A Monstrously Good Game
Richard Garfield’s King of Tokyo has quickly become a staple entry-level board game. Since its release in 2011 there have been multiple expansions as well as spin-offs including King of New York and King of Tokyo Dark Edition. New York adds a new power track and Dark Edition is aimed at an older audience, embracing grittier designs over the original’s cartoony aesthetic. There is also the newer King of Monster Island which changes the game to a cooperative experience. There you take on larger creatures, birthed from the island’s central volcano. Since 2012’s Power Up! there have been a multitude of new monsters to add into the fun. And in 2019 Cybertooth came roaring onto the scene. The first transforming monster to vie to be King!
So what is King of Tokyo? Based on the Yahtzee mechanism of rolling a handful of dice three times, locking in dice as you go along, it is essentially a fighting game. You start by choosing a monster, placing it around a central board, which depicts Tokyo. On your turn you will roll a number of dice as you attempt to get certain icons. The claw will mean one hit point to another monster. If you are in Tokyo, those hit points cause damage to every monster not in the city. If you are outside, then all damage is done to the current King. Last one standing wins. You might also get energy cubes which are used to buy cards that offer either one-off or ongoing effects. Finally, there are the numbers one to three. If you get three or more of a kind, then you will get points and first to twenty points wins. It is a great game of pushing you luck and can be monstrous fun!
Some Extra Bite
The main addition here is the titular new monster. However, ‘Cybertooth’ brings with it a unique mechanism not seen in any of the other monsters. Cybertooth can transform! Starting the game in its ‘biped’ form it will work as any other monster in the series. However, at any point before the card purchasing phase you may spend one power to transform to ‘beast’ mode. This brings with it a new standee for you to swap in as well as the power to reroll one of you dice an extra time. But with great power comes great restrictions. Whilst in beast mode you cannot buy power cards. I mean sabretooth tigers don’t have the posable thumbs for holding cards after all! In order to transform back again, before the purchase phase, you may spend another power. This ability to change your monster is a nice little novelty and the power to reroll an extra dice is certainly tempting. In reality, changing standees throughout the game quickly gets more frustrating than fun. It is worth mentioning that this pack also comes with the evolution cards you might have come to expect from the Power Up expansion (See review). They can be added into any game that you want, providing all of the characters have access to their own decks.
The best addition in this expansion is the ‘bersek’ die. A big monster of a die is added to the game to power up some of the usual options. When a player rolls four or more claw icons they go beserk and add the beserk token onto their standee. Now, whenever a player takes a turn they get to roll the new die following the usual rules. There are the recognisable symbols but also sides that have doubles on them offering two hits or two power cubes instead of one. There is also a skull on one side. If you roll this, you lose one health. This offers more tension to the push your luck nature of the game with something to lose rather than not simply getting what you want. It can also feel very powerful when on the attack and you get that coveted double claw. Alas not all power can last forever and if you take a heart to heal yourself you, you also lose your berserk token.
This expansion is worth it for the berserk addition alone. Throwing dice is what this game is all about and so the ability to take that extra-large die and do some serious damage is very exciting. Cybertooth is interesting enough but fails to offer the level of decision making that some might crave from the first truly asymmetric monster. If you are a regular King of Tokyo player then this will add some bite to the game and at such a low price point it really is a no brainer.
That concludes our thoughts on King Of Tokyo Cybertooth. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy King Of Tokyo Cybertooth today click here!