KING OF TOKYO: DARK EDITION
By Raymond "DuMeeple" Dumee on June 17, 2020
Gojira... Gojira... Darkness sets over the City of Tokyo. Gigantic monsters wander through the streets, trying to climb onto skyscrapers, and the only thing I seem to hear... are sirens.
Hello Darkness, my old friend.
I've come to scream with you again.
Because a monster softly creeping,
Left its wickedness while I was sleeping
And the Power Card that was played in-game.
Within the Sound of Sirens...
Darkness my old friend... Well, there's plenty of darkness to go around in the Dark Edition of our old friend: King of Tokyo! This Dark Edition of the nowaydays well-known game King of Tokyo still remains, like the original edition of the game, a cool Push-your-Luck Dice rolling game, with some card drafting to obtain Power Cards. The monsters in this game are basically based on familiar creatures from infamous adventure stories or disaster movies and with them you'll fight to the DEATH !!! Or, as the case may be, the most victory points.
In the beautiful box the game comes in, you will find a rule book, a small Tokyo board. Six grey dice and two white yellowish dice. The game comes with sixty-six Power Cards, a lot of Energy Charges in the shape of a lightning bolt to buy cards and a bunch of other tokens. For every player there is a Monster Board and a cardboard Monster Figure. New for this edition are the Wickedness Tiles and Wickedness Counters.
King of Tokyo: Dark Edition is a reimplementation of King of Tokyo from 2011, which was reviewed back in the day by my lovely big Sis. So for the most part, I'll use this review to tell you what is new in this Dark Edition.
Other than that the whole game got a new and darker look, courtesy of Paul Mafayon, designer Richard Garfield introduced a Wickedness system with Wickedness Tiles, Wickedness Counters and a Wickedness Gauge on the Tokyo Board to the game. When, after rolling the dice during the very aptly named "Roll the Dice" phase, you manage to get a set of three ones or three twos, you are granted Wickedness points during the "Resolve Dice" phase.
So, what does this do? Well, when you get those Wickedness points you can move your Wickedness Counter up on the Wickedness Gauge. Along the Gauge there are Wickedness Tiles, when your counter reaches a certain level on the Wickedness Gauge (three, six and ten), you may grab one of the Wickedness Tiles which, in turn, will grant you a certain awesome power!
The other thing the developers changed in this new edition, is an adjustment in the two player game. Instead of receiving Victory Points while entering and starting your turn in Tokyo, you'll get your hands on Energy Charges. On the other hand, the monster who reaches twenty victory points or destroys all other monsters first, still wins the game and becomes the most fiercest monster King of Tokyo!
The Final Verdict
This limited Dark Collector's Edition of the award winning game King of Tokyo looks Wicked! The quality of the component is good, although I would have liked to see an extra layer under the Monster Boards as they aren't level on the table now. I love the extra dark theme very much and can honestly say that it looks totally awesome! The aim of King of Tokyo is to be a fun family filler game and that is exactly what it is. The learning curve isn't steep, so you'll get the hang of the game pretty quickly. Also, a single game doesn't take too long, in about thirty minutes you and your family can be playing another round. With the veritable boatload of Power Cards and the addition of the Wickedness system, the game's replay value is also okay. And those chunky dice never roll the same, giving the game its much needed unpredictability.
Because the use of these same dice and the card drafting, King of Tokyo is steering towards the section of games in which a major amount of luck comes into play. Some strategy can be found in selecting which dice to keep or which card you will pick up from the Market, but that is about it. It is mostly fun and a race to twenty Victory Points while Smashing each other into tiny, tiny monster pieces.
That leaves us with the question of whether or not you need this game if you are already the proud owner of the original King of Tokyo. This is a very good question; one which I am mostly inclined to answer with "no". While the Wickedness system definitely adds something new, it didn't become a complete new game. I don't own a copy of the original, so for me this was a perfect opportunity to get in on the city wrecking action. Still, when you want to acquire the Dark Edition, most stuff from the original game is compatible. Also, if you are a true fan of the series, I can honestly understand the fact that you'll want to sink your claws and teeth into this really cool new Collector's Edition.
Overall, when you don't take things too seriously, you will have a truly awesomely wicked time while playing either the original or the new Dark Edition of King of Tokyo. And remember; roaring like a twelve ton beast is not only allowed... it's even encouraged!
Curious as to how all this monster goodness fits into one awesome box? Just taka a gander at the video below!
KING OF TOKYO: DARK EDITION
Year of release: 2020
Designer: Richard Garfield
Artist: Paul Mafayon
Players: 2 - 6 players, ages 8 & up
Playtime: approx. 30 minutes