Welcome to my first review! For this I wanted to go into Godzilla: Kaiju World Wars, an offering from Toy Vault that has a soul of a great game buried under a bunch of small design problems. I won't got into an in depth rules explanation, as others have already done a great job there, I'll just touch on some of the good, the bad, and the untapped potential that this game really has.
To start off, I'm a huge Godzilla fan myself, and was just tickled pink to see this game released. I've since played it a few times and enjoyed it in spite of some of the nits there are to pick. I also think it is the game that I have spent the most time working on to pimp out and streamline.
The Sunny Side
So let's start with the positive. Everyone has mentioned how great the monster figures are, and you can look them up for yourself. This is easily the highpoint of the box, who wouldn't want a great pre-painted King Ghidorah figure!
Overall the components are good, and the effect of having a 3D city that exists just to be stomped by Godzilla and company makes for a very visually appealing game.
On the rules side, the combat system in the advanced game is very fun. The Combat Cards give each monster a slightly different and appropriate feel, and I like how there is a bit of strategy to what cards to play when that goes with the dice rolling. The way that the effects (Knocking Down, Stun, ect.) work make the battles very thematic and fun.
A Touch of Evil
Of course, the rulebook is a HUGE issue. It is poorly worded, confusing, visually unappealing, and unfortunately will serve as a hurdle to many enjoying the game. This really needed to be corrected before shipping, as I fear that a good chunk of people will be turned away by not being able to figure out the rules and give up. Since the rulebook is where most folks start, this is the biggest problem with GKWW.
The rest of the issues are a pile of small "What were they thinking?" moments that unfortunately pervade the game. The buildings look cool when all set up, but the way you have to line them up to stack properly and how they don't lay flat as rubble add unnecessary fiddling to gameplay.
Also a lot of the rules are just needlessly complex. Especially the rule for military movement occurring each time a monster takes a move action. All that this serves to do is make a fairly simple and fun game seem complicated.
The Diamond in the Rough
If I were to sum up GKWW, I would say it is a game system that has the buried potential to be a really fun game. Underneath the layers of weird rules and questionable designs is an experience that really captures the theme of the Godzilla movies better than any Godzilla game I have ever played. It is also truly a simple game that anyone can get into and have a great time, especially if they are fans of the big G himself. Just be sure to look around here on the Geek to find the best interpretations of the rules (I am adding a player aid myself that has a few tweaks that I use to make the game flow easier).
In the end, I've really enjoyed this game, and if you are willing to put a bit of work into it, I think you will to. But that doesn't forgive the numerous design flaws and the enormous failing in the rulebook. You shouldn't have to meet a game half-way, but with GOdzilla: Kaiju World Wars, you just might be glad you did.
I feel about the same as you about the game. I enjoy the game even with the flaws, but I worry that this is simply because I am such a big fan of the Godzilla movies. I'm also a huge fan of the original Doctor Who Collectible Card Game even though the game is not that great (but I still find it very enjoyable probably because I'm a fan of the original show).
It doesn't help that there are a few different rulebooks available here for download. The one I use is here: A Unified Rulebook Attempt, as it does a good job of bringing all current rulebooks together into one. Supposedly Toy Vault will be making a new, color rulebook available for download at some point.
Thank you for this review and the information. I've been on the fence regarding a purchase on this game, because it seemed overly complex as well as the video reviews showing how monsters have to sit on buildings, but yet they don't stand properly on the pieces, etc... lots of small little nitpicks that seemed to bring the game down. However, I have friends with a son who loves Godzilla and I'm a fan myself, so I almost wanted to buy this just for the miniatures, and hope that the underlying game would be good as well. I'm going to go check out your modified rules, and check out the new official rulebook and see if that changes my mind on the purchase.