Quick review: King of Tokyo

The other week I played King of Tokyo for the first time.  I’d heard good things about it so I was eager to try it when a friend said he’d bought it recently.  Here’s my quick review…

If you’ve somehow avoided hearing about King of Tokyo then here’s a quick outline of the premise; you’re a giant monster, robot or alien and you’re invading Tokyo.  You want to destroy the other giant monsters, robots or aliens.  You are Mothra to their Godzilla, or vice-versa, basically.

This manifests as rolling dice and re-rolling them up to a maximum of three times per turn – hoping to score what you need.  The dice let you attack, heal or gain energy which you can spend on upgrades.   You can also gain bonus victory points by rolling three identical numbers – three 1s gets you 1 VP, three 3s get you 3 VPs.  Get one extra of each and that’s another bonus VP too.

Once you’ve rolled your third roll then the dice effects are applied.

The dice
The dice

Only one player can be in Tokyo at once.  Whoever is in Tokyo suffers attacks from the other players, but scores victory points for staying there.  When they roll every other player suffers damage from their rolls.

City occupation
City occupation

The player in Tokyo can’t use heal rolls, but they can relinquish the city after being attacked, so as to avoid taking further damage from every player.  You have 10 life points and once they’re gone you’re eliminated from the game.  The game’s won by the last beast standing – or by reaching 20 victory points.

It’s a really simple premise but every time you roll there’s a risk; you may need to heal after enduring a particularly bad attack – but if you’re outside Tokyo and roll attacks then whoever is in Tokyo might decide to relinquish it, even though they’ve got plenty of health, just to put you in the firing line!  Likewise, with maximum points coming from staying in Tokyo, you may want to try the odds by staying in the city as long as possible.

In addition to the dice roll effects you can collect energy to spend on upgrades that bolster your attacks, help you gain energy, heal or give you extra die.

Extra head upgrade


I really enjoyed playing this game.  It’s quick to play so a good filler.  I don’t think it’s something I’d play more than once in a night but it’s quick to set up and play so a good option for a night where you’re going to go through a few games or if you just want something to warm up with.  It’s a good family option too (states 8+ on the box).

The materials are really good – there’s something really pleasant about rolling a load of chunky dice which I can’t explain.  There’s enough to it to have to apply strategy and not feel like you’re just dealing with random dice rolls.  All-in-all King of Tokyo definitely worth the £23-ish price-tag.

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