If you haven’t yet given King of New York by Iello games a try, here are 5 reasons why you should:
1 – You Are a Mega Monster that Stomps on New York
Okay, this is a really big (pun intended) plus for this game! Each player is a gigantic monster (e.g. a giant robot, a giant ape, a giant dinosaur, etc.) and you get to smash buildings and destroy military units in the boroughs of New York! What could be more fun? Nothing! You get a cardboard standee that emphasizes how massive you are and how small and puny the poor earthlings are!
Cthulhu in Queens, The Sheriff (the dinosaur) in Lower Manhattan, and Kong in Staten Island rampage through the boroughs of New York! By the way, note the Cthulhu cultist temples in a number of boroughs. Whaaaat….did I say Cthulhu? More on that later.
2 – If you know how to play Yahtzee, you basically can play King of New York
To control what your monster does, you roll 6 dice. Maybe you want to destroy buildings; maybe you want to regain health; maybe you want to slap the monster currently in Manhattan; whatever it is you are looking to do…all you got to do is roll the right symbols!
The dice. Each symbol does something different. From top left clockwise: gain fame, slap another monster, gain energy, gain health, make units attack the monsters, and destroy buildings/units.
If you don’t get what you want on the first roll, you can re-roll any number of dice while holding the others. Still don’t have what you want? You get a second re-roll! Sound like Yahtzee? Yep, it is. A good number of games these days have taken this basic idea and added other mechanics to it to make a quality board game. While King of New York has power cards, energy cubes, and other rules, if you know the basic math needed in Yahtzee to decide when to re-roll versus when to keep a die’s result, you can play King of New York.
3 – It’s King of the Hill — and everyone knows how to play that game
And of course, King of New York is really “King of the Hill” where Manhattan is the “hill.” If you can get your monster to Manhattan, you’ll get some bonus fame and energy each turn. Stay there long enough and you are well on your way to winning. Whoever is on the mountain can be slapped by all the other monsters…but from Manhattan you can slap your opponents all at the same time! Yee-hah! The strategy is simple: get to the Hill…er, Manhattan…and hold it! If you aren’t in Manhattan, slap the monster that is until it falls off the hill! C’mon, everybody knows how to do this!
4 – With the Power Up! expansion, each monster evolves with different powers
One problem that the original King of New York suffered from was that all the monsters were the same. They had different standees and different cards to record fame and health…but aside from chrome they were the same thing. It didn’t really matter which monster you were–all of them played the same.
Thus, everyone basically pursued the same set of strategies regardless of which standee they were playing. It seemed to be silly to be Kong or the Sheriff or Captain Fish or whatever when really you were all the same generic monster.
The Power Up! expansion that introduces monster evolution cards
The Power Up! expansion changed all that! Each monster now has a unique set of 8 evolution cards. Each monster starts the game with 1 evolution card and over the course of the game they can try to get more (by rolling triple hearts). Some evolution cards are one-shot (called “temporary” in the game) and have an immediate effect and then are discarded. The other evolution cards stay in play (called “permanent” in the game.” This mechanic is similar to the basic power cards that say “keep” or “discard”.
The Sheriff with two of his permanent evolution cards: Long Star Lizard and The Short Arm of the Law
Because each monster has a unique set of cards, each monster is now UNIQUE. If you play Mega-shark you are likely to get an evolution that makes winning the game via fame impossible–but helps you slap down the other monsters to win by being the last monster standing. Captain Fish has an annoying way of moving monsters around. The Sheriff tends to inflict damage on monsters near him. Now your choice of monster makes a big difference as to what strategy you will play…and what you might have to do to stop another player’s strategy.
5 – Games are relatively quick and full of fun
King of New York is lighthearted! Games last about 30-60 minutes and generally are silly and fun. You smash buildings, slap other monsters, and fight to get and stay in Manhattan. Even if you lose, you will have a good time in this free-for-all.
6 – (yes, there is a #6 in the 5 reasons why!) Cthulhu!
And now Iello Games has introduced individual monster packs that you can purchase. And which monster was first? Of course, it is the obligatory Cthulhu expansion! Now you can play the antediluvian Cthulhu and smash your way through New York!
Cthulhu and a few of his evolution cards…in all their terrible, monstrous, insane, glory! Note the rather insane combo of cards above to gain fame quickly as Cthulhu. This is a real picture of one person’s hand in a game a few days ago…and yes, he won with it.
The Cthulhu pack introduces cultist temples that shuffle in with the buildings. Cthulhu can even use “Shrieking Madness” to give Madness tokens to other players. What do they do you ask? Well, for each Madness token you have, you roll a die and place it on the token. That die cannot be re-rolled! Yikes! That truly is madness! Oh, and Cthulhu can use Sunken R’Lyeh to gain fame each turn in any borough with a cultist temple. If you are one of the other monsters, you better smash these temples as soon as you see them before Cthulhu racks up the fame!
For all these reasons you should be playing King of New York!
Til’ next time, Make Mine Marvel! Wait…that kind of didn’t fit..oh well, who cares, it just sounds cool!