King of New York – Mutant Monsters Rampage New York
King of New York is a sequel to the popular mutant monster king-of-the-hill dice game, King of Tokyo. This time, the giant monsters have moved their rampage to New York, where they’ve found more ways to acquire fame and wreak destruction – which translates to more opportunities for strategy and multiple paths to victory for players. The end goal is the same: 20 fame (victory points) or be the last monster standing. And while the dice have changed, the straightforward and simple game play remains the same as you’ll soon see as we examine King of New York.
King of New York plays much the same as King of Tokyo with players 1) Rolling the dice up to three times 2) Resolving the dice and 3) Optionally, purchasing cards. The designers have added one more explicit step in King of New York between resolving the dice and purchasing cards: Move. Technically, you had a Move step in King of Tokyo, too, even though it wasn’t listed separately in the rules; whenever you resolved an Attack and Tokyo was empty, or a monster yielded Tokyo to you, you had to Move into Tokyo. Likewise, in King of New York, if Manhattan is empty or a monster there yields its position, you must move into Manhattan. However, you also have other opportunities to move around New York, too. There are five distinct boroughs you can rampage: Staten Island, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Each has high rises, apartment buildings and/or hospitals ripe for destruction. Of course, these new rampaging opportunities come with a cost. In King of New York, the humans fight back with Infantry, Jets and Tanks!
There’s a little more to setting up King of New York. In addition to each player taking a monster board and standee, you need to shuffle the new double-sided Building Tiles and place them, building-side up, in stacks of three, three stacks per borough, on the board. Each Building Tile depicts a building on one side and a fighting Unit on the other. The number in the bottom right corner of each Tile indicates its Durability and the icon(s) in the bottom left your reward for destroying it. Coolness! More things for you to destroy! Shuffle the Power Cards and turn up the top three as usual, and set the new Statue of Liberty and Superstar cards to the side – they’ll come into play later. Make a couple piles of the energy cubes so everyone can reach them and you’re good to go. You can get the tokens out as they come up.
When you first roll the dice in King of New York, you’ll notice there are a few new symbols in place of the numbers. In addition to the Heart (Heal), Claw (Attack) and Lightning Bolt (Energy), there’s a Star (Celebrity), a Broken Building (Destruction), and a Hurt Monster (Ouch!). After rolling the dice up to three times, resolve them as follows:
- For each Heart you rolled, heal one point of damage (up to the maximum of 10 – unless you have a mutation that says otherwise) as long as you’re not in Manhattan. Hearts can’t heal you while you’re in Manhattan.
- For each Lightning Bolt, take one energy cube.
- For each Claw you rolled, deal damage to your fellow monsters: if you’re in Manhattan, you damage all monsters in other boroughs; if you’re in a borough other than Manhattan, you damage all monsters in Manhattan. When you attack a monster in Manhattan, that monster can choose to yield Manhattan to you (after recording the damage) – assuming you didn’t kill him, that is. If the monster yields – or dies – you must enter Manhattan during your Move phase. So be wary of rolling claws if your health is poor.
- If you rolled at least three Stars (Celebrity), you’re the talk of the town, and get to take the Superstar card and place it in front of you. You also immediately gain 1 fame (victory point) for the first three stars you rolled and an additional VP for each additional star. In future turns, as long as you retain control of the Superstar card, you’ll earn 1 fame for each Star you roll. However, if another monster rolls three Stars on his turn, he becomes the next big celebrity and steals your Superstar status (card).
- With enough Destruction (broken building icons), you can destroy one or more Buildings and/or take out the pesky attacking humans (Units) in your borough. Each Tile’s Durability (lower right corner) indicates how many Destruction dice you have to apply to it in order to destroy it. (You cannot partially harm a Building or Unit – it’s all or nothing.) As a reward for wreaking Destruction, you’ll earn fame, energy or healing according to the icon(s) in the bottom left corner of the Tile. If you destroyed a Building, flip it over so its Unit side is face up and place it in your borough. If another Building was underneath the Tile you destroyed, you can now destroy it or another Building or Unit in your borough if you have enough Destruction dice left. However, you may not destroy a Unit on the same turn that it appears. When you do destroy a Unit, place it in front of you as a trophy. If you have enough Destruction to destroy something, you must, but you don’t have to optimize your Destruction. You can apply it willy nilly if you desire.
