Updated: Sep 18, 2019
King of Tokyo was a firm favourite two years ago at Christmas and has passed in and out of favour over the years. Regardless, I still think it’s one of the best light games in my collection that nearly anyone, regardless of their gaming experience, can sit down and have fun with.
King of Tokyo is a competitive dice rolling game where the players are Monsters vying for control of Tokyo. Based on Yahtzee players roll the dice three times, keeping any results they want after each roll. They can score victory points, heal damage, inflict damage and accumulate power. Power can be spent to buy cards which allow the monsters to use special abilities, gain victory points or inflict damage. The game is played to 20 points or until all but one monster is eliminated.
Because the game features player elimination you can end up on the sidelines just watching the chaos unfold, however, I’m always more than happy to cheer on a player attacking the monster that off-ed me! Overall King of Tokyo is a family friendly game, very fun and tongue in cheek, it plays fast and even with the expansions it remains simple to play. You can read my full review here.
So what does Power Up Bring to the table? The Power Up expansion adds a new monster Pandakai, (I love saying that name!), several new power cards and a new mechanic; Evolutions. Prior to Power Up all the monsters were the same, each had 10 health and needed 20 VPs to win. Now however each monster has their own deck of Evolution Cards.
A player may play an evolution card when he rolls three hearts. He still gets the benefit of the roll, and can still draw an evolution while in Tokyo where he would not normally be allowed to use the hearts for anything. Each set of Evolution Cards is unique to the monster, giving them a new flavour and making each play slightly differently.
Do Evolutions make the game better? I think so, I never play without them now, after all, having more options on your turn is never a bad thing and it encourages damaged monsters to take the heals and to try and get an evolution to come back to the fight stronger for having rested. It’s not a vital expansion but it's certainly one I would recommend to any fans of King of Tokyo, plus you get a giant kung-fu Panda and that’s always awesome!