The Daily Worker Placement

Monday, April 22, 2024

The New Kings of Tokyo

by | published Thursday, March 16, 2017

I remember learning King of Tokyo for the first time. I was working at Snakes & Lattes and it was the new hot game that the staff were playing all the time. It’s a simple, addictive twist on Yahtzee, where players take on the role of giant monsters fighting over control of the capital city of Japan. You win by earning 20 points or eliminating your fellow beasts.

King of Tokyo is probably among my most played games of all time. In no small part, because as soon as you’re done a game, you pretty much want to rack ‘em up and go again right away (a good feature to have in a game).

There have been a few expansions over the years and even a stand alone sequel, King of New York, but the joys of rolling dice and beating the snot out of your fellow monsters has stayed relatively in tact over the entire series.

Iello has recently started a few new interesting additions the classic game. The first in a number of guest monsters has been released, with the Cthulhu Monster Pack. This is the first in a planned series of Monster expansions.

This pack includes a single playable monster, the aforementioned creature from another dimension. Cthulhu comes with his own standee, player board, Evolution cards and Cultist tokens for use in the game. Cthulhu can be added to either Tokyo or New York and the Cultists have different effects depending what game you’re playing. In Tokyo, every time Cthulhu ends his turn with four identical dice faces he gains a Cultist. At any time on their turn, the Cthulhu player can discard a Cultist to gain a heart, energy token, or a re-roll. In New York, you shuffle in the Cultist tokens with the buildings, and they work in almost the exact same way. They start Temple of Cthulhu side up. When they’re destroyed, they are flipped to the Cultist side. When you destroy a Cultist you don’t gain anything, but you take the token. On a future turn, it can be discarded for an extra heart, energy cube, or re-roll.

Iello has also added an updated version of the Power Up expansion that was previously released. Power Up provides Evolution cards for the various monsters in the game, giving them a chance to upgrade their powers with either permanent or temporary cards.

When playing with Power Up, players each have heir own set of Evolution cards to draw from. At the start of the game they draw two and choose one to keep, shuffling the other one back into the deck. Every time a player finishes their turn with three hearts on the dice, they can draw two Evolution cards and choose one to keep.

Power Up also adds a new character: Panda Kai. Much like Cthulhu, Panda Kai can be added to either edition and played as regular.

One of the great things about the Power Up expansion is that it adds unique monster powers that make you feel much like you’re playing a unique creature. With so much personality in the various monsters in the game it’s nice to assign them custom powers.The updated version includes cards for Space Penguin, so he’s not left out of the action.

This is not an in-depth review of King of Tokyo. Simply an update on some of the great new material coming out to support the game from Iello. If you have not had a chance to play it, I highly recommend you do so. It’s one of the most fun and replayable games out there. Destroying a city and beating up on your friends never goes out of style!


  • Sean J.

    Sean is the Founder and Photographer for the DWP. He has been gaming all his life. From Monopoly and Clue at the cottage to Euchre tournaments with the family, tabletop games have taken up a lot of his free time. In his gaming career he has worked for Snakes & Lattes Board Game Cafe, Asmodee, and CMON. He is a contributor to The Dice Tower Podcast and has written for Games Trade Magazine and Meeple Monthly. He lives and works in Toronto.

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