Recommend
42 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

King of Tokyo» Forums » Reviews

Subject: King of Tokyo as a 2 player game rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
flag msg tools
badge
Games, games and more games!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is part of my series of reviews of how multiplayer games work with just two players. For the full list see: My 2 player game reviews.

King of Tokyo was a recent acquisition of ours, arriving just after Christmas, and was an instant hit, being played a couple of times a day for the first week we owned it, all 4 player games. It said on the box that it worked with just 2 players, so I had to try it to see how different it was.

Rules - how are they different with 2 players?

The rules are identical for 2, 3 and 4 players, with extra rules and an extra space in Tokyo for 5 and 6 player games.

How is the game different with 2?

The main difference is that you lose the tenseness about the decision to go into Tokyo. With 4 players going into Tokyo, and staying there until your next turn, can be quite hard - you expect to lose a large amount of health doing so, and sometimes there almost a game of chicken with no-one wanting to go in. With 2 players there just isn't this issue - if you're not in Tokyo, your opponent is, and you take damage either way, so why not be there scoring points as long as you can, and you only get one attack between scoring turns, so it's not that risky. This means that the first person into Tokyo (usually the starting player), usually has a huge advantage in VPs.

The other difference is the cards. Some of them might work better in 2 player, but if so I haven't found them yet! The vast majority are written for a multiplayer game, and become vastly weaker with just 2.

The "fun" factor is missing too. With 4 players, or more, there's a lot of table-talk, and banter. You just can't do this in the same way with just 2 players!

Finally games feel a bit unsatisfying. Because it's easier to score VPs from Tokyo, that's where most of the points come from. There's no longer multiple strategies - King of Tokyo, card-master, stay out and score VPs from dice - but instead realistically only the one, and so most of your decisions are taken away from you.

Verdict

Although I love this game with 4 and 5 (haven't tried with 3 yet), I would not recommend it as a 2 player game. The rules are the same, but the game just doesn't deliver the same experience.

45 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stefan Kaiser
Germany
Kriftel
Hessen
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the review ! Haven't played with only 2 players but i could imagine that it is simply not made for two people. This game needs to be played with more. 3 player works ok and there is quite some fun to be had but the real fun comes when the table is full of big monsters trying to beat the crap out of each other.

My favorite game at the moment...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frank Conradie
Canada
Rossland
BC
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Good review Sharon, and agreed on most points. The one situation where I have enjoyed the 2 player game is playing with my 5 year old son. He loves monsters, and of course rolling dice.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sharon Khan
United Kingdom
Shefford
Bedfordshire
flag msg tools
badge
Games, games and more games!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I haven't tried it with my 4 year old yet, but I can imagine I might play it that way 2 player too.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David
United States
DURHAM
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Only one game at 2 player but I did quite enjoy it. Part of that was just having fun with my son but there is a definite push your luck part in staying in Tokyo as staying in is clearly more points, but 0 hearts is an automatic knock-out.

Wonder if a slight variant - say the guy out of Tokyo gets a bonus claw each turn - would tense things up a bit more?

(And I agree that more players = more fun for this game).
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Anderson
United States
seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
Two Time Cancer Survivor - Never Give Up. Never Surrender. -Jason Nesmith from Galaxy Quest (1999 movie)
badge
Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII Champions!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

I haven't played with more than two yet, but my wife and I really like playing this game. The card powers are what make the game for me and the tactical choice you have to make as far as which dice to keep per roll.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin
United Kingdom
Colchester
Essex
flag msg tools
Helllow Bayyybee
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well said Sharon - I would agree with your comments. It is a better game with four or more players.
However Frank is also correct - my son (11) and I like this as a bit of a monster thrash / bash. A good two player for all the kids (big or small) but a better all rounder with more players.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dirk Meijer
Netherlands
The Hague
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My girlfriend and I found that 1 point for being in Tokyo at the start of your turn works pretty well for a more balanced game. Makes the game a lot longer though!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Muddy Boots
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
I like loofish's suggestion of bonus claws in a 2 player game. We use two each turn against anyone who's in Tokyo, to replicate the missing player(s). It works well and shortens the stay.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron
Switzerland
Leysin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I disagree. Yes, the game is better with more players...but...

King of Tokyo works perfectly as a 2 player if you take the time to create a variant that works for you!


Here is what my wife and I are employing now in a 2 player game, and it seems more balanced:


You receive NO VICTORY POINTS when you enter Tokyo.

You receive 1 POINT each turn.

Thus, it takes longer for you to amass points for the win while taking enough damage to encourage you to vacate the spot.

I just tried this method and the game lasted for the typical 15-20 minutes and there were 7 cards played. Not bad at all!

It doesn't work at all if you follow the normal rules!

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
R T
United States
Hesperia
California
flag msg tools
With 2 players, the player in Tokyo only has the disadvantage of not being able to heal. (With more players, they are taking damage from extra players.) Generally speaking you just can't do enough damage to the first person who goes into Tokyo to get them to come out before they win on victory points. (And gaining 2 victory points each turn almost ensures they will amass the requisite number of victory points first.)

Reducing the gain to 1 victory point each turn helps--the second player at least has a chance, but I like the following better:

NEW 2 PLAYER RULE: Lose one health when starting your turn in Tokyo. (With all that destruction going on I'm sure your monster will stub his toe or step on some glass or get hit by a train.)

I've also tried giving the person outside Tokyo an extra die instead, but I think the first player still gets to camp out in Tokyo too long.

Additionally, I think maybe some cards like Jet Pack should be removed as they're overpowered in 2 player.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
"Music That Glows In The Dark"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like the suggestions for the 2-player variants. Has anyone tried a two player game where each control an additional monster? What about having a 3rd monster that players alternating controlling each turn?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.