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King Of New York Board Game Review

King of New York Board Game

“King of New York” is a stomping good time.

With “King of Tokyo” being a smash hit in the board game world, it was only a matter before iello and designer Richard Garfield (of “Magic: The Gathering” fame) would create a follow up. 3 years later, that new game is finally here in the form of “King of New York.”

Now, before I dig into the game itself, it should be stated upfront that “King of New York” is not a reprint with a different setting. This 2-6 player board and dice game contains new monsters, new dice abilities, new cards, a tile element, and a significantly bigger board. All of these inclusions add more complexity to the ‘King’ gaming experience. With all of that out of the way, let me explain how the game works.

Much like “King of Tokyo,” players begin by choosing one of 6 giant monsters (or kaiju if you will). In this set, players can pick Rob (a robot), Sheriff (a T-Rex), Mantis, Captain Fish, Drakonis, and Kong. Each monster has their own game board piece and a board to keep track of health and victory points. The object of the game is to reach 20 victory points and or be the last monster standing by keeping your health from dropping to zero.

After that, your turn begins. In the first step, players roll the 6 black dice up to 3 times. The dice can give you a variety of options such as gaining health back up to 10 (heart symbol), attacking opponents (claw symbol), acquiring energy/money (lightning bolt symbol), destroying buildings or units in each borough (toppling building symbol), gaining celebrity status (star symbol) which allows you to score a Superstar card and or victory points, and, last but not least, get an ouch (skull symbol) which involves taking damage from unit tiles or scoring the special Statue of Liberty card. In step 2, you simply resolve the dice symbols you are given after the roll(s). In step 3, you can move your monster to a new borough or stay where you are. You do have to be in Manhattan if no other monster is there. You can also advance in Manhattan if you are already there.  Finally, step 4 allows players to buy cards from a 64 card deck (that only shows 3 at a time) with energy cubes one has saved up (or earned). These cards grant players special abilities and bonuses that could help them win the game faster.

In future turns, a player can start his or her turn by gaining energy cubes and victory points from cards and by being in Manhattan. Note: Being in Manhattan grants you bonuses, but you cannot heal in Manhattan so you will likely be forced to move to heal at times. Also, if you are wondering about the advanced rules, the little game tokens, and the green dice, feel free to consult the 4 page rule booklet that comes with the game.

If you’ve played and loved “King of Tokyo,” “King of New York” will be even more appealing to you. Not only does this thematic game give players more spots to move via the bigger New York board (which contains the 5 boroughs- Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn), but there’s much more to do on your turn thanks to the new dice abilities and the inclusion of the building and unit tiles which can heal and harm you.

As a longtime monster movie fan, I can tell you that I personally had a blast attacking other monsters, destroying buildings and units (AKA tanks and jets), rolling dice (always a good time), buying cards with neat abilities, and trying to outthink opponents in order to win. All of these elements made NY a thoroughly entertaining gaming experience.

Before you go out and buy NY, however, I should say that if you HAVEN’T played “King of Tokyo,” I do think that game may be preferable to some gamers (especially for newcomers). ‘Tokyo’ is a much lighter, easier, and accessible game while ‘NY’ may be a bit overwhelming to some people due to its new rules and numerous pieces. It’s a minor issue, yes, but having played with someone who felt there was too much to remember, I’m sure there will be others out there who have the same issue.

Overall Thoughts: For veteran gamers and or fans of “King of Tokyo,” “King of New York” is a must own game. Not only does it improve upon the original, but it simply has more depth.

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January 3, 2015 - Posted by | Game Review | , , ,

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