I recently got a very generous wedding anniversary present from my lovely wife. I’d forgotten a bag of games for a family Christening a few weeks ago and instead of putting up with me moping about miserably for the weekend we managed to find a small shop in Street, Somerset. Within this glorious emporium I discovered a small, but well chosen collection of games to pick from. Among the games I found one I have played and wanted and another I hadn’t played but REALLY wanted. Those were King of Tokyo by Iello Games and Rampage from Repos Production.
Seeing me struggle to pick between them, Megan suggested she buy them both as my anniversary present from her. AWESOME! Playing Rampage on this particular weekend was going to be a struggle, but we did get in a few rounds of King of Tokyo at least!
King of Tokyo is a two to six player push your luck dice rolling game which sees players assume the role of giant kaiju monsters besieging the city of Tokyo. The aim of the game is to either be the first monster to 20 victory points or last monster standing. In order to gain points or vanquish your horrible foes players roll a set of six dice which result in either sets of victory points, damage to your fellow monsters or receiving energy or health. Energy cubes give you the chance to purchase cards from a deck and these cards give extra powers or abilities, such as additional dice or re-rolls, extra damage to enemies and other bonuses. Players continue to roll dice until one of the two victory conditions is met. This normally only takes about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of players.
We’ve played this a few times in our regular gaming group and everyone always enjoys it. It’s a great filler game between bigger games… but it’s just as great as a feature game for the night. As rounds only take 20 to 30 minutes you’re always wanting to give it another go straight away. We often do! There’s plenty of luck involved, which isn’t to all gamers’ tastes, but it fits perfectly for our group. The theme is great, the game play quick and light and the game is full of laughs. This will feature regularly, both at home and in gaming nights. I’m pretty sure this is also a great game for introducing non-gamers to the hobby.
Second up is Rampage, designed by the awesome and inspired Antoine Bauza (designer of 7 Wonders, Hanabi, Tokaido and Takenoko). Rampage is based on the Atari game of the same name and it’s basically the same as King of Tokyo, in a way. Instead of rolling dice, you’re actually destroying the city. In the setup of the game you build up all the buildings of the city, stacking floors on top of randomly assigned meeples. You, as a monster, start destroying the city (by dropping your monster onto the map or flicking vehicles into buildings) and hoovering up the meeples for food or attacking the other monsters to steal their teeth! The winner is the player with the most sets of meeples – they’re available in a set of six colours and the idea is to make full sets of each colour and there are various rules that govern which meeples you can pick up from which parts of the city.
It’s a great, dynamic game that should appeal to anyone loving a bit of luck and chaos in their games. It’s, again, a great game for introducing people to hobby gaming as it’s not particularly serious, a lot of fun, colourful and quick (plays in about half an hour). There’s very little strategy involved, other than which building you start smashing up first, but you have to be quite tactical during the game, reacting to other players’ movements, mistakes or missed opportunities.
The design of the game is superb as well, as you’d expect from an Antoine Bauza game. The board and pieces are incredible. It’s not a cheap game, but when you look at the components you realise why the price is as high as it is. And I would say it’s worth every penny. I even got the pack of stickers which you can put onto the meeples, which is a bit of a rarity apparently!
Overall… a great themed pair to add to my growing collection. I’d highly recommend both if you’ve not already picked them up… and if you like the sound of Rampage, get it now… it’ll be changing its name later in the year. To Terror Comes To Meeple City, which in my humblest opinion is terrible in comparison!