Review – King of New York
A dice rolling, monster fighting game.
Title: King of New York
Year Published: 2014
Designer: Richard Garfield
Game Time: ~40 Mins
Set-up Time: >5 Mins
Mechanic: Dice Rolling
How to win: Score 20 points or be the last monster standing.
There’s always something happening in the city that never sleeps. Maybe it’s the lights, maybe it’s the energy, or maybe it’s the giant monsters trying to demolish the place!
Set Up & Game Play
Put the two special cards aside, shuffle the deck, turn 3 cards over. These are the cards available for purchase from the beginning of the game. The two special cards need to be earned! More on them later…
Each player takes a monster and matching player board. (Don’t take Rob, he’s mine :)) Set your life to 10 and points to 0.
Shuffle the buildings into piles of 3 and put 3 piles in each borough of New York. That’s 9 tiles in 3 stacks per borough… Space is tight so keep them neat!
Each player rolls the dice, the player with the most ‘Attack’ rolls goes first. Then starting with the first player, take turns putting your monster in any borough except Manhattan. You may not have more than 2 monster in a borough so spread out a bit.
At the beginning of your turn, you gain the bonus printed on the board if you’re in Manhattan.
Roll the Dice up to 3 times, keeping as many dice as you like between rolls, Yahtzee style. Any dice you keep can be re-rolled later if you change your mind.
Attack symbols let you deal damage. If you’re in Manhattan, you deal 1 point of damage for each symbol rolled to all Monsters outside of Manhattan. If you’re outside Manhattan, you deal 1 point of damage for each symbol rolled to all Monsters in Manhattan.
So, if you’re in deal out, if you’re out deal in… easy right?
At this point, if you’re in Manhattan and you take damage you can choose to yield by moving your Monster into any other borough. (Keeping the 2 monsters per borough rule).
Heal lets you regain health. You gain 1 point of health per symbol rolled but you cannot heal this way if you’re in Manhattan.
Energy – Take that many energy cubes… that’s it. You can use these to buy things later.
Destruction – Deal 1 point of damage to a building or unit. You can destroy as many tiles within your borough as you can and if you have to kill a building or unit if you are able to.
If you destroy something, gain points, health or energy depending on the item destroyed. Then, flip over destroyed buildings to their Unit side.
If you destroy a Unit, put it in front of you. You can’t destroy a unit the same turn you flip it over from a building.
Ouch – Rolling one gives you 1 point of damage per unit in your borough.
Rolling 2 causes each unit to deal 1 point of damage to all monsters in your borough.
Rolling 3 causes each unit in New York to attack each monster in their respective borough.
Rolling 3+ also gives you the Statue of Liberty card.
Celebrity – Roll 3 to take the Superstar card. Then, gain a point plus 1 point for each symbol you rolled over 3.
Move – You MUST move into Manhattan if its empty. If Manhattan is taken, either stay still or move to another borough if you want. (Again, only 2 monsters per borough Max.)
If you’re in Manhattan, move up one space, you don’t move if you’re already in Upper Manhattan.
Buy any number of cards from the 3 available, or pay 2 energy to discard them and reveal 3 new ones.
End your Turn
Resolve End of Turn effects and pass dice to the left
If you are the last Monster standing, or have 20+ points at the end of your turn, you win!
As a fan of King of Tokyo this was an instant buy for me. They took the same base game and added more to it, increasing the learning difficulty and moving it further away from a gateway game…
Now, It’s still not overly complicated and it can still be used as a gateway, but the rules for Buildings and Units and much more complicated than the 1,2 and 3 dice in Tokyo.
Games can be quicker with Units dealing damage to Monsters on top of Monsters dealing damage to each other. If you’re unlucky you can take massive amounts of damage in one turn…
But, this does solve the issue that King of Tokyo can have where players go for healing over and over to stay in the game, extending it’s play time. With Units dealing you damage and the Monster in Manhattan getting better and better rewards each round, the game constantly works towards a finish.
Of course, the worst part now is having to pick between Rob, and my beloved Cyber Bunny 🙂
A very fun yet fairly simple to play game. More complex than King of Tokyo and more fun to play with gamers.
I give it 7/10