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Author Topic: King of Tokyo -- Reviewing my Daughter's Favorite Games (No. 14)  (Read 2657 times) Bookmark and Share
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Gerald
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« on: October 17, 2012, 04:54:32 AM »

King of Tokyo is a game designed by Richard Garfield and published by IELLO Games in 2011.  It's for two to six players (though it really plays best with three or more) and a game lasts around twenty to forty minutes.

As with all my other reviews, this review will not strive to cover all the rules.  If you prefer a more in-depth intensive rule walkthrough, I suggest you take the time to look elsewhere (or perhaps watch a video tutorial).

Also, I'll be doing something slightly different in this series of reviews, as instead of writing on how it compares to similar games in its genre, I'll replace that section with my five year-old daughter's thoughts on why she likes a certain game (paraphrased of course).  It'll be written in a short Q & A style. 

GAMEPLAY:
Setting up the game is a breeze.  You give each player a monster token/avatar along with its corresponding life and point tracker (life set to ten and points set to zero).  Place the main board along with the dice in the middle of the table, deal out three cards and place them face-up beside the board and set the card pile face down beside it.  Next, just make sure that all the monsters are starting OUTSIDE of Tokyo.  You are now ready to begin.

On a player's turn, the first thing he/she does is roll the dice (pictured below).  The player now has a choice on whether to keep all or some or none of the dice, or if he/she wants to re-roll all or some of 'em.  You can re-roll up to two more times (for a grand total of three rolls in one turn).  After rolls (or re-rolls) are done, the player then applies the results.


Picture Submitted By: Appleseed54 || Taken From the BGG Database

If you roll a heart, you gain life (not exceeding ten unless you have a power [card] that tells you otherwise) assuming your monster is not inside Tokyo.  If you roll a claw, you deal damage.  If you roll a lightning bolt, you gain energy cubes (which serve as in-game currency).  If you roll three 1's, or three 2's, or three 3's, you gain one, two or three points respectively.  Any similar number you roll after three, nets you one more point (i.e. you rolled four 2's, that nets you three points).

If you are the first player to deal damage, you get to go into Tokyo.  From this moment forth, the game becomes a "me against the world" type of thing.  All the damage that monsters outside of Tokyo do, gets applied to whoever is inside of Tokyo.  All the damage that the monster inside of Tokyo does, gets applied to ALL the monsters outside of Tokyo.  The monster inside of Tokyo, may at anytime choose to relinquish his/her hold on Tokyo (stopping his/her swath of destruction) to the player that did him/her damage AFTER all damage(s) have been taken.

After all results have been applied, the player then has a choice on whether or not to purchase a card that'll provide his monster a special power.  He/she may buy as many cards as he/she would like for as long as he/she has the energy cubes to pay for it.  The player may also pay a certain amount of energy cubes to cycle out the cards that are in display for new cards from the deck.

After purchasing cards (or not), that player's turn ends and we move on the the next player.

The game ends in one of two ways.  Either a player earns twenty points before everyone else, upon which he/she automatically wins, or a player becomes the last monster standing (pictured below). 


Picture Submitted By: Djali || Taken From the BGG Database

Points can be earned thru dice rolls, thru some cards and by staying inside of Tokyo.  A monster gains points by entering in Tokyo and by staying in Tokyo until at least the start of their next turn.  And that's the basic gist of how the game is played and how the game can be won.

COMPONENTS:
The game comes with a rulebook, eight dice, six monster cut-outs (avatars), six monster life/point trackers, a main board representing Tokyo, a hefty handful of cardboard tokens, a bunch of plastic energy cubes and a deck of cards.


Picture Submitted By: Appleseed54 || Taken From the BGG Database

As you can see from the picture above, IELLO did a bang-up job of providing excellent quality components.  The dice are nice and heavy, excellent to roll.  The cardboard components from tokens to board are very sturdy.  The plastic energy cubes are a nice touch. 

The only real downside is the rulebook is not written as clearly as it should be.  It's easy enough to understand, but leaves some questions unanswered or at best murkily answered. 

The artwork is great... from the box to the board to the monsters to the cards... everything is beautifully conceived and executed.  The game screams "notice me" from the get go.  Two thumbs up to IELLO Games for putting out such a pretty game.

Q & A W/ MY DAUGHTER:
Q: Why do you like this game Kashieu (pronounced cashew)?
A: I like rolling the dice and watching the monsters attack each other!

Q: What do you think of the components?
A: They're so pretty daddy!  I like how colorful everything is and I like that the dice feel so "full" in my hands.

Q: Did you find it hard to understand how to play the game?
A: No, it was very easy to understand and after you explain the power cards to me at the start of each game, everything else falls into place.

Q: Does the game frustrate you?
A: Not really.  I don't roll sucky like you and mommy!

FINAL THOUGHTS:
King of Tokyo is a nice family/party dice-rolling game.  In fact, I don't think I'd be crucified for saying that it may currently be the best in its genre.  I have played it multiple times w/ my wife and daughter, and I've also played it a ton of times with my non-gamer friends and everyone seems to love it.  It's easy to teach, quick to play, nice to look at, and has just enough "ooomph" for things to never get boring.

I bought King of Tokyo on a whim, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it now serves as one of my primary fillers and introductory games.  My daughter adores it, my wife likes it and I like it as well.  While I will always prefer wargames and heavier games, King of Tokyo will hold a special place in my collection.  Two thumbs up!
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2012, 07:26:55 AM »

King of Tokyo is also my current "go-to-game" to introduce new people into the hobby. It is super fun and very easy to teach. Love It! Wink
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