Tabletop Game Review – Godzilla: Tokyo Clash

Godzilla: Tokyo Clash by Funko Games
Price: ~$35.00
Players: 2 to 4
Playtime: ~45 minutes
Perfect for: Groups who enjoy rampaging monster battle games that integrate direct competition and strategy.

Godzilla: Tokyo Clash is a game of kaiju dominance! Players assume control of a legendary beast and engage in combat amidst a cityscape while navigating (and often using) the buildings and vehicles around them. The monster who can best outwit, outmatch, and outlast the others will assume the crown!

To begin Godzilla: Tokyo Clash, two to four players collect their miniature, character sheet, and a corresponding deck of cards which will serve as the actions they can take on their turn. Next, the board is constructed using tiles and populated according to the scenarios chosen for the game (with a wide variety of scenarios and gameboard tiles, several permutations are possible). Elements that will likely go onto the board include buildings of various shapes and sizes as well as unfriendly attackers in the form of tanks, ships, or even UFOs. Trackers are also set up to monitor each players’ energy and game progression.

On a turn, a player chooses a card from their hand (usually starting with five each round from their deck), to perform an action paying its cost from their energy reserves. Common actions including moving or attacking with several options for the latter—ranged attacks from across the board, melee attacks on a target in the player’s tile, or throwing an object such as a vehicle or enemy monster. A throw action typically results in the destruction of some piece of the board, such as a building. This is what gives players more energy and thus the ability to play future cards. If a player attacks another kaiju directly and does damage (defense cards can be played in an attempt to block), they take cards from their target’s deck which will score them trophies (victory points) at the end of the game. The game continues until the destruction of the city outpaces the round tracker, at which time the beast with the most trophy points is victorious.

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What works in Godzilla: Tokyo Clash are the components, the thematic overlay, and the strategic interactions. The tactical elements of Tokyo Clash are abundant and complex which will appeal to players who enjoy battle royale situations in their gameplay. There are pros and cons to every action, and often times patience and/or long-term planning is the wisest course. For example, instead of trying to collect trophies at every opportunity, it may behoove a player to acquire copious amounts of energy to later unleash a chain reaction of devasting attacks.

In terms of what comes in the box, the artwork by Prospero Hall is fantastic. Even the character boards and cards have a bit of a “well worn” look which adds to the overall aesthetic and mood. Finally, the four “miniatures”—if you could even call them that given how large they are—of Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Megalon are simply gorgeous with highly impressive two-tone painting that give them immense depth. The whole package—mechanics coupled with design—makes one feel that they are smack in the middle of a kaiju romp.

Players who don’t prefer directly aggressive games, or ones with intricate rules, may not enjoy Godzilla: Tokyo Clash as much as others. The fighting system can feel overwhelming with its multitude of stipulations regarding attacks, throws, and movement not to mention the provisos that fluctuate with every employed scenario. Simply put, there is a lot to keep track of when taking a turn or concluding a round. Furthermore, as the name suggests, Godzilla: Tokyo Clash is all about attempting to undermine, sabotage, and ultimately obliterate your fellow players. Individuals who favor cooperative play or indirect competition may be less comfortable with this title.

Godzilla: Tokyo Clash is excellent at recreating the very specific experience popularized in the iconic monster movies starring the giant lizard. Players will certain feel as though they are in control of their kaiju battling it out on the streets and the variables available will keep each playthrough fresh.

Recommended if you like: Unmatched, War Chest, King of Tokyo

Final Grade: A
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