Between work, family, and six new chickens (!) I have managed to get some gaming in. King of Tokyo was released a while ago and for some reason I had just avoided playing it. My son has become more interested in games lately and also more interested in giant monsters so it seemed like the time for KoT had arrived.
In the interests of minimizing hazardous stress and tension let's jump to the conclusion of this piece- King of Tokyo is a fun and elegant game that has huge replay value and is well suited for younger players. It is nicely produced, well balanced, and priced appropriately for what it delivers. If there is a boy in the house who wants to play games this is likely to be a big hit. Likewise if there is a girl who likes giant monsters but sadly that is not as common.
The goal in KoT is to either amass twenty victory points or be the last giant monster standing. You accomplish these goals by rolling six dice. By the way, these are huge, hefty, attractive custom game dice. Rolling dice is fun in general and these are extra fun to roll. The dice are marked with claws (to attack), energy symbols (for energy points), hearts (to heal), and numbers (for victory points). You may reroll some, all, or none of the dice up to two times. At any given point, then, you're trying to decide if you want to attack, heal up, or rack up victory points. You reroll the dice you think are less helpful and hope for the best.
I can't even begin to describe how satisfying it is to see my six year old mull over what his goals are and which dice should be rerolled. I'm actually watching the genesis of his strategic and tactical skills! Just amazing.
The game also features extra powers which can be purchased with the energy you've amassed. The better the power the more energy it costs. Thus, an additional concern is whether you want to hold out, attack less, and just accumulate energy for some awesome power.
KoT is absolutely a light, filler game that plays in thirty minutes or less. For my purposes that makes it ideal for a game before dinner or before bed. Unlike many designer games it's reasonably priced. There are a good number of decisions to be made but the luck component keeps it from being too stressful. In that vein it's good for younger players who may find losing to be tough. Good for adults with the same issue too.