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King of Tokyo Board Game Review – A Stunningly Beautiful and Easy Game to Play!

kot2-3d_boxYou might say I’m on a quest of sorts; not the quest where I would vanquish dragons will riding my war horse named Marshall, rampaging across emerald green glades while my trusty squire named Chuck stops to cook me some newly slain venison. That’s just strange; no, my quest has a much more serious tone to it, for though there are no dragons that can kill me, there is the dreaded demon of boredom my children face whenever there’s a day off and we don’t take them some place. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for video games, but my four year old isn’t exactly sponsored in gaming and my daughter would rather draw, so what can we do as a family? Ahah! Now you catch my quest; and believe you me, it is nigh impossible to fulfill.

Enter King of Tokyo. For years, literally, I have wanted this game. But I also did not want to purchase games that were for my family when my son still wore diapers and my youngest was just a date night away from conception. Instead, I waited. I waited like Gollum in a cave, like the darkness that creeps back into the forest, for such a time as this. Now, King of Tokyo has ensnared a new subject, me, a pastor of the Shire, and one of the most unlikely of creatures; sort of.

fullsizerenderOkay, enough of that. How about the game? Is it worthy? I mean, is it even fun and can kids really learn this game? Well read on my good friends and see!

Iello’s website says this:

Play mutant monsters, gigantic robots and other monstrous creatures, rampaging the city and vying for position as the one and only King of Tokyo!

Combine your dice to gather energy, heal your monster or just slap the other monsters down! Spend your energy to trigger permanent or one-shot special powers: a second head, body armor, nova death ray…

Stop at nothing to become the King of Tokyo… but that’s when the real trouble begins for you!

It was President’s day and the kids had the day off while I had my usual Monday’s free. It was raining, so instead of going to the Wizarding World at Universal Studios Hollywood, we rented Pete’s Dragon (I may have cried during that movie) and sat in our cozy house while it drizzled (people from Washington would call it fog lol). I went out to my garage, the place where I store all of my magic, and entered in with King of Tokyo. My oldest saw the cover and grew excited while my daughter proceeded to share her desire to play Takenoko; my youngest probably just played with his cars.

I opened up the game, read them the rules and tried to explain it at the same time, and within a few minutes, we drew our three cards at the top of the board and began rolling the dice. And that was it. I chose the Space Penguin because, well, it’s a freakin’ penguin from space. Within about twenty minutes, we had finished the game, and I asked them to compare it with their other favorites. Besides Santorini, my ten year old son said King of Tokyo was his favorite so far. My eight year old daughter still loves Takenoko and my youngest could still care less, but the point is we had a blast and so did my kids.

What’s so nice about this game is that you don’t need to take it seriously to have a good time. Attacking my children’s monsters, or having them look at me with a sadistic glee as they each rolled attacks while I was in Tokyo city, was beyond fun for them. There were honestly times when my son would say “Take that dad!” And laugh as he forgot all about victory points and focused on killing his old man’s monster.

img_2563It is said that this is a great filler game; the kind of game that can literally last fifteen to thirty minutes, have no set up time, and be more enjoyable than I expected. What’s more, each turn takes little time at all, so instead of the long absences where the demon “boredom” can kick in, instead my children said things like, “it’s my turn again?” And then proceeded to try and bash my monster out of the city.

Quite literally, this game is easy to learn, easy to teach, and fun to play. I can almost think, with the way my four year old was rolling the dice and picking things out, that even he almost got it. And believe me, at four, he’s super cute, but still not the sharpest tool in the shed. So that indeed is saying a heck of a lot. King of Tokyo in my opinion is the definition of what a casual game looks like, plays like, and feels like. Sure, you need to be okay with huge monsters hurting each other while trying to get victory points, but who doesn’t love a good GOJIRA game anyways?

But is it only for kids and dads on rainy days?  Absolutely not!  I took this to our local gaming club and six of us played it within about 40 minutes.  The learning curve was absolutely simple and each person enjoyed the game dynamics of hurting the opposite team that was always in flux.  Pick this game up; you will surely enjoy it!