In a surprising twist, I like board and card games as well as video games! There is quite an extensive collection on the shelves, some of which I still haven’t got around to having a good go at. I have often subjected
victims friends and family to one game or another, some more successful than others. One successful one recently was King of Tokyo, which my wife, sister, brother-in-law and myself played over the Christmas period.
The premise is simple! Each player is a giant monster, fighting for control of Tokyo to become king of the city. To what end I don’t know, but do we really need a reason for Cyber Bunny to punch Kraken in the face? Anyway, the object of the game is to either be the first monster to earn 20 points, or be the last monster standing amongst your vanquished foes.
Players take turns to roll a set of dice that will determine their potential actions for that turn. Healing, attacking, scoring points and gaining energy to purchase abilities are all possibilities, and the ability to re-roll unwanted results up to two times means you are not entirely at the mercy of the dice gods. The first monster to make an attack will enter the city and become the current king and any subsequent attacks they make will hit all the monsters outside the city. This sounds powerful, but any monster outside the city can only attack the current king, making the current monarch very vulnerable to being knocked out. The king does have the option to retreat from the city however, having their current attacker take over. Being the king allows you to earn points each turn, assuming you can survive long enough!
Healing takes place outside the city, allowing health points to be recovered whilst energy is used to purchase cards giving either one off bonuses such as points or long term benefits like stronger attacks that can very much swing the game’s outcome. As mentioned, all of your dice can be re-rolled to allow you to get the combination you want which gives a nice risk reward element to each turn. In fact, I’ve heard this described as “Yahtzee with monsters” by friend and fellow blogger Dave from Words and That which is an excellent description.
The moment to moment gameplay is not complex, but there is enough strategy to allow players to have a plan lined up. The reliance on dice means that previous players aren’t really at a huge advantage over new players beyond knowing what cards may come up for purchase. Game’s take around 30 minutes and are light enough that players don’t need to be 100% focused on the game at all times lest they miss something. Light board games are great for families, and this is an excellent family game. If you have even a passing interest in board games and have a couple of people to play with, this one is definitely worth your time. Don’t make me set Mecha Dragon on you…