It has been described as “Yahtzee meets Godzilla.” “King of Tokyo” is a dice game in which players are monsters trying to take over Tokyo. The object is to out-last one’s opponents. This is a fun family game with cards that are artistically designed and also contain cliches from classic horror movies. Players aged seven and up will enjoy accumulating points and attacking their opponents.

King of Tokyo Game Review


  • ships from and sold by
  • gift-wrap is available
  • for 2-6 players
  • playing time: 30-45 minutes (more if there are 6 players)
  • designed by Richard Garfield, who also did “Magic the Gathering”
  • appropriate for children aged 7 and up: college students; parents; anybody else


One of the best features of this game is that it is not complicated; anyone can easily learn the rules. Parents can play with their children. It is similar to Betrayal , where players battle for dominance. The “monster” theme is fun, and there is a lot of player-to-player interaction.

The game is played like a variation of Yahtzee: players roll several dice, and decide which ones to keep. The dice kept determine whether the player will focus on attacking other monsters, healing, resources (buying cards that modify the game), or gaining victory points. “Energy” points allow players to upgrade their cards to give their monsters an advantage over their opponents. Only one monster can be in Tokyo at a time (unless there are five or six players, in which case there is a second area of Tokyo to rule). When a monster in Tokyo is attacked, he can choose to leave or stay. If he leaves, the attacker then takes his place.

Victory points can be gained in three ways: (1) rolling three of a kind on the dice, (2) taking over or staying in Tokyo, and (3) buying cards that add victory points. The game contains many different types of “power” cards, which can be wicked and wonderful as they add to the monsters’ abilities. Strategies include knocking people out of the game, stacking up points, building up a character’s strength, or a combination of these. Players win by obtaining more points than their opponents, or by being the “last monster standing” – that is, reducing the other monsters’ lives to zero. Because of the variety of ability cards, the game is fresh each time.

Some downsides might be the following: although the monsters look different, their abilities are essentially the same. Some cards confer special abilities, but any monster can buy them. Some of the cards can be interpreted in more than one way, causing some confusion. Players who are eliminated early may become bored as they sit around waiting for the game to end. The game also tends to get old quickly, unless expansion packs are purchased. The outcome of each game depends heavily on chance and not so much on strategy, making it fun for children, but adults may tire of it after several times playing it.

king of tokyo game


Any gamer who is fond of “knock ’em, sock ’em” brawls will love this game. There is risk involved in deciding to occupy Tokyo, where a player may earn points but cannot heal, and may be attacked by other characters. It is a game of competition, with horror themes sure to appeal to young and old.

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