Monster Week: King of Tokyo

On the 15th January we said we would put up at least one post a week. The last post was 2nd February. Whoops!

To be fair, I have been moving across London without a car for the past few weeks and it has been a right ball-ache and time has slipped through my stubby fingers. But fear not my feathered friends, as a penance for missing so many posts there will be a lost every day this week! Well, except Friday because it’s a public holiday in the UK and we’ll be playing games instead.

As there is going to be a post everyday, we’re going to have a theme – welcome to Monster Week! And what better way to start Monster Week than with King of Tokyo?

  • Players: 2-6
  • Play time: 30 mins
  • Publisher: IELLO

King of Tokyo has been around for a while. After watching some videos of people playing it last year, I popped it on my board game wish list and got it for Christmas. A few weeks later we finally got around to playing it and a few weeks after that I’m writing about. What an exciting story, huh?

So King of Tokyo has been a long time coming, but was it worth the wait? Definitely. Essentially a dice game with some cool monster stand-ups, it has a simple premise and simple game-play to match it. All players chose a gigantic monster and battle it out to take over Tokyo and become the… erm… King of Tokyo.

All of the action is controlled by the special dice which determine whether you can attack, accrue points, heal or buy power cards. Each player can re-roll all or any of their dice up to three times and you might quickly find your tactics changing depending on how you are rolling.  The winner is the first player to reach 20 victory points, or the last player standing.

Will you attack or try to save up energy cubes to buy a special power such as acid spit or stomping on a nuclear power station? Or do you need to heal, because if your health hits zero you are out of the game and have to sit and watch every one else rolling their dice.

Godzilla and King Kong look-a-likes do battle with a…giant space penguin?

Depending on how many people are playing, only one or two players are allowed onto the Tokyo board at a time. Being in Tokyo is the quickest way to accrue points but the downside is once you are in, you are fighting all other monsters who are trying to get in and you cannot heal, so allegiances and strategies can switch quickly depending on where you are.

When we played, all 4 of us had never played the game before and by the second play through we all pretty much knew what we were doing. As with all good ‘simple’ games though, once you think you know what you are doing, the depth in the game starts becoming apparent. Admittedly there isn’t a great depth to this game, but after a round where I was too busy focusing on my tactics and accidentally set my brother-in-law up for a simple win, I realised you definitely have to keep an eye on everyone else’s remaining points and power cards.  It has definitely given me more to think about next time we play it.

If you are looking for a relatively straightforward game that’s easy for anyone to pick up and play and has a great classic theme of monsters smashing up a city, King of Tokyo is worth checking out.

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