Excerpt: Claim dominance over the city in this 2-6 player monster battle royale!
This battle royale style game has two win conditions, either gain 20 victory points or eliminate all other players. There’s three possible ways of earning these points, either by gaining control of Tokyo, rolling streaks, or through cards. Dealing damage works primarily through rolling the Smash result on your dice, but can also be augmented or new sources of damage can be gained through the use of power up cards.
The game is played using six six sided dice. The die sides include 1, 2, 3, smash, heal, and energy. By rolling at least three of the same number, victory points can be added to your total. By rolling smash, you either damage the monster in the city or, if you are the monster in the city, you damage everyone else. By rolling heal, you regain health points and stay in the game longer, but only if you’re not in the city. By rolling energy, you collect little green energy cubes which can be spent on cards, or special abilities granted by cards. Every player can roll three times at the beginning of their turn, keeping results they like each time.
The deck of cards is at least 50 deep. Most of the cards are permanent power ups. For example, Acid Breath allows you to do 1 damage every turn, in addition to any smashes you rolled, and even if you didn’t roll a smash. On the other hand, Energy Hoarder gives you 1 victory point for every 6 energy cubes in your possession at the end of your turn. At the beginning of the game, the top three cards are flipped face up and become available to purchase with energy cubes. As soon as someone buys a card, they flip over the next one in its place. If a player with 2 energy decides that he doesn’t like his options, or he just wants to deny a card to the next player, he can choose to spend 2 energy to put the 3 displayed cards into the bottom of the deck and draw 3 more.
This game is very random. No two games will be alike. Even though there should be plenty of opportunity to select your strategy, what with the ability to reroll and choose from three cards, the fact that any particular die result is 1 in 6, and any particular card is 1 in 50 makes this game very unpredictable. One game’s overpowered strategy may cause an early elimination in the next one. At the same time, the cards cause the rules to change in incredibly deep and interesting ways. For example, Poison Breath forces any monster damaged by the monster holding Poison Breath to take 1 damage at the end of their turn, unless they can roll and choose to spend a Heal result to remove the poison. Monsters in Tokyo cannot heal. Therefore, a monster in Tokyo who is poisoned must leave the city or start to tick for some serious damage.
Overall, this is a very enjoyable and fast paced game where chance usually trumps skill, but it still feels like skillful decision making can make a difference.