- Ouch! And now we come to the humans fighting back. When you roll at least one Ouch!, the military opens fire. If you rolled only one Ouch!, they just attack you and you take one damage per Unit Tile in your borough. If you rolled two Ouches, they attack all of the monsters in your borough dealing one damage per Unit to each monster there. If you rolled three Ouches, the entire city of New York fights back and each monster, including you, takes one damage per Unit in his borough. In addition, by triggering this city-wide defense, you become the defender of the city and The Statue of Liberty teams up with you. Take the card and place it in front of you and give yourself 3 well-earned fame points. Should you lose the Statue of Liberty to another plucky monster – Show off! – you immediately lose the 3 fame.
After you finish resolving the dice you rolled, it’s time to Move. Monsters need exercise, too! If no one is currently in Manhattan, guess where you’re going. If you’re already in Manhattan, advance to the next space up. As you move further up, from Lower Manhattan to Midtown and then ultimately to Upper Manhattan, the rewards of being there at the beginning of your turn increase. When you first enter Manhattan, you always earn 1 fame. If you’re still in Manhattan at the beginning of your turn, you’ll earn 1 fame and 1 energy in Lower Manhattan, 2 fame and 1 energy in Midtown, and 2 fame and 2 energy in Upper Manhattan. Of course, it’s dangerous to stay in Manhattan – all those other monsters taking whacks at you – plus you can’t use any Hearts you roll to heal.
To conclude your turn, you may now buy cards – at your discretion, this is not mandatory. You can choose from among the three face up cards, paying Energy cubes per the cost noted in the top left corner of the card. Whenever you buy a card, immediately turn up a new one. You can buy as many as you like as long as you have the Energy to pay for them. You can also spend 2 Energy to clear the display and turn up 3 new cards. As in King of Tokyo, King of New York Power Cards come in two flavors: Discard and Keep. When you buy a Discard-type card, immediately apply its effect and place it in the discard pile. Place Keep cards in face up in front of you; their text explains when they apply. When you’re finished shopping for Power Cards, any End of Turn card effects activate. Pass the dice to the next player, so she can begin rolling.
King of New York includes a whole new host of gigantic, mutant monsters. There’s Kong, a giant white-haired ape – perhaps the abominable cousin to King Kong? – with a star on his belly and shiny lighted gauntlets. Mantis, the giant preying mantis, aka gimantis, clearly has a penchant for power tools – she may have been inspired by Kamacuras from Son of Godzilla. Rob the robot is most likely a play on Robbie the Robot. Sharks have menaced man for centuries – Jaws scared a whole generation of kids out of the water – so Captain Fish, wearing his fish bowl helmet and swinging a cruise ship as a flail, is a good fit. Drakonis bears a striking resemblance to Rodan of giant-monster-movie fame – wings and all. And finally, there’s a new Sheriff in town: a giant orange dinosaur complete with sheriff hat, shiny star badge and gun belt – maybe inspired by the T-Rex in Jurassic Park?
The cool thing about all these new monsters is that you can also use them in King of Tokyo and vice versa. The Power Cards, however, are not interchangeable.
King of New York supports 2 to 6 players ages 10 and up. Play time is a little longer than in King of Tokyo: about 40 minutes instead of 30. If you love King of Tokyo and would like a little meatier game with more paths to victory, then King of New York is a no-brainer. For instance, if you’re healthy and feeling frisky, you might pound your chest and try to roll three Ouches so you can partner up with the Statue of Liberty and damage your fellow monsters. If you time it right – like when some of the others are ailin’ – well, the effects of the whole city rising up in resistance could be devastating – to your fellow monsters. Of course, you could simply try to avoid all the conflict with other monsters and focus on destroying Buildings and Units or get your name in the lights on Broadway and become a Superstar! King of New York offers all of these options and more, making replayability skyscraper high.
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Copyright © 2015 by Tina G. McDuffie. All rights reserved.
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