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King of Tokyo» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A game that hits the table. A lot. rss

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stephen Donkin
Scotland
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Richard Garfield is best known for his behemoth CCG Magic: The Gathering, but he has shown here with his 2011 release, King of Tokyo, that he can break out into completely different genres with ease.

King of Tokyo is an extremely simple game where you each take a monster, represented by a cardboard cut out out in a plastic stand, and you roll some dice. And then you re-roll some of your dice. And then you re-roll some more of your dice. You then do what the dice tell you (attack, gain VPs, heal, or gain energy cubes), decide whether you'd like to spend some of your energy cubes on buying a card or not, then move on to the next player. If you attack someone, you deal damage to your opponents depending on where your monster currently is, which is in Tokyo, our out of Tokyo. If you are in Tokyo, you attack everyone outside of Tokyo, and if you are outside Tokyo, you attack whoever is in Tokyo. Being in Tokyo gets you VPs, but means you can't heal yourself. Every time you are attacked in Tokyo, you can decide to leave, which automatically puts your attacker in Tokyo. Add into this mixture all the special powers that the cards can bring, like extra dice, extra lives or extra turns, and you have King of Tokyo. The winner is the first to 20 VPs or the last monster standing.

Components
The components in KoT are about right for a game in this price range. I picked up my copy for £22, which I think is about right in the grand scheme of things. I have seen it listed as high as £30 and I would have felt a little let down if I'd paid that much for it. You get 8 big chunky dice, a small board, a deck of cards, a few counters and player boards, cutouts and stands for each of the characters. The artwork on the box and on all of the cards and character materials is of a really high quality. It has a cartoonish feel, but the colouring is excellent throughout and really pushes the flavour in what is essentially an abstract game. The only gripe about the components is that the well in the box insert for the deck of cards is just a little too shallow, so the top 4-5 cards always come loose and slide around inside the box.

So is it any good?
I have got a tonne of play out of KoT since I acquired it about a month ago. It has been the perfect game to bust out over Xmas simply because it is so easy to teach and supports up to 6 players. Garfield has designed a game here that practically forces its way onto the table whenever you have non-gamers around. I have played this with around 10 different people over the xmas period and many of them had never touched anything outside of the Monopoly/Cluedo/Risk trilogy of boredom, and every single player, bar none, has loved it. Many have even stated their intention to try and get a copy.

Now, compared to something like Agricola, there isn't much in the way of what you would call strategy here, but there are some genuinely tough decisions to be made along the way. Do you save up for a card you really want, running the risk of letting someone else get it? Do you go for killing everyone else, or do you focus on VPs? Do you stay in Tokyo for one more turn to get another vital VP or do you scarper to try and heal yourself? To see people work through these things when all they have really had to do before is decide "do I buy The Strand or not" is fascinating and rewarding. King of Tokyo is now my go-to gateway game, to introduce people to the big wide world of board games, and I think it does an excellent job. For me, it is a solid 8/10.


PS. This is my very first review so thanks for reading!
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Brad McKenzie
Thailand
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Thanks for the review - I agree fully!
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Spellenwinkel Avondtuur
Netherlands
Arnhem
Gelderland
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nice review , I hope you're gonna do some more
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duncan easton
England
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I'd agree with everything said in this (well written) review. I'm considering the expansion so I'd be interested to know if you've played it and what you thought....
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stephen Donkin
Scotland
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Thanks guys! I am definitely considering the expansion. I just got a £10 Amazon voucher too, so it is a bit of a no-brainer! If and when I do pick it up, I'll be sure to write something up about it.
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Chris G
Canada
Kitchener
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The expansion doesn't add a lot to the game, but it adds enough. The personalities it adds to the monsters does change the flow of the game. Also since you trigger them on 3 hearts - and that works in tokyo it makes a difference to the flow of the game as well. I'd recommend it. Best of all it's very easy to not use the expansion or use it with each game. So when we play with our daughter or new players we skip the expansion, very simple.
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Brent Kinney

Indianapolis
Indiana
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The expansion is really easy to add to the base game and teach to players. It makes the game just a tad more robust in my opinion and that is a good thing. You should pick it up for sure.
 
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