Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of King of New York

Product– King of New York

Producer-Iello

Price– $50 here http://www.amazon.com/King-New-York-Board-Game/dp/B00KU9LQUO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429421137&sr=8-1&keywords=kings+of+new+york

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 45 minutes (2-6 players)

Type-American

Depth-Light

TL; DR– A much improved second version. 95%

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Basics-Time for a rumble in the Bronx!  King of New York is a standalone game that builds on the popular King of Tokyo line.  This game follows a very similar turn order with some significant differences.  At the start of the game, all players choose which of the five New York boroughs they wish to start in, with the exception of Manhattan.  Like in King of Tokyo, a player rolls six dice, and can reroll some, all, or none of the dice.  Each die has six faces with players gaining different effects based on how many of each die each player rolled.  Lightning gives the player energy cubes for each die result that can be spent on upgrades.  Hearts heal the player one point for each heart result while not in Manhattan. Attack damages the player in Manhattan if the active player isn’t in Manhattan, or damages each other player not in Manhattan if the player is in Manhattan.  If the player in Manhattan takes damage, that player can leave, and you have to enter Manhattan instead!  If you start your turn in Manhattan, you gain energy as well as victory points.  The major differences between this and Kings of Tokyo come from the final three dice faces.  A new result is destruction.  Destruction results are spent to turn over tokens in each borough.  These tokens have two sides: red and blue.  Blue sides are buildings that usually provide points or healing.  Red sides are active military units that provide points or power cubes.  Both sides have a number that must be spent to either flip the token or to remove the unit from the board.  This brings us to the next result of Ouch!  Ouch! causes the units to attack players depending on the number rolled.  A one result causes the active player damage equal to the number of red tokens in the borough; two causes all players in the borough damage, and three causes all red tokens to attack all players!  Rolling three Ouch! results will also earn the player the Statue of Liberty Card worth three points.  This card can be stolen, however, when another player rolls three Ouch! results.  The final result is celebrity.  If you get three celebrity results, you gain the Superstar card, one point, and at the start of each round you gain an extra point.  This can also be stolen.  After all the dice are resolved, if no player is in Manhattan, you must move there.  If there is one monster there, you can move there depending on the number of players, or you can move to another borough.  Manhattan also has three areas that can be moved into over time, with the deepest area of Manhattan giving tons of points and energy at the start of each turn.  Finally, you can buy any cards available before ending your turn.  Play continues until there is only one monster standing or one player has 20 victory points.

Mechanics– Just like King of Tokyo, King of New York is about pushing your luck.  But this game feels a lot less like Yahtzee! and more like rolling for specific results.  The changes to attacking units, gaining celebrity, and damaging non-player characters massively change the results of this game.  Honestly, it’s a much deeper experience and one that I enjoy better than King of Tokyo.  Currently though, the monsters in each game don’t have any differences between each other.  It’s important, but not world ending.  This is just like the original King of Tokyo game, so I expect that an expansion is coming up very soon to fix that.  Overall, this quick, easy to learn, fun game that plays well. 4.75/5

Theme– I feel much more like Godzilla in this game than I did in King of Tokyo.  I don’t feel like I’m playing combat Yahtzee!, but instead I’m a 40 story mantis that is destroying New York.   The addition of buildings to destroy and units to fight really drive this home as well as deciding when to just put a ton of enemy units on a friend’s space and then get out of that part of town!  It’s not perfect though.  I don’t have difference powers between creatures, and the basic mechanic still somewhat takes away from the basic monster feeling that I’m supposed to have.  But, I don’t think that can be helped without a massive overall of the mechanics.  4.75/5

Instructions– Overall, the instructions are done reasonably well.  My main complaint is how packed they are.  I’d like more pages with more examples then the cramped four pages I get. It’s not unreadable by any means, and this game isn’t exactly the deepest game I’ve ever player, so overall the rules do a good job.  I’d just like them to be easier to read. 4.5/5

Execution-This is a great game for how it’s handled.  I love the art and the components.  I love large chunky tokens as well as heavy dice.  The box fits all the components well, and just like King of Tokyo; I think it will hold the expansions pretty well too.  The cards are well done, and the tokens all feel nice.  Overall, it’s a great box and presentation of what it contains. 5/5

Summary– I don’t think I’m going back to King of Tokyo.  I like that game, but I really LOVE this game.  I feel like a monster not a person playing Yahtzee!  Yahtzee! isn’t bad, but this is much better.  It’s got a few minor faults, but overall it’s a top notch game that represents the monster genre well. 95%

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