The Meeple’s Eye View is an in depth review of one of the many games in our board game library.
Which monster is the best? The King? The Kraken? Gigazaur? Take control of one of these classic B-movie monsters and start smashing. Do you have what it takes to beat down all the other monsters and claim the crown ‘King of Tokyo’?
Theme: Monster smash
Number of Players: 2-6 (Not really a 2-player game.)
Game Time: 30-45 minutes
Age Appropriateness: 8 and up
Game Type: King of Tokyo is a Yahtzee-style dice rolling, player elimination game
Game Play: Each player in King of Tokyo plays as a different monster, all vying for the title ‘King of Tokyo’. To win the game, simply knock all of the other monsters out of the game (eliminate all of their hit points) or score 20 victory points.
Each player turn uses a ‘Yahtzee’ mechanic where a player rolls six special dice and gets to reroll whatever dice he doesn’t want up to two times. The dice can score victory points, inflict damage, heal your own monster or earn energy, which serves as the currency in the game. The energy is used to purchase special ability cards.
The monster in Tokyo deals damage to all other monsters in the game on its turn, while all other monsters hit the monster in Tokyo on their turn. At any point after an attack the player in Tokyo may yield to the player attacking, forcing them to enter Tokyo.
Stay in Tokyo to inflict damage and score points, but healing is forbidden there, so stay at your own peril.
Component Quality: The monsters are made of heavy cardboard, and the cards are good quality. The board itself is just a simple piece of cardboard, but doesn’t need to be any grander. The custom dice are outstanding. Really vibrant and great symbols. The artwork throughout the game is very cool.
My Take: King of Tokyo is a new classic. Not a ton of strategy, but a blast to play. The game can be easily explained in a few minutes and anyone can enjoy it. The Yahtzee mechanic is one that most people are already familiar with, and so they catch on quickly.
My family loves it, grand-parents and all. If you have boys in your family (especially middle school or junior high), this is a no-brainer must have. They will love the king-of-the-hill aspect and the ability to beat each other up with monsters and special powers.
Expansions and Replay-ability: There are a couple expansions for King of Tokyo, and there is a spin-off game called King of New York, which is a stand-alone game that we’ll talk about in detail another day.
The base game is great and you can certainly enjoy playing it over and over. I rarely recommend expansions, but for King of Tokyo I highly recommend the Power Up expansion. This expansion adds a new monster (Pandakai), but it adds Evolution cards for each monster in the game. These cards make each monster feel unique and add a whole new layer of strategy and ability. I would still teach the base game to new players, but after a few games this expansion takes an already fun game to a new level.
There is also a Halloween expansion that adds costumes with an ability to the game, but in my opinion this one falls flat and is not necessary.
Rick Grayshock is a husband and father who is a digital content producer for FOX Sports Ohio and is a co-founder of the Cleveland sports website WaitingForNextYear.com. Rick is excited to contribute to Meeple Moments and to write about his ‘other’ favorite hobby. Follow him on Twitter @RickGrayshock.