King of Tokyo – Board Game Review
Follow Genre: Dice, Fighting
Players: 2-6
Distributor: Bergsala Enigma

King of Tokyo – Board Game Review

Site Score
Good: Fun theme, Easy to pick up
Bad: 2 player game tends to be predictable, Luck tends to disregard the card game aspect at times
User Score
(5 votes)
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Rating: 8.4/10 (5 votes cast)

Have you ever dreamt about being a giant monster, being able to crush all of those pesky annoying human beings that bother you on a daily basis? Have the power to destroy all who oppose you? Rough day at work? Just step on your office. Relation troubles? Munch your partner. Of course, we believe in equal rights for monsters and men, and thus we tried out King of Tokyo, which not only presents you with monsters such as Godzilla lookalikes but also pink giant cyber-bunnies and King Kong with an Elvis-kind-of-nickname. They all come together, to gain control over Tokyo and its residents. To squash, or not to squash, that is the question. That being said, for now you’ll have to fulfill your monstrous ambitions with cardboard cutouts.



  • Rules
  • 1 Game board
  • 66 Cards
  • 28 Tokens
  • 8 Dice (6 black, 2 green)
  • 6 Monster scorecards
  • 6 Monster cutouts + base
  • Energy blocks

Right off the bat it’s clear that the contents of the box are detailed, qualitative and attractive to play with. The cast of monsters proves to be witty and the dice transmit that ‘radioactive’ look, that suits the gigantic monster setting just fine. The scorecards are sturdy and easy to work with, whilst they feel strong enough to last the many game sessions to come.


King of Tokyo is kind of a mix of Yahtzee, King of the Hill with a card game thrown into the mix to empower all of the monsters that are battling for the dominance of Tokyo (and Tokyo Bay if you decide to play with more than four players). It becomes clear quite fast that this battle will not be fought out with your claws and sharp teeth but rather with the throw of dice and cards that might put your monster on top of the freaky food chain. Your goal is to score twenty points or send all of your enemies to the oversized-pet cemetery.

Each of the players will have to throw six dice (or 7 or 8 if you have a certain power up), which will determine their actions for their turn. You can throw all or a few of your dice up to three times during one turn, in order to get the best throw possible. Of course, only the result after your third throw (or if you’re content with your earlier throws) counts. Just like a normal dice, each dice has six different numbers/symbols. De dice in King of Tokyo all have the numbers 1, 2 and 3, and an attack, heart or energy symbol. Throwing triple 1’s, 2’s or 3’s will result in one, two or three points respectively. Throwing a claw will cause one damage, per claw, to either the monster occupying Tokyo (bay) or those outside of it, depending on where you are. If you wish to heal, heart symbols will certainly come in handy, as they heal one life point per heart symbol. There’s one catch though, you will only be able to replenish your life if you’re not occupying Tokyo (bay). Last but not least, each energy (lightning bolt) will give you one energy block, which can be used to buy cards, which will aid you in battle or in scoring points.


Players will need to take control of Tokyo, at least when they see fit or if they want to score some extra points. The first player can simply take the unoccupied Tokyo city by throwing one attack symbol, after that things get a bit trickier. When a player has control over Tokyo, he or she will score a point by taking the city and will receive an extra two points, the next time it’s their turn. When the occupant gets attacked by another player, he will be presented with the choice of handing down the city to the ghastly attacker or staying strong and defending his new playground. How many players the game counts and how many life points the defender has left, will pay a heavy influence on the choice whether or not to give up hard earned control over the city or bay.

As mentioned earlier, the game also has a ‘card game’ mechanic that will influence the flow of the game. At all times during the game, there will be three open cards and a pile of facedown cards. The open cards can be bought with the energy blocks you have collected thanks to your throws. When you buy a card, another will take its place, to make sure there are always three cards up for sale. These cards will give you points, add permanent effects such as extra damage, extra points per purchase and so on, or they can even give you an extra turn or extra dice to throw with.

Truth be told, we advise to play the game with more than two players, as a two player game is often very unbalanced. Most of the time, the winner is quite clear after a few rounds have passed, which makes the game a bit more dull.

Luck or Strategy?

Simply put, the game is based around luck a lot more than it is an actual strategy game. Nonetheless, when some rounds have passed, you will have some strategic elements that can turn the tide for some of the rampaging ogres, who can’t seem to agree on who gets control of Tokyo.

The game tends to show that it is more luck based, when you’re pitted against players who happen to throw triple 3’s and hearts all the time, making them a passive player in terms of attacks, but certainly a contender for the winning spot. Other than that, the flow of the game heavily depends on what players throw, more than the actual card game power ups.

Nonetheless, the card game aspect can certainly mold things your way, if you’re lucky enough to either have the energy blocks or to be able to buy your desired card before another player does. In the long stretch it can often prove to be useful, to buy certain cards early in the game, even if they might not provide you any direct advantages in the first few rounds. Combine this with observing the behavior of your fellow monstrous players and you will find that a small amount of tactical behavior might still aid you, to a certain extent.



King of Tokyo is a fun family game that has all the grounds covered to be an amusing game. Whilst the game is more a test of luck, rather than a battle of wits, it is simply entertaining in a fashion that makes you want to play several games in a row. Laughter is guaranteed, as well as a battle of who gets to pick the coolest monster out of the bunch of available characters. You’ll get to determine the fate of a city, with the throw of six dice. Move over Godzilla, there are new monsters in town.

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Rating: 8.4/10 (5 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
King of Tokyo - Board Game Review, 8.4 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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