King of Tokyo

RAWRRRR! Which is monster for “Hello, and welcome to another ‘Well Written Wreview’ everybody!”

Today we are going to take a look at “King of Tokyo” by Richard Garfield and Iello Games.

King of Tokyo

This is a competitive, dice rolling, game for 2-6 players. Wherein you will be taking on the roll of giant monsters vying for control over the city of Tokyo, Japan.

To setup, give each player a monster, and it’s matching health/victory counter (set the health to 20 and the stars to 0), set the board and green energy cubes in the center of the table, shuffle the ability cards, place them near the board, and deal out three cards face up by the deck. The player who does the best monster impression will go first, taking all 6 dice in hand and beginning their turn.

Board and Some Characters

On your turn, you will roll all 6 dice, and then determine which ones you will keep, and which you will re-roll. You only get two re-rolls (3 rolls total) per turn, so choose wisely. After you have either used all of your rolls, or choose to stop rolling, you will score the dice.

Each die has 6 symbols on it, they are:

  • Lightning Bolt: Take one energy cube from the supply per lightning bolt rolled.
  • Heart: Heal one damage per heart rolled, up to your maximum 20 health (unless a card ability gives you more), if your health ever reaches 0 (skull symbol), you are eliminated from the game.
  • Claw: Deal one damage per claw rolled to the monster(s) inverse to your position (if you are outside Tokyo, you will hit the monster(s) in Tokyo; if you are in Tokyo, you will hit all monsters outside Tokyo; if there are no monsters in Tokyo currently, you will move into Tokyo).
  • 1: If you roll three 1’s you gain one victory star, for each additional 1 rolled, you gain one additional star.
  • 2: If you roll three 2’s you gain two victory stars, for each additional 2 rolled, you gain one additional star.
  • 3: If you roll three 3’s you gain three victory stars, for each additional 3 rolled, you gain one additional star.
Dice and Energy

Whenever you enter Tokyo, you gain one victory star, however, if you started your turn in Tokyo, you gain two victory stars. But while in Tokyo, you cannot heal yourself by rolling hearts. In order to leave Tokyo, a monster must hit you for at least one damage, after the hit has been applied, you may choose to leave, forcing the attacking monster to take your place. Important Note: the Tokyo Bay space on the board is only used for 5-6 player games, and should there ever be 4 or less monsters in the game, the monster in Tokyo Bay is forced out; also if you are in either Tokyo space on the board, any damage rolled is not dealt to the other monster in Tokyo, only the ones outside.

After all dice effects have been resolved, you may spend any and all energy you have acquired on ability cards. These cards will give you a number of helpful benefits. There are two types of cards:

  1. Keep cards: This is an ability that you will keep in front of you for the remainder of the game unless it is stolen, or you die.
  2. Discard cards: This is a one-time use ability that, once purchased, is immediately resolved and then placed in the discard pile.

If you don’t like any of the cards available, or want to spite another player,you can spend 2 energy cubes on your turn to wipe the current cards (placing them in the discard pile).


And that’s it! Be the first monster to 20 victory stars, or the last one living, and you win!

This game is out now, retailing at $39.99 and comes with 66 ability cards, 6 monster boards, 6 monster stands with plastic bases, 8 custom dice (6 black with green symbols, and 2 green with black symbols), 50 energy cubes, 28 tokens (for card effects), and the rule book. And there are two expansions available; Power Up – adding a new monster and character specific evolution cards, and Halloween – adding two new monsters, with evolution cards and 6 new custom (orange with black symbols) dice. There is another base game; King Of New York – adding a slew of new monsters, cards, dice, a board, tokens, and totally new mechanics, and it’s forthcoming Power Up expansion – adding a new monster, and evolution cards for the aforementioned game.

Game Components

I give it 9 out of 9 similar-to-but-legally-distinct-from-Godzillas.

Until next time, keep playing games, and witness my final form!!!

-Trevor L. Cooper

For awesome “Let’s Play” style videos of some of your favorite board games, and to see this game played on season 1, check out Well Played on

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