King of Tokyo

Cover Art - King of Tokyo
There are a lot of ways to describe King of Tokyo, but the best way is Yahtzee meets Kaiju.

There are two ways to win. Accumulate 20 Victory Points, or eliminate the other monsters. Can you use the luck of the dice and new powers to become the King of Tokyo?
BGG Link
Designer(s) Richard Garfield
Publisher IELLO
Player Count 3 to 6
Estimated Playtime 5 - 8 minutes per player
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Journal Entries

February 14th, 2022

Godzilla vs Kong. Jaeger vs Kaiju. Do you know what all these huge monster clashes are missing? Yahtzee. That’s the premise of King of Tokyo at least!

I was super excited when I saw King of Tokyo on Board Game Arena. A random dice game where you battle everyone was a great way to end the gaming day!

Rabbit had never played King of Tokyo, but she got the gist super quickly. Alpal and I spent a couple of minutes explaining the basics. Sure, you can win with victory points.

Or you can be the last monster standing!

It’s possible telling Rabbit that was a mistake. Clear goal combined with amazing dice rolling ability, multiplied by first-time play luck. Alpal and I never stood a chance!

20220214 - King of Tokyo - Let the battle commence
Gigazaur has the point lead, but I have taken Tokyo as Anubis

You ‘hit’ Tokyo to enter it, and get a point for entering the city. If you start your turn in Tokyo, you get two points. If you attack while in Tokyo, you hit everyone else. The downside is everyone else hits you, and you can’t heal in Tokyo!

If you get hit by someone else, you can concede Tokyo forcing them in the middle. If they don’t have much health, this can be an effective way of thinning the competition.

The second time around I worked out how to let us pick our own creatures. I thought Rabbit would enjoy Cyber Bunny, even with Cthuhlu being on offer.

And Cyber Bunny wasn’t there. I didn’t realise with the second edition, Cyber Bunny and the Kraken couldn’t be used for legal reasons. I suppose my old copy is even better now?

20220214 - King of Tokyo - Choose your monster
It’s a bit hard to see, but the cast are similar to but legally distinct from famous creatures

At the end of the day, King of Tokyo did what it does best. We each managed a win, we all ‘yelled’ at each other for rolling dice we didn’t want them to, and we all had fun.

If you want a light to medium weight Kaiju game with more ‘game’ to it, King of New York is a great game. If you want a light casual experience anyone can jump into, King of Tokyo remains one of my all-time favourites.

March 7th, 2022

I thought ending the day with King of Tokyo would be a lot of fun. Kaiju Yahtzee – what could go wrong?

Well, Board Game Arena threw me a slight curve. When starting King of Tokyo, I didn’t realise settings can’t change once a player accepts an invitation. This means we played with “Battle of the Gods: The Revenge” curse cards.

20220307 - King of Tokyo - Confusing Options Defaulted
The defaults are great for game veterans, but maybe too much for beginners

This adds a deck of cards in the centre of the table containing random rules. When resolving your rolls, there is now also a d4 with various symbols that can affect your strategy.

For example, you can lose electricity stopping you from shopping. Healing can be disabled unless you hold the scarab card. Points die can become invalid. If anyone rolls an Ankh, they usually get a small reward. Roll the snake, and pay a penalty. The river symbol is a neutral roll, and the Eye of Ra changes curse cards.

This variant is fun, but for learners I don’t see why it is on by default on Board Game Arena. If this was someone’s first play the number of things going on could be off-putting.

20220307 - King of Tokyo - Curse Cards in Play
Not too different from the base game in terms of table content

Straight up, this was borderline too many shenanigans for me for the day. I was hoping for an autopilot dice roller and got something I needed to track. King of Tokyo got ‘thinky’ for me – not what I was expecting! That doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun with new rules, only that a headache I was trying to avoid catching up with me by the end.

We did have a lot of fun playing, and Alpal was on an absolute roll with the random shenanigans. We played a few games with the normal ‘knock everyone else out’ happening, and I suggested one more game to end the day.

This ‘one more game’ of King of Tokyo took an uncharacteristic 20 minutes! Not only that, Alpal ended up with a double win. She not only hit me with enough to knock my monster out for last monster standing, but she scored well over the 20 VP needed in the same roll!

20220307 - King of Tokyo - Alpal was going to win in every possible way
Alpal about to win in every possible way

I thought I was in a pretty good position with some power-ups. The curse cards and die rolls were definitely on Alpal’s side for this round. Yes, she was lucky, but that is all part of the chaotic fun. It just goes to show – there is no such thing as a foregone conclusion in King of Tokyo!

April 11th, 2022

I wanted to try King of Tokyo as an add-on was added where you could get an extra die. And not just any die – the Berserk die!

Activated when you roll 4 or more claws, you get the power of the Berserk die! This lets you roll an extra die with one or two power, one to two claws, or a skull. You don’t want to roll a skull, because then you lose health!

20220411 - King of Tokyo - The Berserker Dice could be interesting
The Berserk die looked fun. Maybe one day I can roll one!

It looked pretty fun and I am a fan of anything that gives you more dice to roll. I say it looked pretty fun because in both games we played I ended the game as I activated the Berserk die – I never got to use it!

You can only lose the Berserk die by healing, so if you are in Tokyo you have a very small chance of losing it. This changes the dynamic of King of Tokyo slightly, as if you can hit well you have the chance of hitting even more!

Even if you don’t hit more, you can also potentially buy more powers as well. This can be very handy.

20220411 - King of Tokyo - Flamethrower for the Win
A well-timed purchase secured victory

I got to win the second game with a lucky roll that took Alpal down to one health. Rabbit was already on one health. The Flamethrower caused 2 points of damage to everyone quickly finished their monsters. A timely purchase!

King of Tokyo was a fun end to a fun gaming day. Without the curse randomness from the last game, it was a lot easier to keep track of what was happening.

Maybe next time I will get to roll the Berserk die for myself! There is a larger game night happening, maybe I can suggest King of Tokyo with more players. It can go up to 6 after all…