Tag Archives: Steve Jackson Games

Steve Jackson Games unsheathes Munchkin Conan the Barbarian

Strangely and surprisingly, over the Memorial Day weekend, Steve Jackson Games announced yet another new Munchkin title, this time going almost back to their fantasy origin roots with Munchkin Conan the Barbarian. This is a 15-card supplement for original Munchkin–y’know, the core set that already has 74 supplements as is–and while I will always be excited for new Munchkin art, cards, and game mechanics, I am growing a little weary of how bulky original Munchkin is getting. I think I only have like three big expansions (Munchkin 4 – The Need for Speed, Munchkin 5 – De-ranged, Munchkin 7 – Cheat With Both Hands) and one little one (Munchkin Waiting for Santa), and it’s already way too many cards to deal with. When my wife and sisters and I play, we have to actually create two Door piles and two Treasure piles because stacking them all at once would suddenly turn a round of Munchkin into a round of Jenga.

But yeah, Conan the Cimmerian…I mean, Barbarian. He’s definitely a great character, surviving in a world with inventive monsters and barrels full of fun–yet deadly–weapons. There’s actually so much to Conan’s rich history to pluck from that I’m sad to see this as just a supplement and not its very own set. Again, give me more big sets before little additions.

Munchkin Conan the Barbarian comes out this fall. Naturally, a better title would’ve been Conan the Muncharian. I’m dying to see what the Barbarian Booties do. No sample cards available yet, but you can check out a few pieces of early art over at the set’s homepage.

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Chez Cthulhu will drive you mad from a good time

Over the years, my gaming group has occasionally branched out from the Steve Jackson Games staple of Munchkin (and its bajillion incarnations). We’ve tried things like Elixir and Descent and the ever-so-slow Settlers of Catan, but probably my second favorite party board game is another product from SJG called Chez Geek, and not just cause everyone in my group thinks I look like the game’s main slacker:

Um…no. I only have one tattoo.

Basically, Chez Geek is about an apartment of roommates all striving for one thing, and one thing only: to reach their Slack goal. Players are given Job cards to represent how much Income and Free Time they have for activities like shopping, watching TV, or having loud nookie, and other cards help towards achieving one’s Slack goal via clear-cut means. It’s every roommate for themselves, and backstabbery is plentiful. All in all, it’s frantic, frenetic, funny, and fun.

So I was doubly excited when Chez Cthulhu came out! I mean, it’s the gameplay of Chez Geek mixed with the dark craziness of the Lovecraft mythos. I was drooling tentacles and preparing for a life of servitude before I knew it!

There is, however, a new gameplay mechanic introduced into Chez Cthulhu, and alas, it’s the one that hurt the group’s enjoyment the most: Madness. Sure, the High Priest to the Great Old Ones and madness go hand in hand, but for this board game it looks a lot more like befuddlement. See, some cards give players Madness tokens, which count against their Slack goal.  If you get enough Madness tokens you can go Stark Raving Mad, and then any further tokens count for your Slack goal. The confusion comes from the time between one Madness token and, say, eight Madness tokens. We were running out of markers and a little unsure of how to count everything, but wine and a whole lot of beercheese fondue could also be to blame for that. I’ve yet to win using the Madness strategy, but then again…I’ve yet to win at all. I take more pleasure in reading the flavor text, finding all the tiny details in John Kovalic’s drawings, and watching as cards demonically interact with each other.

It’s a good time, really; just don’t get mad at all the Madness.

Check out some sample cards from Chez Cthulhu below:

Scared for your sanity? Go on over to the game’s main website for more then: http://www.sjgames.com/chezcthulhu/