Thursday, July 26, 2012

King of Tokyo!

Remember sitting around the television on Saturday afternoons as a kid watching badly dubbed Godzilla movies?  Well, today, we're reenacting those films of our youth and having an all out brawl in the streets of Tokyo.  We're going to take on the roles of characters such as Gigasaur, Mecha Dragon, The King, or Cyberbunny, just to name a few.  So buckle up, and get ready for a wild ride, as we see who will claim the title of King of Tokyo!

First, the basics of the game:

  • 2-6 Players
  • 8 years and older
  • 30 minutes (though the actual game time can run up to 45 minutes or so your first time.)
All of the cards, and the and the artwork are really well done.  The lack of plastic monsters wasn't even noticed, as the monster standups were so such large and vibrant, that they did not detract from the game, and went really well with the character cards.  All of the artwork is just phenomenal.

King of Tokyo is won a few different ways.  Either last man (monster) standing, or be the first player to reach 20 victory points.  They even give you these wonderful little cards with Spinners to keep track of your points.  Victory points are blue stars, Health is red hearts.

The game is played through a series of dice rolls, and different faces of each die correspond to actions in the game.  On each player's turn, you roll all 6 monster dice, and you decide which dice you want to keep, and which ones you want to re-roll.  You may re-roll 2 times, and your goal is to get an optimal pairing within your allowed attempts.

Lets's go over the different types of dice:

Victory points are 1, 2, and 3, and you must have three of a kind to score that amount.

Attacks will allow you to hurt all monsters that are in the opposite area of your monster.  The two areas are Inside Tokyo, and Outside Tokyo.

Health will heal your monster, but only if you are Outside Tokyo.

Energy allows you to stockpile a currency in the form of green gems, that can be traded in for Power Cards.

Now that you know the basic mechanics, lets talk about Tokyo.  There is a very small board, with two circles on it, for your monster.  One is Tokyo city and the other is Tokyo bay, and is only used in 5+ player games.  When you are Outside Tokyo, and you roll damage, you will do that much damage to every monster that is in Tokyo currently.  Now, any monster Inside Tokyo has a decision to make.  After they take their damage, they must choose to stay, or flee.  When you enter Tokyo, you gain one victory point.  if you start your turn Inside Tokyo, you get TWO victory points.  The other half of the decision is if you flee Tokyo, the player who damaged you MUST move into Tokyo(meaning they will have to take damage very soon, and cannot heal if they stay until their turn.)

Let's not forget the Power cards.  These were funny, and added some really nice perks to the game.  the cost ranges from 2-9 energy, and provide various things, from immediate Victory point gain, to special powers, like lightening breath(extra damage), or wings(spend energy to negate damage), or just about any other city destroying monster power you can think of.  There are three showing at any given moment, and You may trade energy for cards after resolving your dice.  For 2 energy, you can clear out the current cards for 3 new ones.  Some are listed as Keep, and they usually give you some sort of new feature or power, and some are labeled Discard, and resolve as soon as you buy them.  These are usually Victoy points, or damage effects.
While this game is normally played with 6 players, I had an optional promo card that allowed for a seventh player, so we tried that out. 

Final Thoughts:

Rules Issues:

There was no indication of who get priority during power card conflicts.  For instance, there is a power card that lets you change one of your dice to any other result of your choice.  There is another power card that allows you to force the active player other than yourself to re-roll one of their dice.  It's a Richard Garfield game, so I feel there should have been some type of ruling about this.  Either First in first out, or something similar.  We just assumed it was a FIFO system, and this put those cards in a stalemate position.  Maybe that's the intent, but some guidance from the developer would have been nice.

The biggest problem I saw is that there is a potential for a player to be knocked out early on, and then have to sit out while the rest of the players continue having fun.  Spectating isn't bad, however, having watched the entire game, but still.  After being eliminated, Speaks had time to go to the store, bring back chips and sodas, and still have time left over to watch the last few rounds of the game.

Let's get to the rating breakdown:

[Ease of Learning]
8 out of 10
While the base rules were easy to pick up, the cards had some very convoluted mechanics to them, with little explanation, and we had to decide on house rules.
[Quality of Components]
8 out of 10
The board and cards are all very high quality card stock, and the components are visually sharp.  However, if not properly cared for, some of the pointy bits could become bent, etc...
[Fun and Replayability]
9 out of 10
I didn't give it a ten simply because going out early, and having to wait for 20 minutes for the game to finish is not fun.
[Overall rating] 
9 out of 10

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Introduction to BoardGameNinja


Welcome to my Blog.  I am a Board Game Enthusiast and I have recently picked up a large collection of Games that I would like to tell you about.  In this blog, I will be introducing you to games I am playing, one at a time, and discuss how they play, what I like about them, what I don't like about them, and then rate them in several categories, from overall fun factor to PVP/Co op-ness.  I will also try to take some videos of game play (where applicable) and photos of the game space, etc...

Anyway, I hope you enjoy my Blog!