King of Tokyo Review


city people lights walking

Hey folks. It’s time for another game review. This time, we’re putting on. . . .


Sorry to interrupt your typical board game review. We’ve just had reports of large monsters trying to take over Tokyo. There’s a Space Penguin, a Alienoid thingy, and what’s that? A giant ape! They’re all fighting to take control of Tokyo! The horror! When will the fighting end! Can’t everyone just get along! Oh no, they’re headed this wa. . .

night television tv video

Well, that was weird. I was about to say this time we’re putting on our monster masks, building cardboard box cities, and preparing to be king of the hill. Multiple monsters enter, only one will be left standing. We’re looking at King of Tokyo. This game is a press your luck, player elimination, area control game. This game plays in 30+ minutes depending on how many people are playing. This is a game for 2-6 players published by Iello games..


King of Tokyo comes with 6 character boards, 6 cardboard character figures, 6 black dice, 2 green dice, 66 Power Cards, 28 energy tokens, and 1 game board. Everything fits nice a snug in the box with the included inset. It’s a nice mixture of dice, board, cubes, and cards for a game.

In the game, you’re trying to either be the last monster standing or get to 20 victory points to secure your victory. This is a turn based game, and every turn has several things you can do. There’s lots of player interaction during every turn, so you’re not just waiting to the other players to finish. You’re watching and reacting to what is rolled.


First, you roll 6 dice Yahtzee style. You pick what you want to keep after the first roll, and then can roll what you don’t want 2 more times. This is essentially the Yahtzee aspect of the game. However, you don’t need to get all the same dice each roll. It can be a bad strategy to try for all the same die side, you’ll want a variety each turn. I’ll explain this during the resolve phase.

After the dice roll, you resolve the roll. On each die, there are 6 different options. A paw means smash attack on another player. A heart lets you regain health. A lightning bolt means you’ve gained energy you can use to buy power cards. The rest of the sides are 1, 2, and 3 numbers. If you get three of the same numbers, you’ll gain that many victory points. Every like number over the first three will net you an additional point each. On your character board, adjust your victory points and health accordingly during the resolve step. Then collect the number of energy tokens equal to what was rolled. Of course, make sure to dish out any smash attacks rolled.


A note about the heart and paw sides of the dice. If your monster is currently in Tokyo, you cannot regain health. When you’re outside of Tokyo, you can regain health. When you roll a paw, if you’re in Tokyo, you hit all monsters outside of Tokyo. If you’re outside of Tokyo, you can only hit the monster inside of Tokyo. This represents the king of the hill aspect of the game and reasons why you would yield Tokyo.

After resolving the dice, you determine who is in Tokyo. Only one monster can be in Tokyo at a time. If there’s more than 4 players, then one monster can take Tokyo Bay while there is a monster in Tokyo. If no one else is in Tokyo, you enter Tokyo. If you’re in Tokyo already, you stay there. You gain 1 victory point every time you enter Tokyo. If you stay in Tokyo until your next turn, you gain 2 victory points. Getting low on health and want to leave Tokyo? The only way to leave Tokyo is to yield to another player. This is done on the other player’s turn, and only if they rolled a Smash Attack. If you yield to another player, they enter Tokyo.

After determining who is in Tokyo, you can spend those energy for power cards. There will be 3 power cards face up next to the power deck. These cards come in two different types. They are either Keep or Discard cards. If it says Keep, then this power is active all the time. If the card says Discard, then it can only be used once. Don’t like the powers available? You can spend 2 energy to sweep them all and get three new power cards. There’s a variety of power cards in the deck. Some range from rolling an extra dice each dice phase to adding or changing your dice during the resolve phase. It changes how you play the game based on what powers you’ve bought.


Then it’s on to the next player. And play continues until either all other monsters are eliminated or someone scores 20 victory points. If you’re going for points, this is where you can push your luck. Do you try and stay in Tokyo and gain points, or do you leave to regain health. While outside of Tokyo, and the reigning monster is low on health, do you squeeze that one smash attack in and risk them yielding only to step into Tokyo and have the target handed to you.


So, what do I think of Tokyo? I play this a lot with my kids and my friends. My 5 year old can play this game, but needs help when it comes to what the power cards do. We’ll be playing, and in a condescending tone she’ll say “Whelp. Smacked you again” as she rolls for the paws. Her favorite character is the Baby Gigazaur. My 3 year old loves to help with rolling the dice. His favorite character is Space Penguin. He also has a maniacal laugh when he rolls a smash attack. A couple more years and he’ll be ready to play solo. This is a fast family friendly game. It was one of my first non-classic board games I bought. And I’m glad I did. I highly urge anyone and everyone to try this game at least once. It’s an excellent gateway game. Meaning that it’s easy to teach, and gets people craving something a little different than the regular games. This game gets a recommend from me as a family friendly game. It’s one I can pick up and play with anyone.  The Yahtzee style rolling is familiar to everyone, so it’s easy to get into the game. One of my favorite things about this game is the box insert.  Everything fits so nicely inside the box that I didn’t need any solutions for storage.

4 thoughts on “King of Tokyo Review

  1. I was looking at this one. Looks like a great option for the family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. emartindalegames June 16, 2018 — 9:25 am

      I really like it. They have some expansions for it. Most are just different monsters to use with the game. There’s an expansion that adds evolution cards to your monster. It’s monster specific, but acts like Power Up cards. I haven’t gotten that one yet.


  2. This game quickly became a favorite for Ian and me! We have battled each other and have introduced many of our family/friends. It’s easy enough to learn the rules while not being predictable. Great game! 🙂


  3. This game quickly became a favorite for Ian and me! We have duked it out 1:1 and have introduced many of our family/friends. It’s simple enough for everyone to learn the rules quickly without being predictable. Great game! 🙂


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