Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Richard Garfield


No. of Players:
2 - 6



Yesterday it was Tokyo, but today it will be NEW YORK!!!

Back in 2011 IELLO released Richard Garfield's successful Monster-melee game King of Tokyo, and the hilarious movie-themed dice-roller has been so successful that, just like a good movie, a sequel was called for. However, while a sequel often will please fans of the original product, there is also a slight danger that the action may become repetitive, and so let's see if Richard could successfully avoid this slip-up when he created King of New York.

King of New York indeed re-uses all major elements known from King of Tokyo: players roll dice, have two re-rolls and then use the dice to the best of their monster. Once again the monsters strive for fame and to destroy their competitors, and so they try to hold a position at Downtown Manhattan which is lucrative in terms of Fame but also dangerous because they will be the victim of the attacks of all other monsters.


Dice rolling, attacks, and the purchasing of beneficial Monster cards through Energy Cubes all are identical to King of Tokyo, and so you might indeed ask yourself if a difference can be found between both games. However, King of New York offers one considerable difference, and that's the fact that it is played on a full gameboard which shows different districts of New York. In these districts stacks of Building tiles can be found, and the players now may use a new dice-face ("Destruction") to demolish these buildings. Depending on the type of the building destroyed, this will bring the players Fame, Energy Cubes or Health Points, but such destructiveness also has its price. Unlike the hapless citizens of Tokyo who just abandoned their city to the fighting monstrosities, the destruction of New York buildings will activate the army! So, each destroyed Building tile is turned over to reveal an army unit!

The army units can be destroyed by Destruction dice as well, but there is also a new dice-face which will initiate an army counterstrike. If a player rolls a certain number of these symbols, the army units in his monster's district or even on the whole gameboard may start to attack the players' monsters, resulting in the loss of a number of Health Points relating to the number of attacking army units.

Even though this innovation of buildings and army units may not seem like a big deal, it nicely fills a gap which players of King of Tokyo might feel after really excessive play. While King of Tokyo is simple quick fun, the new gameboard and the units add some more playing depth which leads to the one or other tactical decision which could not be found in King of Tokyo. Now it matters where a monster is going, because prizes may be claimed for destructive behavior, but at the same time the risk of an army counterstrike must be kept in mind, especially since this may be triggered during another player's turn. So, the players have to follow some new aims when deciding which dice to keep.

This slightly more pronounced tactical approach also is strengthened by two Goal cards, and the possession of these cards shifts between the players during the course of the game. In effect, these cards give the players some incentives to collect even other dice for their action, and so competition between the players does not focus just on dealing damage to each other.

Despite all novelties, the game remains easily accessible and so it seems that King of New York simply adds some additional spicing to an already nice meal! However, from my perspective, King of New York is slightly better than King of Tokyo because it feels more complete. You will only come to this conclusion if you know both games, but once you have played both you will not want to miss the gameboard and the rules associated with it. However, this is just fine because you can relocate all your favourite Tokyo-monsters to New York, and so globalization does not stop when it comes to destructive monster mayhem!

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Copyright & copy; 2015 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany