Ultraman in popular street art
Source: Pixabay

Where does the Japanese obsession for city-smashing monsters come from? Why when a monster arises from the depths of the ocean, the smoke of a volcano, or from outer space, does it elect to trash Japan, and more specifically, Tokyo? For years Japan has made monster films, a genre so deeply embedded in Japanese culture that the craze has never faded, even when it comes to the new generation. The most popular monster is of course Godzilla, and he’s squared off against a barrage of fellow monsters and aliens over the years.  There’s even a Godzilla online casino game called Godzilla & Monster Island.

But it’s not just Godzilla that accounts for the city-smashing antics that the Japanese seem to love; there’s also Ultraman, a fictional superhero whose size increases to skyscraper proportions to take on invading monsters and aliens.  There are arcade and console games that also offer up some serious city-stomping action, the most popular of the lot being Rampage. Originally released back in 1986, the game has seen many improved remakes, and was even made into a movie starring The Rock! Mass destruction on a city level by weird and wacky monsters is clearly not just relegated to people from Japan, it’s global and anyone can join in the fun. No wonder gamers are loving King of Tokyo, the monster and aliens board and dice game that pits opponents against each other in Tokyo.

Gaming Components

King of Tokyo is a very well put together board and dice game. The style is cartoonish, but the quality is excellent, and you’ll see it for yourself when you touch the various components that account for this game.  The detailed Tokyo city board takes centre stage – this is where all the monster-battling takes place.  Each player gets to roll 6 custom dice on their turn, while 6 individual monster cut-outs and accompanying monster cards with adjustable metres for health and points complete the set.  Let the battle begin!

Godzilla looks down on the unsuspecting citizens
Source: Pixabay

Playing The Game

King Of Tokyo offers a total of 6 monsters from which to choose. Each monster has the same powers and abilities, so you’ll be making your choice based purely on looks. It doesn’t matter if you choose Cyberbunny or Gigazaur, what matters is the roll of the dice.  Players must place their monsters outside the Tokyo board at the start of the game.  Monsters can only be outside the board or inside the board and the action can go from the inside to the outside, but not vice versa.

At the start of each turn, you’ll need to roll 6 dice from which the following outcomes can be derived: the numbers 1, 2 or 3, Attack, Victory Points, Energy and Heal.  Through a series of three rolls (you can roll up to 3 times) you will need to decide whether to relinquish or keep each dice in order to gain energy, restore health, win victory points or attack fellow players to let it be known that Tokyo is your stomping ground! Being king of Tokyo does present its challenges though.  If you’re occupying the city you’ll be able to earn victory points but at the cost of not being able to heal.  This means that you’ll have to face all the other monsters on your own (well, your monster will). King Of Tokyo comes with some really cool add-ons.  Your monster can grow an extra head, thus making it more formidable or it can get body armour or shoot a nova death ray.  It all adds to the excitement of playing a non-casino dice game like this one.