Review – King of Tokyo
King of Tokyo
- # of Players: 2-6
- Best # of Players: 3-6
- Age Range: 8+
- Time: 30 Mins
- Publisher: IELLO Games
- Price Point: $39.99
The breath is forced from your lungs as your gigantic form is slammed through a small skyscraper and a highspeed rail into the hard asphalt and concrete streets of Tokyo. That may have broken a rib, but you’re not sure. No time to worry about that now.
Through the smoky haze of smoldering buildings, you see the Penguin lumbering towards you, a gleefully sadistic gleam in his eyes. You push yourself up onto unsteady legs, breathing hard and furious. You raise your long arms and roar in defiance, feeling a twinge in your ribs as you do so. With another enraged bellow, you launch yourself, arms raised high, at your foe, slashing at his face and chest as you do so. A moment later you slam your full weight into him, delivering a large gash to his face with your claws as you do so. The impact of your body throws your opponent to the ground, bloodied from your claws.
The large bird’s breath is labored as he pulls himself to his feet, his eyes never leaving you. The sadist gleam is gone from those eyes now, replaced with fear and defeat. Slowly he backs away, abandoning the city, for now.
Raising your fisted claws above your head you roar in triumph, as you survey the carnage. In the distance, you hear the answering roars of the other opponents. It won’t take them long to challenge your reign, but for now, Tokyo is yours.
King of Tokyo is a king of the hill style game that pits giant city-destroying monsters against one another in a no-holds-barred battle for supremacy. Players take turns either trying to force the current king out of Tokyo so they can take his place, or trying to ward off the attacks of the monsters outside Tokyo trying to claim their throne.
Each turn players roll six dice up to three times to determine what their Monster does this turn. Players may save dice from each roll so that they can attempt specific actions. Actions include smashing opponents, healing damage to themselves, and gaining energy to spend on Power Cards. The ultimate goal of the game is to be the last monster standing or the first monster to gain twenty victory points.
- The rules for this game are very light, making it very easy for new and casual gamers to get into.
- Fairly fast-paced game. As a result, there isn’t a lot of downtime.
- Exciting theme. Giant monsters destroying Tokyo and trying to kill each other, what’s not to like?
- The art in this title is appropriate for the game. It is very reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons.
- The game components are sturdy.
- Gameplay is customizable via Power card purchases.
- Monsters start as cookie cutter characters. Other than appearance there is nothing that makes them unique. This is somewhat mitigated by the power cards.
- Once a monster is killed there is nothing for their player to do except get something to drink or a snack.
The gameplay in this game is very simple, monsters outside Tokyo attempt to damage the current occupant of Tokyo. Meanwhile, the monster inside Tokyo tries to stay alive while attacking his foes outside Tokyo.
Being King of Tokyo has its advantages. When you enter Tokyo you gain 1 victory point and each turn you stay in Tokyo, and alive, you get 2 victory points.
The downside of being King is that you can’t use heal results from dice rolls, and everyone else is pummelling you mercilessly every turn. This means you probably won’t be King for long before you give up the throne, or die. And to make matters a little more tricky, the only way to leave Tokyo is to take damage from another monster.
Rolling The Dice
The hardest part of this game is deciding what to keep, and what to reroll each time you roll the dice. Do you go for the smash, and potentially drive your opponent out of Tokyo? Or do try to heal all that damage you got the last time you were in Tokyo? Maybe you should try to get those extra victory points. It is often a combination instead of just one action that players are going for. However, I found that it is rarely worth the time, or effort, to roll for victory points. If they come up, go ahead and take them, otherwise, I would focus on smashing your opponents, healing, and gaining energy.
Energy is the currency of King of Tokyo, and it is the only way to purchase upgrades to your monster.
Power Cards are the only way to improve your monster in King of Tokyo. They come in two varieties, Discard and Keep cards.
Discard cards are one time instant effects that typically heal you, hurt your opponents, or give you victory points. This can be useful if one of your opponents is just barely hanging in there and you want to deliver a death blow, or if you just need that extra victory point to push you over the top. If you are flush with energy these cards can be a real boon, otherwise, it really isn’t worth spending your precious energy reserves on them.
Keep cards on the other hand, with one exception, are permanent bonuses to your monster. Added dice to your rolls, extra damage to opponents, or neighbors, and special attacks, such as “Poison Breath,” are all present. These cards provide a definite boost to your monster that can literally be game-changing. Now for that one exception: The “Plot Twist” Keep card. This card is really a delayed Discard card since you can only use it once. However, since it lets you change the result of one die before you resolve your dice rolls, it is a very powerful card to have.
The game art is very appropriate for the theme of the game. The chaos of the monster brawl that is happening on the table is beautifully illustrated in a style that harkens back to old Saturday morning cartoons.
The majority of the game components are constructed out of heavy-duty cardboard, making it quite durable. The rest of the components are made of thick heavy plastic, except for the character bases which are made of a thinner, lighter plastic and this could make them more prone to breaking. The dials for keeping track of your victory points and your hit points are held on rather loosely with plastic pegs. This was a little bothersome since just bumping the boards would cause the dials to rotate.
This game is a blast to play. It isn’t deep or thought-provoking, and more serious gamers might find it a little too light for their tastes. However light rules, rapid turns, and relatively quick playing time make this game the perfect addition to a friendly game night for more casual gamers.
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- Overall Fun - 8/108/10
- Ease of Play - 8/108/10
- Replayablity - 7/107/10
- Downtime - 7/107/10
- Game Length - 8/108/10
- Bang For Your Buck - 7/107/10
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