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Subject: A box of fun, but.... rss

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Alexander Awesome
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Hello,

This is a small review about the things I didn't like about the game and is mainly a basis for discussion, sharing my experiences with the game and to give further thought for those that might want to pick this up (you totaly should, its a great addition to most collections).

First of all - I fell in love with the game from the first playthrough. It is a great game. It plays quick, the mechanics is smooth and any kind of gamer likes it that Ive played it with so far. My two personal favourite reviews of this game that cover much, much more than i intend to do here is these two:

King of Tokyo, a detailed review

Superfly Petes excellent review

As previously stated - I enjoy this game loads! But here is a few things that I found that disturbs the force:

2-player isnt optimal.
The game play simply isnt built for two so this was a real bummer for me,since I want a game to whip out to play before bed time here at home. Some variants suggested is merely trying to band aid this but doesnt really work out (for me atleast). The variant where both players simply pick more monsters just makes the game overly messy IMO - oh noes now im attackingmy own monster when im in tokyo and so on. 

A lot of the magic with this game is trying to race for the win and its totally lost in a duel. A runaway leader can get smashed or out-raced with more players whereas with just one opponent this gets a whole lot trickier. Not to say a whole bag of unfun.

There is great engines, sadly they are too few.

The cards that you can buy in the game is very nicely done and gives the game so many options that no two games play alike. Some are very straight forward like the one that gives you an extra dice, or the jet pack.

What I personally like the best though is the ones that sort of interact with each other and create an engine that can stear you into awesomeness during game play and when these clicks together is when I had the most fun in the game (besides smashing face RAWR!). Sadly the basic game has too few of these little engines. I know that this would clutter the main deck too much and is more fitting for an expansion, the base games cards are cool enough as is, but I assembled a set of three cheap cards and they rode me to victory once and it was hard to let go of the "wow, that was fun, I want more!"-feeling.

Getting an overview of the state of the game.

Even at only three players this minor problem became apperant. The monster-dials doesnt lend itself to taking a glance at the other players and making calculations on where you stand in the game. We usually play on big tables so we constantly had to ask each other how many hearts was left on player X or how many VP's player Y had since the monster-dials was too far away. On one hand this ups the player interaction in a natural way, but this isnt the kind of player interaction I really want.

I guess making a custom character sheet for each monster that is more visible or victory point/heart tokens could make this a non-issue (including this in the base game would probably make it way to expensive). I have not played King of Tokyo in 6-player mode yet so if anyone have experience here please share

Some sessions is over too quick.

yep, this is a filler game and each single game is not supposed to span several hours of epic struggle, but its so darn fun and the build-a-monster aspect of the game where you start to get really attached to your humongous, two-headed killer bunny that rains destruction on everybody really lends itself to this.

Here's to hoping the next expansion and other possible future ones will expand this game into a full monster-building game.

Thank you for your interest in this semi-review and hopefully it gave you some food for thought. May all your dice be claws, even when you need hearts =P
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RIK FONTANA
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It's funny what you said about 'over too quick'.

I agree. After 2 games that ended when a person hit 20 exactly, we now have house rule that game ends at 21 (a nice ring to it, as we have several Blackjack players), and in one game the person who got to 20 did lose a few minutes later when another player leap-frogged him to 21!
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Fernando Robert Yu
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I've been seeing the opposite in some games, especially when players are trying to be nice to each other (ie when I saw my 2 nieces and my nephew play with my son and daughter) and they kept rerolling claws.

However, I agree that with cutthroat play the games can be short, as it is kill or be killed. Still, that means you have time to get in more games!
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Alexander Awesome
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Rikolus wrote:

I agree. After 2 games that ended when a person hit 20 exactly, we now have house rule that game ends at 21 (a nice ring to it, as we have several Blackjack players), and in one game the person who got to 20 did lose a few minutes later when another player leap-frogged him to 21!


