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Funko Games: Godzilla: Tokyo Clash Review

Posted by: Nick on June 3, 2020 at 12:30 PM CST

Once again a special thanks to our friends at Funko Games for providing this review copy. Continuing our Funko Games week, we have another major entertainment licensed game from Prospero Hall.

Drawing From the Best and Campiest Parts of the Movies

The Godzilla movies have always been campy. Not just the over expressive people in cheesy costumes serving as the titular character and the Kaiju but the crazy plots (spacemen from the third planet of the blackhole) and the odd technological panaceas (oxygen destroyer). This game draws on those essential elements and makes them part of your gameplay, should you decide to include them (more on that later). Prospero Hall, like the Back to the Future: Back in Time, properly drew on these elements to give it a kick of nostalgia and do a little world building. We continue to be impressed by their research and attention to detail when assembling the various elements of their games.

The Monsters

Of course this game would be nothing without the monsters and there is a great ensemble here. Fan favorites and frequent stars Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Megalon are available for players to choose. Each has their own unique skill set and additional abilities that customize your play. Godzilla has a mix of ranged and melee attacks with iconic moves like his tail whip and radioactive breath (not referred to as radioactive here). Like the movies he excels at throwing Kaiju and vehicles (more on that later) and can do so farther than the other monsters.

King Ghidorah is all about those heads. As you power them up you can unleash devastating attacks to dominate your opponents and run up your score. Again a good mix of range and melee.

Megalon is a brawler and mostly uses melee attacks, as he should. Most of his abilities allow you to chain attacks, and he was the clear victor in our first play through because of this. Don't underestimate this character.

Mothra, just like in the movies, relies on ranged attacks. This helps keep you out of harms way and damage to your opponents. Also like in the movies, Mothra is a friend to the humans, so they do not target you. However, you cannot destroy vehicles or buildings to get that coveted energy needed to perform moves, so there is a tradeoff.

The biggest critique we had on the character choices was the absence of Rodan, a fan favorite and frequent star. We understand Prospero Hall probably wanted to balance gameplay and already included a flying, ranged Kaiju. We hope there is room for an expansion pack in the future with other Kaiju so Rodan and others can make an appearance (maybe some of the robotic monsters?). This could be done relatively easy with just the addition of the monster token, the creature card deck, and the character card in some sort of expansion pack (maybe through in another event card and pieces for good measure).

Gameplay and Setup

This game has one straightforward goal, become the king of monsters!!! It's easy to get lost in the destruction, we did, and lose focus of your goal. Bottom line, you just need to attack the other monsters and take "trophies" from the battle. Whoever has the most points at the end wins. Like the Cones of Dunshire is all about the cones, this is all about the trophies.

The setup is relatively easy. Depending on how many players you have you use a certain number of tiles representing the city of Tokyo. These tiles can be arranged anyway you want, randomizing gameplay and layout of the board. The tiles include structures such as large buildings (military bunkers, power plants, tall buildings, and radar dishes) and small buildings. Depending on your chosen events, tanks, jets, battleship, lightning generators, trains, and UFOs (see spacemen) cn join the board. You can destroy these buildings with attack cards or by throwing vehicles or other Kaiju into them (which we recommend because you can do this from a distance, especially with Godzilla). The destruction grants you energy needed to use your stronger power cards. Certain buildings give you bonuses, such as additional energy, an extra play card, choosing a card from your discard pile to play again, or seeing the next card on your opponents deck (a strategic move for trophy taking). The only issue we found here is in a four-player game, there are more small building squares than small buildings. This could be an oversight or simply just something to ignore because you can only destroy so much before the game ends (we'll get to this in a minute).

To gain prestige on your path to becoming the king of monsters, you must damage the other monsters. This is achieved by using your Kaiju cards to throw other Kaiju, throw vehicles at Kaiju, or use your melee or ranged attacks against the Kaiju. These action sometimes require energy, hence the need to destroy (it's not just fun, it serves a purpose). Attacks have a certain value and the higher the value the more cards you draw from your opponent. The highest value card is yours to keep as a "trophy", or dominance points, and the rest are discarded. Simple enough right? Well, it gets more challenging here because there are defense cards that either block the attack completely or reduce the cards you can draw. Also if you only draw cards with a zero value, you don't get to keep them rendering the attack useless (remember that strategic look ability we mentioned before?). There are also chain attacks or special attacks that let you take multiple trophies, so you can definitely rack up a score quickly. To keep things interesting, every time you attack another Kaiju the king of monsters token changes hands, allowing you to start the round with an extra play card and if you end the game with it, an extra two dominate points. To add to uniqueness of play, each character has specific enhancement cards, some with passive benefits that help you gain energy or add defensive capability. There was a little confusion with the rules and activating these cards. We talked with Funko Games and they confirmed there is a one time activation cost for these before they then move to the enhancement track and remain passively in use unless you have to discard them to get the benefits. Once activated the cards leave your hand so they do not count against you hand maximum in the next refresh.

If this wasn't enough, there are events that come into play. You can chose two scenarios for each game involving jets, tanks, trains, battleships, lightning generators, or UFOs. These perform actions at the end of each round generally either advance toward the players, a along a certain path, or refresh their numbers. These obstacles either provide opportunities for players to get energy by destroying or target players and take their energy (except for you Mothra, we love you).

The game functions in a four-stage play for each round. Players choose to use their cards or pass until all players pass. The next round involves drawing and discarding action cards and activating any additional abilities or enhancements. Then the events come into play targeting players and resetting the additional in game obstacles. Finally, the next round starts with the oxygen destroyer moving (see we mentioned that earlier for a reason). Essentially the game ends when the oxygen destroyer gets to a pre-determined end state or when destruction forces the end state sooner. Basically, the more small buildings you destroy to get energy, the sooner the humans deploy the oxygen destroyer to kill the Kaiju. For example, if you are winning in dominance points you might want that to happen sooner, so get destructive!

Final Thoughts

This is not a game we expected to find but it is most definitely one we are glad we found. It plays just like a Godzilla movie and is simple enough to dive in with a quick, destructive game. We found the rules incredibly easy to understand and providing depth and challenge to the game. Prospero Hall again did some great world building and made this feel more like an experience than a board game, capturing a lot of the magic of the movies. The randomization of the board tiles and ability to change up game events creates great replay value. So assemble your friends for some destruction and dominance as you compete in your own quest to become the king of monsters!

Look for Godzilla: Tokyo Clash later this summer!

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