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King of Tokyo: Power Up!» Forums » General

Subject: What am I missing!? rss

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Swan Bones
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Thrilled by the reviews and videos on King of Tokyo I ordered both it and the expansion. I first played with the base game and it was very successful, pretty much enjoyed all round.

When I added in the Power Up! expansion however it completely fell flat. The hearts-to-evolution mechanic doesn't seem to work. It makes the game longer, needlessly confuses any newcomers (one thing the base game is so good at avoiding) and makes the great energy/investment avenue to abilities less unique and less competitive.

So back in the box with it. However, I am wondering whether I've just missed something and therefore thought I'd make this quick post. My theories are thus:
1. I haven't played the base game enough yet. The expansion is mainly a way of making the game feel new again.
2. The majority of BGG posts are people who are really into board games, and are therefore less empathetic to the base game's simplicity. (Dixit and now King of Tokyo are my main games to play with people who don't play games)
3. Most people use variants (I can imaging a variant with only 1 starting evolution card (and no heart mechanic) potentially working).

Am I an idiot? Am I alone? Let me know what you think. Thanks!
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Sean Boyll
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Kuna
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You're not alone. I have the exact feelings about it. I love the base game but Power Up breaks several elements.

Power Up screws up the economy and the feeling of creating something that works differently than everyone else. It speeds up the game down to 2 players but then extends the game when only 2. It brings on timing issues on how the game should flow and adds and extra element of randomness that is out of a player's control.

I believe the people that rave about Power Up are less concerned about how a game actually functions. The monster uniqueness is much more important to them as long as the game still works well.

I recorded a video about these same thoughts on power up but never got it edited and posted. I should see if I can find that SD card.
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Cornixt
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I'd say that (1) is the main bit. Evolutions are really just more cards, except that they make picking a character to be more than just aesthetics. If you aren't overly familiar with the base game then they are just an added complication, rather than an exciting way to play differently with each character.

I think there are three variants in the official rules, that many people seem to overlook. Try each of them.
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Swan Bones
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grissomspacesuit wrote:
Perhaps try the different variants suggested in the rulebook? My group and I included the expansion from the very first time we played the game and I can't imagine playing without the evolution cards. Otherwise the monsters are just an aesthetic preference.


Thanks for the tips. I'd already tried the variants in the rule book when I made this post, and to no success. Perhaps it's just not for me until, as Corn suggests, it needs rejuvenating. Although I'm tempted by Halloween as the costumes look more in line with the base game mechanics.
 
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Matthew Leighty
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Hildrizhausen
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What power up does, like most expansions, is freshen up the game for those who have mastered the base game. Of course adding elements like evolution cards will complicate the game mechanics so don't bring it out for beginners. Keep it simple.

I love KOT because when I have people over who don't know anything except "Life" or "Apples to Apples" this game breaks the ice to ease the transition to something like "Pandemic" or "Mystery of the Abbey". When playing with new gamers I advise to stick to the base game, and only when they become really familiar with it, move to the Power Up expansion.
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Swan Bones
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gamerdinger wrote:
What power up does, like most expansions, is freshen up the game for those who have mastered the base game. Of course adding elements like evolution cards will complicate the game mechanics so don't bring it out for beginners. Keep it simple.

I love KOT because when I have people over who don't know anything except "Life" or "Apples to Apples" this game breaks the ice to ease the transition to something like "Pandemic" or "Mystery of the Abbey". When playing with new gamers I advise to stick to the base game, and only when they become really familiar with it, move to the Power Up expansion.


Thanks Matt, this is good to know and I hope this is going to be the case with me also.
 
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Swan Bones
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After avoiding using Power Up! for a while I finally relented and we gave it another go. Three games in I was quite surprised that I rather enjoyed it. All the players were relatively seasoned and I think the main problem I had previously was through playing with at least one beginner.

Although there is something still slightly awkward about the hearts mechanic, I am revising my judgment. The base game is still a hit, and will always be used as base if playing with new players, but with more seasoned players I can see it being fun. I must revise my rating.
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