King of New York. Iello, 2014. $50. Designed by Richard Garfield. 8 dice, 1 board, 66 cards, 46 tokens, 6 monsters (boards, figures, and plastic stands), 45 Building/Unit tiles, energy cubes, and a rulebook. 2-6 players. Ages 10+. 30-60 minutes.
Just as in its predecessor, King of Tokyo, players take on the role of a movie monster in a fast paced, dice rolling game that’s easy to learn and play. King of New York however, introduces some new concepts that improves the game. During setup Building tiles are placed in the various boroughs. In addition to the Attack, Energy and Heal dice faces, the dice also now have a “Destruction” face that allows you to destroy Buildings to gain victory points, energy cubes, or life points. These Buildings then turn into Units. Another new dice face is “Ouch!” When you end up with one or more of these at the end of your rolling, the Units attack! The “Celebrity” dice face can, if you roll three of them, make you a “Superstar”. While Tokyo has been replaced by Manhattan, where there are three zones and each progressive zone provides more reward at the start of your turn, if you stay in Manhattan and are the target of everyone else’s attacks.
The addition of Buildings and Units changes the game significantly and for the better, allowing new strategies to gain victory. When you to roll three of the new “Celebrity” (star) dice faces, you gain the new “Superstar” special card that gives you 1 victory point and 1 more for every “Celebrity” rolled in the future. There are also several cards that allow you to build on being the “Superstar” monster.
For those who enjoyed the monster to monster attacks of King of Tokyo, you may find less combat in King of New York. Since there are additional ways to gain victory points, such as buildings and units, there is sometimes less motivation to attack other monsters. The addition of the “Statue of Liberty” special card seems fairly pointless. You only get it when you roll three “Ouch!” and it gains you 3 victory points but only unit someone else rolls three “Ouch!” when you then lose the 3 points and they gain them. And “Ouch!” faces are not usually something you strive for.
This game will replace King of Tokyo for me with a lot of new fun.
This review was written based on a privately purchased copy. No previous relationship with the game publisher nor compensation was involved.
c2014 by Richard A. Edwards