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King of Tokyo

Reviewed by Andy Gordon 

This is the latest game from Richard Garfield, yes the man who gave us
Magic the Cardboard Crack, AKA Magic the Gathering, Netrunner and Robo
Rally is back with a new game.  Godzilla and his pals are itching for
a fight, fiery breath, mega death beams and super stomping claws at
the ready. Who will be the King of Tokyo?

Stuff and Things or Bits and Bobs 

Top notch production, 6 large (2-3 inches high) really thick anime
style cardboard stand-ups of the monsters, Large victory point and
heath trackers for every monster again in anime style, nice fibre
backed full colour cards yet more anime style, green gem power cubes
and large green and black monster sized dice, all packed into a decent
midsized box. Yes the game is massively over produced but we gamers
like shiny chrome bits to make our games look good and this one is
definitely a looker.

“How do I win?” or playing the game.

We’re talking a fast filler game a not long deep analysis paralysis
game here.

 You win by either killing all the other monsters or reaching 20
victory points first. So how do you do that, when every monster starts
with 10 heath and 0 victory points? First take the 6 dice and roll
them, choose the dice to want to keep, reroll the remaining dice and
then do what the dice tell you. Then it is the next players turn. Yes
that is it.

What do you mean do what the dice tell you? Right first I should
explain the dice them self and all will become clear. On one side of
the dice is a claw symbol it means that your monster deals 1 damage
point per symbol rolled to the monster in Tokyo monster, I’ll explain
Tokyo a bit later. The heart symbol heals your monster 1 heath point
per symbol rolled. The lightning bolt symbol gains you a power cube
per symbol rolled, these can be spent on your turn to gain new powers
for you monster, and extra rerolls, better healing/attacks and so on.
Finally the remaining sides have the numbers 1-3 on them, if you roll
3 of a kind of these numbers you gain that number in victory points,
roll 4 of a kind and you get an extra victory point.  For example if I
rolled the following:
Heart, Heart, Claw, 2,2,2
I would get 2 victory points; my monster would regain 2 health points
and attack the monster in Tokyo dealing 1 damage point to it. Hurrar!

On to Tokyo, I said I would explain it, according to the great god
Wiki it is the capital of the land of the rising sun and lots of
people and monsters live in it. Sushi was invented there along with
Ninjas. In game terms the first player to attack, becomes the king of
Tokyo, and enters the city. On entering the city you gain 1 victory
point, and for every time you start your turn in Tokyo you gain 2
victory points you are the king of Tokyo after all. Whilst you are the
king of Tokyo, all monsters attack you during their turns, when you
attack, you deal the amount of damage rolled to every player. Finally
you cannot heal your monster whilst it is in Tokyo. You may leave
Tokyo whenever another monster attacks you, taking the damage first,
they attacking monster then becomes at new king of Tokyo.
Is it any good?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: It is great fun, quick a 4 player game took approximately
20 minutes; it doesn’t outstay its welcome and looks amazing. If you
don’t like the “take that and be nasty” approach then it won’t be the
game for you, otherwise roll with it you won’t be disappointed.

Yes it is never going to be a game that will rock the gaming world but
is doesn’t try to be one of those games, and yes I’d rather play Goa,
Troyes or Steam whenever I can but for those times when I can’t this
is one of the best “filler” games I have played this year.  It got 4
hard core gamers yelling Destroy all monsters!!!! Hoping for a heart
symbol and cursing the dice when it didn’t appear. Praying that any
more claw symbols won’t be rolled when their monster is in Tokyo and
low on health so that they can escape to fight on. That has to be a
great sign the game does what it is meant to.