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Anthony & Keith Do The Review - King of Tokyo

DM Updated
There Will Be Games

King of Tokyo (2011) Iello

K: It has finally happened. The Damn Yankees of the board game universe.

A: I don’t get the Damn Yankees reference.

K: Really?  They’re a super group.

A: I knew it was music.

K: Do you get it, though, we’re the super group.

A: I get it.

K: How do you think this is going so far?

A: Bad.

K: Here, let me look up their big hit.  It’s called High Enough.

A: I’d have to hear it.

K (singing): Can you take me High Enough

A: Oh, okay.  I know that.

K & A: King of Tokyo!


First Impressions

A: Initially, the game didn’t really hold any interest for me. I was kinda pissed with the end game in Monsters Menace America and Richard Berg’s Godzilla seemed like a bloated mess of rules and shitty components. I had pretty much given up on finding a really good monster bashing game. I just assumed this was going to be another disappointment.

K: First thing I noticed was that Richard Garfield was the designer, he of Magic: The Gathering and Robo Rally fame, among other fames.  Never sure what to expect from Richard.


K: I fucking love monsters. I love things that eat other things, especially things that are buildings. I love the idea that another monster, pissed off at the diet and/or manners of the first monster might have a beef, and pick a fucking fight. The possibility of a tertiary monster sends me into throes of man-angry bliss. To control said monster, would be divine.

A: What the fuck? I like turtles. Even after what I said in First Impressions, I can’t help but get a little giddy because of the theme. What I like especially about it is the ‘king of the hill’ experience. I may be getting into mechanics, but I think when it comes to monsters brawling, the way it goes down is relevant.

Visual Design

A: The overall art direction in this game is fucking incredible. The art on the cards, every one, is unique, and that’s something you don’t usually see. The colors are vibrant and the characters are well developed and overall I think it’s a tight package.

K: I think you’re a tight package. Visual design can suck me. I didn’t even notice. Of course, I was last to arrive to the gaming group, and was given Cyber Bunny. (By the way, I rocked Cyber Bunny, even making up a circa 1980’s cartoon theme song before slaying all other whores.)


K: The core mechanic here is Yahtzee. You roll six – dare I say it, my favourite thing in all of gamedom – Action Dice!  There are multiple symbols relating to attack, points and the currency of the game: energy cubes.  Picking what you want out of action dice is awesome fun, and the luck element here couples with that to make you feel like you’re really in control.  Great balance on that front.

A: After you resolve the dice effects, you are then able to purchase cards that power up your character. This element reminds me of Cosmic Encounter and lends another level to the game.

K: Yea, I agree. Also, the fact that you don’t have to buy a bunch of gear, it’s just one way to approach the game.

A: For sure. In terms of gameplay, dice driven, high-conflict combat games are my thang, and that is definitely present here. Although I love laying the beat downs, in King of Tokyo that’s not necessarily going to win you the game. Timing your attacks is very important. On your turn, you can also use the dice to heal or score points, so there are other options.

K: I think it’s important to go back and talk about the king of the hill mechanic, it being the central premise of the game.  When you’re in Tokyo, you attack everyone else and everyone else attacks you. This was very cool and different.

A: Lurve it.


A: Ah, yea. I loved it. I liked that the turns were simple and that each game felt slightly different. It made me want to try new ways of approaching the game.

K: I liked it as well, but didn’t feel the replayability that you did. I will admit the game played quite differently each time, but I’m not sure how many times that will hold up.

A: I don’t think it’s a game you’ll want to spend a whole game night on, but to play at the beginning or the end of a game night, that’s where it’s at its strongest and bestest.

K: Agreed. Definitely falls into the category of games that are good to own so you can bust it out on occasion.  And I do mean own. This is one worth having in the collection.

And in summation, I conclude, the crux of the matter…

K: For me, and not atypically, theme is the key here. Loved the rolling mechanic, but loved even more that it meant high impact, steel punches and scaled handfuls of giant monkey hair. Also, this thing is rife with humour. For example, I swear ‘The King’ had a handful of feces, just waiting to monkey bukkake any monster at the drop of a sky scraper. There were a few negatives. Any game that a player can be eliminated from kind of bums me out and overall I thought the game took a little too long.  But that’s pretty arbitrary. Mostly, it was a good time. Also, I called the energy cubes ‘energon cubes’ right from the start as a social experiment and the term caught on.  Another victory for Optimus Prime. Transform and roll out.

A: Papa Garfield brought it. I loved the look of the game, I loved the pseudo character building aspect and I loved the sweet (and timely) beat downs. Although the straight ‘victory point grab’ strategy can take away from some of the narrative elements, being able to use Meka Dragon’s Fire Blast to fry your buddy’s assbrokenkaiju makes up for it.

Final Rating

Keith: 6.5 out of 10.

Anthony: I dug it.


Until next time, kids. And don’t forget to Do The Review!

K: Is it okay to call them kids?
A: I don’t know. Fuck ‘em.


Anthony is a.k.a Dr. Mabuse

Keith is a.k.a. AKA (Ask Keith Anything)

There Will Be Games
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