King of Tokyo review

king of tokyo

King of Tokyo was published by IELLO in 2011. The game was designed by Richard Garfield, famous for creating the card game Magic: The Gathering, and illustrated by Benjamin Raynal.

Game Components

  • 66 cards
  • A game board
  • 50 energy cubes
  • 6 monster tokens with plastic stands
  • 6 monster boards
  • 8 six-sided dice (2 green, 6 black)
  • A color rulebook
  • 28 counters (12 poison, 12 shrink, 3 smoke, 1 mimic)

King of Tokyo - Inside the Box

Find the complete card list here.


King of Tokyo is a murderous dice-rolling game. It takes 20-40 minutes. Two to six players shed their sheep skin and become monsters. Every monster wants one thing: become the king of Tokyo.

When it is your turn, you roll the dice and decide which ones you need to keep and which ones you need to reroll in order to defeat your opponents.

King of Tokyo is an eliminating game, which means a monster that dies gets out of the game. If you are the last monster standing, you are the king!

King of Tokyo - Gameplay


First, choose your monster.

Get your monster board and set your life points to ten and your victory points to zero. The Tokyo board (the main game board) is placed in the centre of the table. Tokyo is divided into two parts: Tokyo City and Tokyo Bay. Shuffle the cards into a deck and deal first three cards faceup. The six black dice are used immediately in the game. The two green dice will be used with special cards.

Form a pool of all the energy cubes.

There are six monsters in the game:

  • Cyber Bunny
  • Alienoid
  • Kraken
  • The King
  • Meka Dragon
  • Giga Zaur

King of Tokyo - Monsters


Each turn consists of the following steps:

Rolling the dice

On your turn, you roll the six black dice. You can reroll any number of dice twice if you wish.

Resolving the dice

What you get on your dice when you are finished rolling and rerolling determines your actions for the turn. The dice can have the following symbols on them:

victory points (1, 2, or 3)

You have to roll three dice with numbers to earn the points. You can score each triple only once.

energy (a lightning)

Each energy allows you to take one energy cube.

attack (a claw)

Each attack brings damage to all monsters that are not where you are (in Tokyo or outside Tokyo). One damage costs you one heart. If you lose your last heart, you are out!

The first monster to roll attack brings no damage but instead takes control over Tokyo.

heal (a heart)

Each heart brings you one life back. You cannot have more than ten lives.

King of Tokyo - Dice

Buying cards

You can buy any of the three faceup cards. You can use two energy points if you want to discard the faceup cards and reveal three new ones.

Purchases and sweeps of the cards can be done in any order that you desire.

The game is over when one of the players has earnt twenty victory points or when there is only one last monster left.

King of Tokyo - Cards

Find the rules in PDF here.

Similar Games

King of Tokyo vs King of New York

King of New York

King of New York is a younger brother to King of Tokyo, also designed by Richard Garfield. The basic mechanics stays the same, but the newer game is more complex and there are new ways to play introduced as well. Now you can become a superstar in The Big Apple by achieving Fame, which ultimately brings you victory points. King of Tokyo better suits players who do not have plenty of gaming experience.

King of Tokyo vs Smash Up

Smash Up

Smash Up is a funny trashy game with lots of weird creatures that you can combine! Zombies, ninjas, dinosaurs, aliens – you name it. The rules might be a bit more complicated than in King of Tokyo. Smash Up plays better as a 2 player game than King of Tokyo.

King of Tokyo vs Elder Sign

Elder Sign

Elder Sign is a cooperative game for one to eight players from Fantasy Flight Games. It takes about an hour. Elder Sign is darker, not as humour-based as King of Tokyo.

King of Tokyo vs Rampage (aka Terror in Meeple City)


In Rampage, you are playing for a scrawny monster that needs to devour clueless meeples and destroy buildings. The more you do that, the better your chances for the victory are. A lot of mayhem in this game is literal: you get to knock out miniatures, toss vehicles, there is a lot of physical moving around.

King of Tokyo vs Quarriors!


Quarriors! is a deck-building game, but instead of cards, you have dice, which adds a lot of speed to the game. It is more balanced as a 2 player game than King of Tokyo.

King of Tokyo vs Monsterpocalypse


Monsterpocalypse is science fiction fighting game based on dice rolling. Some players use Monsterpocalypse figures to play King of Tokyo.


King of Tokyo: Power Up!

King of Tokyo: Power Up

You get a new monster – Pandakai, a giant panda bear. Also, this expansion has 56 Evolution cards. At the beginning of the game, every player gets eight Evolution cards for their monster. After your turn ends, you are allowed to add one Evolution card to your hand. You can reveal an Evolution card at any moment in the game. They give you different bonuses, one-time and permanent.

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King of Tokyo: Halloween

King of Tokyo: Halloween

The second name of this expansion is Collector Pack 1. It has two new monsters with eight Evolution cards each: Boogey Woogey and Pumpkin Jack. Also, there are six Halloween dice in the expansion.

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King of Tokyo Promo Cards

King of Tokyo Promo Cards

It is a set of eleven cards you can shuffle into the base deck.

King of Tokyo: Garfield’s Gift Promo Card

King of Tokyo: Garfield s Gift Promo Card

Each Garfield’s Gift card is one of a kind as they were all personally signed by Richard Garfield himself at Essen 2012. Every visitor of the fair could get a card from him. The rules were made up by visitors or Richard Garfield himself. They say he signed more than 650 cards.

King of Tokyo: The Horde Promo Card

King of Tokyo: The Horde Promo Card

The Horde Promo card brings a horde of flesh-eating zombies to Tokyo. It means that every turn you have to pay one cube of energy if you do not want to be bitten by zombies. They attack everyone every turn and cost you one damage.


Q: Is there a solo version of King of Tokyo?

A: There is no official version, but like with many great games, fans of King of Tokyo come up with ideas of their own how to tweak the rules so that they would fit their needs better. See the solo variant suggested by a BGG user here.

Q: Is there an errata for King of Tokyo?

A: No, there is not.

Q: Is there a King of Tokyo app for iOS or Android?

A: No, currently there is none, but IELLO have reported that they are working on a digital version of King of Tokyo, and, hopefully, it will be out soon.

Q: Is King of Tokyo a good game for a seven-year-old child?

A: Yes, it is. Colorful monster miniatures and a simple game monster board appeal to kids. But you may have to read and explain some of the cards to them.



King of Tokyo is a fun and fast-paced game that allows for a large company to play (up to six people). You can play it several times throughout the evening or use it as a starter for a gaming night. The rules are simple and let you immediately enjoy the gameplay without forever referencing with the rulebook.

The artwork is superb. Cartoon figures, a big colorful game board. Everything looks neat and attractive.

The TableTop series has an episode dedicated to King of Tokyo.

You can buy King of Tokyo on Amazon.