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Crush your opponents!
on 1 June 2011
Ever wondered what it would be like to be Godzilla or even Mothra, ploughing your way through Tokyo suburbs, intent only on defeating your irradiated opponent in a feast of atomic-induced rage? Well, thanks to Magic the Gathering creator Richard Garfield you can in King of Tokyo. He obviously couldn't get the official licence sadly.
It's a two to six player game that is short on rules and fast to play, with anyone over the age of six or so able to pick up easily. It's also very fast, which means that you can finish a game in a matter of 15 or so minutes. To become the King of Tokyo a player has to either reach either the defined number of victory points, or defeat all their opponents. The central mechanic of the game allows each player to roll six dice up to three times to achieve either - victory points, claws (which allow you to attack your opponents), energy or health. By collecting energy cubes you can purchase special abilities in the form of cards, although in the sessions played so far, I found these to be frustratingly a bit too random in terms of quality to really think about using a great deal.
The game's components are colourful and will appeal especially to younger children, with the creators electing for robust cardboard cutouts rather than figurines. There is a small, well-made board which determines who is the current incumbent of the title and the aforementioned power cards are drawn beautifully.
In terms of strategy, the game is easy to pick up without being too deep. One player will become King, which enables them to attack all the others players simultaneously. They can attain victory points by keeping this position, but conversely they cannot heal themselves. All other players can attack the king individually if they wish, but if they decide to, then upon receipt of damage the King can yield, which means the attacker must then become King of Tokyo. As such, it's
In a six player game, it is much harder to retain this position, so one must be careful. The result is usually a fast and furious game in which some players are eliminated without being able to really do much. The upside is that once one player goes in a six player game, the others usually follow suit soon after.
If you're looking for something that can engage all the family quickly in a fun, albeit aggressive, game, then King of Tokyo is a worthwhile purchase.