Game Length: 30 minutes
Best enjoyed: With 4 players who love rolling dice and attacking their friends!
King of Tokyo is a push-your-luck style dice game by Richard Garfield, creator of Magic: The Gathering. Players control giant Godzilla-style monsters (or Kaiju if you want to use the Japanese term) seeking to gain enough fame to be crowned the King of Tokyo – or to eliminate the other monsters, so that no competitors remain!
On each turn, a player may roll a handful of custom dice. Depending on the results of these dice, players may be able to attack, heal, gain fame or gain energy – the latter being used to allow them to purchase Power Cards, which have a variety of game-changing abilities. Each turn, players may roll their dice up to three times, and they will have to accept the final result.
Players will have to be careful about attacking – a successful attack may see them enter Tokyo, and make them the target of all other monsters’ attacks. However, if a player is serious about killing off all the other monsters, being in Tokyo is the best way to do it, as their attacks will damage all other monsters.
The other avenues for victory are to try to roll at least three of a kind of the Fame dice, purchase Fame-granting power cards or just trying to outlast the other monsters by rolling enough Heal results. However, the dice won’t always be with you, and if you are on low health and happen to roll an Attack, the monster in Tokyo can retreat and you’ll be forced into the middle to become the punching bag!
King of Tokyo doesn’t have a lot of strategic depth, but it plays relatively quickly. By rolling a lot of Fame results, players can end up winning the game without really participating in it, which can be anticlimactic. However, there is always the thrill of rolling the dice and seeing whether you can take out your enemy or get those last few fame points needed for victory. King of Tokyo is well-produced too, containing cartoony cutouts for the various monsters that evoke the light-hearted nature of the game.
King of Tokyo is recommended for those who want a light-hearted dice heavy game where you get the chance to attack the other players. It works well with children, and makes a good filler game before (or after) playing something more intense.