As some of you kids may have heard, I had an eight-month-ish period where my wonderful business manager moved on to greener pastures, and I kinda went crazy, taking on far more work than any sane cartoonist should have.

Yes, I used the words “sane” and “cartoonist” together. SHUT UP!

The end result of this ridiculously overworked period? By my estimation, between GenCon-time and very-early-Autumn, I could have six or seven new games on the shelves that I worked on, in one way or another (including, of course, the obligatory unannounced Munchkin release or two. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW EASY I HAVE JUST MADE YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING?)

I’d like to spotlight some of these games, over the course of a few blogs, to give you fair warning of what’s about to hit you like an oncoming semi driven by a drunken dwarf who can’t see over the dashboard  show off some of my work. And there’s no better place to start off with than MUNCHKIN PANIC.

Don't Panic! No...wait...I mean "PANIC!! Yes, most definitely PANIC!"
Don’t Panic! No…wait…I mean “PANIC!! Yes, most definitely PANIC!”

Munchkin Panic, published by Fireside Games,in collaboration with Steve Jackson Games, is based on Castle Panic – a game I’ve been obsessed with for a few years, now. It’s a tremendous, cooperative “Castle Defense” game (literally, in this case), where you and your pals try desperately to save your tower from the oncoming hoards of goblins, orcs and ogres. As the swarms get closer, a true, palpable sense of panic  sets in amongst the players, and it is a HOOT!

This is just SOME of what's coming at you. NO SERIOUSLY YOU MAY PANIC NOW!
This is just SOME of what will be coming at you. NO SERIOUSLY YOU MAY PANIC NOW!

Munchkin Panic will have a few differences, and they are door-kicking awesome! To quote the press release:

In this hybrid game, the Munchkin Monsters have found the Castle Panic towers and are on the rampage!

Players must balance their self-interest with the cooperation necessary to survive. If players get too greedy, the Monsters will stomp the Castle flat while the players are too busy fighting amongst themselves.

Munchkin Panic merges what you love about both Munchkin and Castle Panic. The game will include a More Munchkin Mini-Expansion for even more panic and more ways to infuse your experience with the maximum Munchkin possible!

There’s also Treasure! Of course there’s treasure – this is MUNCHKIN, after all, so there has to be treasure! When you slay a Monster you get Treasure cards you can use against the Monsters…or each other. (Look, I said this was MUNCHKIN, right?)

That’s OK because you have some very sturdy walls to protect you WAIT WHAT?

One of the many upsides to working in the gaming industry is you get to hang out with cool, creative people. And I just love everything I’ve seen so far from Fireside Games team for Munchkin Panic.

The Monster Token Bag for Munchkin Panic. MOVE OVER, Crown Royale!
The Monster Token Bag for Munchkin Panic. MOVE OVER, Crown Royale!

Another upside is you get to work on games that you can’t wait to play – and Munchkin Panic is absolutely one of those. Creating its cover was a blast, and seeing all the pieces for the game come together has been a delight. The folks at Fireside Games are terrific to work with – heck, I’ve been a fan of theirs for years – and I can’t help but hope we do it again, some day.

— John

PS: WHAT? You’ve never played Castle Panic? What are you waiting for? It’s an absolute favorite of mine, and it’s just sitting out there, waiting to be bought! Plus, it’s a great “gateway game,” which your non-gaming friends can easily pick up and enjoy. You know. As you die horribly, being overrun by goblins, orcs and trolls…

PPS: I’ve got a new and again wonderful business manager at last, now, so life is sane once more.




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