood or plastic. The version of the game with wooden pieces sells for $40-60, whereas the plastic version goes for $25-40.
Con Environment dependent
Junk Art is a game that requires you to stack pieces together – this demands a completely even surface, so the tower won’t fall over, and some room for every player, so they don’t accidentally elbow each other. Moreover, this game can’t be played outside or next to an open window very well because a gust of wind might ruin your construction.