Kaiju have always held a special place in my heart since seeing a film in the early 80’s about a monster that took people from their beds and ate them. That special place in my heart was mostly being mortally terrified but not now that King Of Tokyo has found it’s way in. Now I can embrace the Space Penguin and the Cyber Kitty and I can be the one that plucks people from their beds and crushes their bones between my teeth!
King of Tokyo is a dice rolling game, where you are aiming to be the…King…Of…Tokyo, I guess.. With each roll of 6 die you can achieve Victory Points (you need 20 to win), you can inflict damage on your opponents (you start with 10), heal your own damage or collect energy cubes. For each turn, you can roll the die up to 3 times, to work towards your overall strategy, plus at the end of the turn you can buy special ability cards that can impact the game.
But isn’t that just Yahtzee? Isn’t it just totally luck based if it relies on the roll of a dice? Well, yes, but that is what makes this game so enjoyable. You see, King of Tokyo isn’t meant to be up there with the hard edge heavy Euro games, it’s there to be accessible. I would consider this a good filler game, but a great family game. There is something that is just fantastic about kids, and less experienced gamers, having similar chances at victory as the seasoned veteran of 100+ Euro games. Sure there is strategy involved, but that doesn’t help at all if your 5 year old decides with their siblings, that it is time to knock you out of the game and roll damage against you over and over. This is what makes King Of Tokyo such a good game, the strategy is weighed up with the luck and is therefore accessible to anyone.
Besides the playability, King of Tokyo just looks fantastic as well, with some of the best card art around, in addition to the great box art and the tactile feel of the die and energy cubes. The art adds layers and layers to the game, and you will laugh at the next monster card that comes out of the deck, describing to everyone what it does. Actually, sometimes I find myself just buying cards because I like the look of them, not necessarily the soundest strategy to win, but that’s what King Of Tokyo is all about – the fun that is inherent in a silly game of destroying a city.
If you are looking for something to add to your collection that is easy to play and will be able to accommodate anyone from 5-105, I would highly recommend King of Tokyo to hit your table. This is also a great game that can be added in to a strategy heavy or war game group to help to cut the tension, or build up for a night of gaming, as it has all the elements that you need for a games night – competition, player engagement, strategy and fun. In addition to the base game, there are also a bunch of great expansions that you can add of for replayability.
What are your thoughts on King Of Tokyo, what do you play instead of King of Tokyo if it isn’t for you?