King of Tokyo has been popular ever since it released, so it’s only natural that the announcement of a new game in the series was met with excitement. Even though the game sold out in a matter of minutes, I was able to get a chance to demo the game at the Iello booth.
At first glance, KoNY is a lot more complicated. You still have the same basic foundation – Manhattan replaces Tokyo, but the monster(s) in Manhattan attack the monsters outside of it and vice versa. You’ve still got claws, energy, and hearts doing the same thing. But, replacing 1/2/3 on the dice are 3 new symbols – “celebrity” stars, “destruction” buildings, and “owch” skulls.
Stars replace the numbers almost directly, but they work slightly differently – you roll 3 stars, you get the “Superstar” card which awards you a point. Any stars rolled while you have this card award you additional points – so if you roll 5 stars in 1 turn, you get the Superstar and 2 additional points. If you have the Superstar card already, you don’t need to roll 3 stars first – you just get a point for every star.
Destruction is a new way to attack – the board, instead of just being on or off – includes a few non-manhattan districts. Each district has buildings and later military units that can be attacked and destroyed with Destruction rolls. Doing so awards the monster with points, energy, or even healing, depending on the token they attack. When Buildings are destroyed, they flip over to become Military units – as a response to the destruction, see?
Owch rolls are generally bad – if you roll an Owch, you get attacked by all the military in your district, for 1 point of damage each. However, if you roll 2 owches, every monster in your district gets attacked by the military – which could be helpful if you can finish off a monster who has fewer hit points left than you.
Finally, if 3 Owches are rolled, this actually turns out better for you. Two things happen – first of all, every military unit on the board attacks, so any monsters in a district with military will take damage. Ha ha! Even better, the Statue of Liberty will wake up (I don’t really understand either) and protect you from the damage for some reason. So That could do some massive damage across the board while keeping yourself safe.
Interestingly, with the 5 districts, Monsters can now move at the end of their turn to a different district, and MUST move to Manhattan if a spot is open. This means you might end up in Manhattan without even rolling any claws, so watch out! On the plus side, Manhattan has 3 levels, so the longer you stay there, the more rewards you get at the start of your turn. In addition, there are buildings in Manhattan which means you could potential earn some healing by destroying the buildings, even though the no-healing-from-heart-rolls rule still applies.
King of New York was another very fun game to play. It seems like there are a lot of new things, but once we got the game going it was very straightforward. In my opinion it’s a good step up from Tokyo – there are a lot more options to pursue on your turn, and you can generally accomplish a few interesting things regardless of what you roll. Destroying buildings is a fun addition with the added threat of military and added rewards making it more exciting. Of course there are a slew of new monsters (not that you couldn’t port your KoT monsters over, they’ve all got the same stats) and a whole variety of upgrade cards.
If you’re a fan of King of Tokyo, definitely check this one out.