TABLE GAME REVIEW: King Of Tokyo

61yvKO1xdAL._SY300_GS Table Games gets ready to rumble with giant monsters and giant robots and maybe a panda as well in this combat game that has taken the industry by storm.

A small box with big ideas is how you can describe King of Tokyo. It is a combat game that involves dice, cards and a very small board but it certainly packs a punch.

Slap around your enemies and become the King of Tokyo!

Play mutant monsters, gigantic robots and other monstrous creatures, joyfully whack your opponents, rampage the city and become the one and only King of Tokyo!

Combine your dice to gather energy, heal your monster or just slap others. Spend your energy to trigger permanent or one-shot special powers: second head, body armor, nova death ray…

Stop at nothing to become the King of Tokyo… but that’s when the real trouble begins for you!

The aim of the game

The idea of the game is to attack the other players using dice and special cards to inflict damage and for you to gain victory points by various methods. Each player moves in and out of Tokyo to fight all other monsters at the same time. The first player to get to the agreed victory points level wins the game and becomes the King of Tokyo.

Set up

Each player will choose a “monster” from a selection of 6 and will take its stand up figure and monster board or score track. This is who the player will play as during the game. We then place the rather small board in the centre of the table and make a pile for the energy tokens or as we like to call them Energon cubes for all you transformers fans. Then another pile is made with the various card tokens which are used to highlight the effect of certain attacks.

King-of-Tokyo-Review

What you get in the box

After shuffling the attack cards we place three face up near the board and make a pile for the rest face down. The dice are ready and we now need a first player. We ask the question who last saw a giant monster movie and in our case it was Pacific Rim and the first player was good to go.

Gameplay

Player one will start by rolling the 6 main dice (there are two extra dice for a special card only). On the dice you have either a 1, 2 or 3 number or a symbol of energy (lightning bolt), attack (claw) and heal (a heart). You can reroll any combination of the dice twice so you get three rolls. The first roll and then two rerolls to get your final dice placement. Then you can claim your actions.

If you get three numbers you can claim the same amount of victory points. So if you roll three 2’s you get 2 victory points and if you roll three 3’s you get 3 victory points. You claim victory points by moving the score track wheel on your monster card which has a track for victory points and a track for damage points.

images

The Dice

If you get an Energy sign then you can claim a energy cube for every dice with the sign on it. You collect energy cubes because this is the currency in King of Tokyo. It allows you to buy the attack cards that give you special powers or actions during the game.

The heart sign is health so if your damage track has dropped to 7 and you roll two hearts you can move it back up to 9. Normally the health track only goes up to ten but in special circumstances it can go up to 12. The final sign is attack which looks like a giant claw. This allows you to attack but there are two rules for attacking which I will cover below.

So once you have your final six dice showing you then complete your turn. There is no limit so in theory you could claim victory points, regain health, attack a player and gain energy cubes all in one roll however you need to think smart and look at your strategy and roll your dice towards that.

The first player to roll an attack dice must move their monster figure into Tokyo and this is where the game comes alive.

The main board of Tokyo has two spaces called Tokyo City and Tokyo Bay. For 2-4 players we only use City but for 5-6 players we play using both. Once the first player rolls their attack sign they move into Tokyo City and still complete their other actions but there are now rules to follow.

When you enter Tokyo you gain 1 victory point because you are in Tokyo and the aim of the game is to be erm well the King of Tokyo. If you are still in Tokyo when it comes round to you again you gain another two victory points. This is a benefit to being in Tokyo. Another benefit is that when you roll an attack dice symbol you attack all the other players outside Tokyo. So you damage all the other monsters at the same time.

The bad news is that when you are in Tokyo you cannot heal so you don’t want to stay too long in Tokyo or you will die. The idea is to stay in there for a while to inflict enough damage and then get out and heal. To do this you have to be attacked by another player and then declare that you yield. This means you swap with the attacking player who then has to move into Tokyo.

When you are not in Tokyo you are attacking the monster inside Tokyo. This means that you roll as normal and can heal as normal but when you roll an attack on the dice it only causes damage to the monster in Tokyo.

In the 2-4 player games the action is quick and effective but in the 5-6 player games it becomes a lot more about strategy and adds another dimension to the game.

As you collect the energy cubes you then buy the special cards that have the various powers or attacks. The cards will either have Discard on them which means you have to use the cards power right away and then place the card in the discard pile otherwise the card will say Keep which means that you keep it next to your monster board and can use the power all the time.

The cards have lots of different powers and cost from 1 cube to 7 depending on how powerful the card is. A few examples of the cards are below.

tokyo_cards-660x454

Cards that you use to power up your actions

Game design

My first impression of this game when I opened the box was “wow it’s small” but in reality it is HUGE. I immediately started to feel immersed in the theme of the game which is in essence a giant Godzilla monster movie. You get wrapped up in the action and battles so much that you start to care for your monster. The actual items in the box are all of decent quality with some very cool artwork on both the monsters but also all the cards you use the game. The dice and gems are very good quality and the score cards work really well.

The rules are so simple to pick up after a few rounds with enough changes in the special cards that it is always different. You will find that everyone will keep changing their strategy on every game because of the dynamics of the combat. What seems like a great strategy at one point can really bite you later on so you have to be careful.

This game is perfect for young children and adults alike and is perfect for a entry level game and is great at a game night to be used as a filler game or a game that can be played in between long games. You can have experienced and new players side by side getting right into the atmosphere.

Components

In the box you get 66 attack cards, 6 monster boards, 6 monster tokens with plastic stand, 8 six-sided dices, 50 energy cubes, 28 tokens (cards effects) and the rule book. The quality of the components is decent enough and the monsters look good when they are stood up on their bases. The artwork is fun and crazy with some cool destructive images.

Extras

The game does have 2 expansions already the Halloween and Power Up ones which we will cover at a later stage and also news has come out that a new standalone game is coming out in 2014 called King of New York which will feature new monsters and board so keep an eye for this.

Overall thoughts

So overall I have to say that King of Tokyo is a game that everyone should have on your shelf and play it at least once a month with a new player. Also maybe have the Godzilla music playing in the background or even Pacific Rim soundtrack. Giant fun with giant monsters!

To find other board game reviews and news, go HERE.

Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Montoya
Source: King of Tokyo

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: