Thursday, December 22, 2016

KING OF TOKYO! (insert giant monster noises and explosions)

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Last Friday the local library had their monthly game night. We usually keep abreast of the games being run to see if it something we have wanted to try before the buy.

This time around they were running King of Tokyo.  Now this is a game title that peaked my interest a while back as it involves giant monsters beating up each other for fun and sport.

Last Gen Con we saw it being run…..and passed on it.

Well the look of the game turned us off. Cardboard cutouts of monsters and a like 6’x6’ place holder board did not appeal to us that weekend. We walked without a second look.

Well now it popped up again and I took it as sign. We had been given a second chance! Three of us went to try it out.

King of Tokyo.

A game for 2-6 players where the goal is to be the last man…er….monster standing.
Players choose a monster to play. These are solely cosmetic. The monsters have a number of hit points/life points/ health or whatever one wants to call it.

There is a board that used to represent Tokyo, where one player will set up in and the others will stand on the outside. See when your monster is outside the city he can be attacked by the monsters in the city. The monster in the city can be attacked by the monsters outside the city. There is no safe place to hide.

From there it becomes a version of king o’ the hill be amassing 20 victory points (by standing in the city, beating down other monsters or a combo of these two activities) or being the last monster with any health.

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The monster choices

Winning is done by rolling dice. The game comes with six dice that have the numbers 1,2,3 a heart symbol, a claw symbol and a lightning bolt symbol. Now the game takes on a Yahtzee-like mechanic of rolling and keeping  dice with the ability to re-roll twice. Why Yahtzee? Well keeping multiples of a 1,2,3 gets you 1,2 or three victory points. Victory points  maxing at 20 equals a win. Hearts equal restored health. Claws mean attacks against other monsters. Lightning bolts mean energy. These you can bank and turn into upgrades.
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The dice add a modicum of strategy as you can try to: save rerolls for regaining health, reroll to get as many claw dice to put the hurt on other monsters, gain multiples of 1-3 to gain that many victory points,  or roll for lots of energy for fun upgrades.

Yes there is also a small upgrade system based on cards. These upgrades can be quick one-off damage, health or victory point gains. They can also be abilities you keep until the game ends that buff your monster for offense or defense.

Image result for king of tokyo

The game play is very fast and has an almost Munchkin type of feel to it as you are trying to ensure your victory by hampering everyone else. The upgrade cards are a bit too random and in the games we played were either cost too much energy or were just not that impressive. Everyone seemed more interested in banking claw/attack dice and health dice instead of trying to gain energy for a one-off attack/heal, victory point gain or a very expensive offensive ability that might never get used due to being no longer alive.

King of Tokyo is easy to learn, plays very fast, is non-offensive (unless you a building sized monster), priced adequately and actually pretty alright. We should have probably tried it at Gen Con last year instead of passing due to the look of it. Sure real models would look a crap ton better instead of cardboard standees, but it would also drive the price of the game way up too. A possibility that this will be making an appearance in our house as the kids like this kind of game and I can appreciate a giant monster fighting board game.

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