Munchkin: Quacked Quest review for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: Asmodee Digital
Developer: Asmodee Digital
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

Even though I?ve never played Munchkin, I was eager to check out Munchkin: Quacked Quest when it arrived on the Switch for two reasons. First, Asmodee Digital has a pretty strong track record when it comes to bringing popular board games to the Switch and other consoles, and I really wanted to see what they did next (allowing for the fact that Munchkin is a card game, rather than a board game). Secondly, as I said, I?ve never played Munchkin, and considering it?s got a fairly good reputation, I was interested in seeing what all the fuss was about.

Turns out, even after playing Munchkin: Quacked Quest, I still haven?t really played Munchkin, because the two have little in common other than their name. One is a card game, the other is a party-friendly hack & slash game, and there?s really not a lot of overlap.

Admittedly, I may be over-simplifying things a little. After all, the gist is, in some way, the same. Near as I can tell, the card game Munchkin is all about making your character as powerful as possible, while knocking down your opponents? levels. Munchkin: Quacked Quest has more or less the same objectives, only it takes the knocking down thing quite literally. Plus, both feature monsters you have to battle against, and both feature loot to pick up. From a superficial perspective, if you squint you can kind of see the similarities.

Unfortunately, while I get the sense that there?s some depth to be found in Munchkin, the same can?t be said for Munchkin: Quacked Quest. It?s a mindless party game where you run through a couple of dungeons, hacking away at everything, whether monster or treasure chest, in the hopes of getting the highest level at the very end. There?s only replay value in the sense that, if you?ve got a couple of friends to play with, you can play the same game over and over again with minor variations to the dungeon layouts. You can customize your players a little before each game, but there?s not much strategy there — as I said, it?s a hack & slash party game, so its main interest is getting you and 3 friends/AI bots into the level and slashing as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, the game doesn?t even succeed at making even that basic gameplay particularly compelling. It?s not hard to find more interesting hack & slash games on the Switch — even if you just want a super-basic one, like Trouserheart — and I can?t imagine why friends would be interested in playing such a dull, repetitive party game rather than, say, the latest Jackbox Party Pack.

The dumbest part of the whole enterprise is how Munchkin: Quacked Quest incorporates cards, presumably as a nod to its origins. In the midst of a heated competition, you can bash open a treasure chest…and then stand there slowly picking up a card while the action rages on around you. You get little in the way of a benefit going for a card instead of simply trying to achieve the level?s goal, and it all feels poorly thought-out.

It?s a sad state of affairs when the best thing you can say about Munchkin: Quacked Quest is that it works. Like, you could play it with your friends (or against the AI) and not have to worry about it crashing…but given how incredibly dull and repetitive the gameplay here is, I have no idea why you?d want to do that.

Asmodee Digital provided us with a Munchkin: Quacked Quest Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: D+