Interesting, will try this myself! How many players are you guys playing with?

freddieyu wrote:

However, I agree that with cutthroat play the games can be short, as it is kill or be killed. Still, that means you have time to get in more games!


true words But me and (especially) my girlfriend like to build something, in this game a monster, so when the game ends in a blink and you start over from scratch you sort of miss the parts you build.

That the game ends quick is a problem with an upside as well. Once you are eliminated you cant really do anything but sit around and wait. Since the gameplay is short this isnt an issue really.
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I think the game plays differently depending on the number of players. The more players the more likely someone will win by points due to the length of time needed to destroy 3 or 4 monsters instead of 1 or 2.
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Alexander Awesome
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rickert wrote:
I think the game plays differently depending on the number of players. The more players the more likely someone will win by points due to the length of time needed to destroy 3 or 4 monsters instead of 1 or 2.


Indeed, but it also depends a little on the cards at least in theory. Havent played with more than 3 yet.
 
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Abdiel Xordium
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Alex Awesome wrote:
There is great engines, sadly they are too few.

The cards that you can buy in the game is very nicely done and gives the game so many options that no two games play alike. Some are very straight forward like the one that gives you an extra dice, or the jet pack.

What I personally like the best though is the ones that sort of interact with each other and create an engine that can stear you into awesomeness during game play and when these clicks together is when I had the most fun in the game (besides smashing face RAWR!). Sadly the basic game has too few of these little engines. I know that this would clutter the main deck too much and is more fitting for an expansion, the base games cards are cool enough as is, but I assembled a set of three cheap cards and they rode me to victory once and it was hard to let go of the "wow, that was fun, I want more!"-feeling.


It's tempting to want to build a combo-tastic tableau because recent game designs have conditioned us to want that. But King of Tokyo is not a tableau building game. You could remove the cards entirely from the game and it would still be great.

Variants that increase the number of cards people end up with by the end of the game sacrifice player interaction to do so. The game becomes less about the give and take among players and more about collecting cards.
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Alexander Awesome
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abdiel wrote:


It's tempting to want to build a combo-tastic tableau because recent game designs have conditioned us to want that. But King of Tokyo is not a tableau building game. You could remove the cards entirely from the game and it would still be great.


you and me have totaly different experiences with recent game designs.

If you remove the (very well-thought out) cards you'll end up with a bad fighting game, with not even close to the same strategic and tactical depth. And one of the dice sides would become useless. It would be a totally different game and not one I'd call great.

abdiel wrote:

Variants that increase the number of cards people end up with by the end of the game sacrifice player interaction to do so. The game becomes less about the give and take among players and more about collecting cards.


I have no idea if this is aimed at me personally, but sure. Havent really felt that we needed more cards played as we play with plenty each session so I'd wonder why people would want to add house rules for more of them.
 
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David
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I agree that KoT is not a tableau building game but the cards do add a lot of the strategy and engagement. That people want to add more energy to encourage more cards shows that.

I think the differentiation of the monsters (in the expansion I hear) will add a lot too, as that is part of what people want playing: their monster to be unique. And cool. cool
 
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Eric Matthews
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Thank you for the critical review. There are not enough of them for popular games, and what I want when I read reviews is to know what I might not like about a game. So thanks.

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Phil Walker-Harding
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Alex Awesome wrote:
The monster-dials doesnt lend itself to taking a glance at the other players and making calculations on where you stand in the game.


I totally agree and am really surprised this isn't mentioned more often. I feel like the game would have been way more user-friendly simply with a clear VP and wound tracker.
 
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Alexander Awesome
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Phil81 wrote:
Alex Awesome wrote:
The monster-dials doesnt lend itself to taking a glance at the other players and making calculations on where you stand in the game.


I totally agree and am really surprised this isn't mentioned more often. I feel like the game would have been way more user-friendly simply with a clear VP and wound tracker.


With a ton more games under my belt this has been more and more an annoying thing
 
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