What: A game of giant monsters and giant(ish) dice
Time: 15-20 minutes
People: For anyone really, kids love it, adults love it, even my granddad enjoyed it
Available: Buy it here UK or here US, or get the sequel King of New York UK or US
Why we recommend it
King of Tokyo is sort of a modern classic in board game terms. Except lots of people still haven’t heard of it. So this is us telling you about a game that has already been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands (maybe millions?) so you know it’s gotta be good.
We’ve all watched a movie with a giant monster. Godzilla destroying Tokyo. That T-rex in Jurassic park 2 that for some reason they take to New York or even more modern takes like Cloverfield.
The humans always win but what of the monsters. Those giant kaiju who are so misunderstood. Well the only true way to empathise with something is to walk a mile in it’s shoes and smash into a building. In King of Tokyo you are playing as said giant monster so you can truly understand its plight.
You can play as definitely not Godzilla, certainly not King Kong and what definitely is a giant space penguin. Also this cat thing.
Whoever is the last monster standing in Tokyo is the winner and therefore king. To win you roll dice. Big chunky black and green dice. They lot you heal, attack, gain energy or victory points. Yes ok you can win by points not by smashing things, but who would want to do that. Godzilla never won on a technical victory, he destroyed city blocks!
You have some control over this randomness though as you can keep any dice you like and re-roll the rest up to 3 times.
This inevitably leads to that final roll where you just need 1 more attack dice to win the game. The tension mounts and a cheer or eruption of laughter will fill the room. Even when you’re losing King of Tokyo is fun and it’s so quick you’ll want to play over and over.
Oh and one more thing. Energy. There is more to the game than just rolling dice, because what sort of giant monster would you be if you couldn’t breathe fire, throw a car or sprout a 2nd head. Energy allows you to buy all manner of power ups like this which may even change how you win the game.
It’s a game anyone can understand and enjoy but if you want to push the strategy up just a smidge there are a couple of great expansions and even a sequel King of New York which adds a bit more depth. Well as much depth as there can be when rolling dice and smashing up cities.