Appearances can be deceptive. For example, at first glance, Munchkin.io looks a bit like Animal Crossing, with its adorable bobble-headed characters walking around on a simple, clean, and stylized cartoon map.
But take a closer look and you’ll find that Munchkin.io differs from Animal Crossing in a major way. Tom Nook, for all his questionable profiteering habits, has just never hit anyone in the face with a baseball bat, when that’s about all you do in this game.
Munchkin.io is, obviously, one of those .io games. If you haven’t kept up with the latest trends in casual game design, all .io games are from agar.io, a multiplayer PvP title where you play as a group of cells in a petri dish, trying to absorb other players to increase your mass.
There have been many variations of this concept, but Munchkin.io is by far the most refined and innovative we have played.
You play a selection of characters, starting with a little boy. As you enter each stage you are armed with a baseball bat and dotted around the map are little blue spots that you must collect to level up.
Each time you reach a new level, there are three skills, weapons, buffs, and debuffs to choose from. You can have four skills and four buffs / debuffs equipped at a time.
All the while, the map is swarming with other players, progressing and collecting their own loot. And, as in life, the fastest way to earn loot quickly is often to simply murder someone and collect their remains.
As well as tripping over other players and gobbling up drops of XP, you can head to chests and crowned players which are indicated by little pointers at the edge of the screen. You’ll also find giant monsters, which will give you a huge XP boost in the unlikely event you manage to kill them.
There are a large number of diverse skills on offer, including hooks that you can use to pull enemies towards you for a beat, charge attacks, various ranged attacks, health buffs, intimidation, dodge, battle cry and much more.
You can also unlock new characters, each with their own skills. The weapon lineup, meanwhile, includes different axes, swords, and spears, and buffs increase the rate at which your mana recharges, reduce the amount of damage skills deal to you, increase your attack damage, and that sort of thing.
Munchkin.io is a mixed bag in terms of combat. Basically, without using skills, it’s just a matter of getting close to another player and hitting the attack button. You also can’t move and attack, so there’s no circle strafing or clever maneuvering. The strongest player with the most health always wins.
This is why skills are so important. Mastering dodge moves and spear throws turns combat into something akin to actual combat, and while the level and health of the player you’re opposing is still the deciding factor, you can improve your skills. chances by learning to master the skills. . The fact that there are so many skills, upgrades, and weapons also allows you to experiment and customize your approach.
Taking inspiration from the Fortnite book, Munchkin.io also features a battle royale mode, which is more or less the same as normal mode, except that the map just keeps shrinking, forcing you to make ever closer contact. with your opponents and focusing your mind on the inevitable final showdown.
There is also a version of football called Munchkin Ball, but we couldn’t try it because at least eight human games need to be on the pitch. The battle royale and standard maps are still at least partially populated with bots, suggesting that the game has yet to hit critical mass of players.
It’s a shame, because there is a lot to enjoy on Munchkin.io, and it’s always worth checking out through the App Store and Google Play.
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