Monsters don't get any more iconic than Godzilla, and now Prospero Hall and Funko Games have brought the King of the Monsters to the tabletop world with a thoroughly entertaining new game Godzilla: Tokyo Clash. The game delivers everything you'd want from a Godzilla adventure, with massive Kaiju hurling tanks, trains, and even UFOs while leaving absolute destruction in their wake. The whole experience is just as entertaining as it sounds, though it's the surprising depth underneath those combat mechanics that makes it sing for longtime gamers and new players alike.
Godzilla: Tokyo Clash is a competitive game for two to four players that puts you in the massive shoes of one of four iconic Kaiju. Players can choose from Godzilla, Megalon, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, who each have a unique character ability and two distinct discard abilities that will be paramount to your success. Each Kaiju has its own unique deck as well, which come with their own strengths and weaknesses, and there was quite a bit of fun to be had exploring the different play styles each Kaiju allows.
Godzilla, for instance, is a good all-around character, while Mothra (easily my favorite) is naturally impervious to some of the threats you'll see on the board, so good luck beating her if you have to deal with jets and battleships but she doesn't. Both Mothra and Megalon also specialize in combos due to the big presence of Momentum cards in their deck, which allows you to use another card or Discard Action after using a card with that keyword. As for Ghidorah, he's all about aggression, with deadly attacks that can net him energy, and his Barrage ability means he can also get some bonuses if he's built up his Head Meter. In my experience, he has a hard time getting close sometimes, but when he does, he can make up ground incredibly quickly.
Players will also need to make decisions based on what's present on the board, as each round they'll need to deal with vehicles in several ways. Thanks to Event Cards, Vehicles like Tanks and Battleships can damage you or your Trophy pile, so your strategy might be to get rid of them quickly. That's sound in theory, but throwing vehicles and other Kaiju is essential to destroying small and large buildings around the board, which nets you the energy you need to afford higher-cost cards, so you'll need to figure out which strategy suits you best.
This push and pull means you'll be avoiding certain elements until you're ready to use them, introducing a welcome tension as you wait and hope that your opponent won't clear the board before you're ready. Luckily, the game does a nice job of always keeping options in play, as vehicles can respawn every round depending on the Event Card you activate, but it can delay or ruin your plan of attack at the moment, as it did mine several times (Ghidorah's a jerk...that is all).
You're also trying to get in as much damage to your opponent and to the buildings that populate the board as possible, as each round the Oxygen Destroyer the Humans are working on moves closer to its goal on the Damage Track, and once that coincides with the blown-up Building counters you add to it with every destroyed Small Building, the game is over. This is another prime example of a mechanic that serves a surface purpose (ending the game) but can also factor into a player's strategy.
For example, at one point I knew I was way ahead in trophies, as Mothra was unaffected by the main hazards on the map and Ghidorah kept getting his trophies removed by Battleships (sweet revenge, my friend). At this point, Ghidorah could still mount a comeback if left to his own devices, so I decided to start targeting small buildings around me instead of going after Ghidorah directly because if I could clear enough of them over the next round or two the Oxygen Destroyer would meet the Building Counter on the Damage Track and the game would be over, cutting Ghidorah's comeback off before it could begin.
The damage you do to other Kaiju is represented via Trophies, which are cards you take from your opponent's deck with a Dominance Value at the bottom of the card. You're allowed to take the highest one, and at the end of the game, you'll add all these points up to learn who the true King of the Monsters is. The first player token can also be counted for two extra points if you have it at the end of the game, so there is an additional strategy in getting one last hit in if you feel the game is going to be close.
Godzilla: Tokyo Clash delivers all the over-the-top action and devastation you expect from a Godzilla game without sacrificing the depth needed to make it infinitely replayable. The more players involved, the more chaotic and fun this adventure gets, but regardless of how many are throwing down in this monster fight, you're going to have a delightful time.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Published By: Funko Games0comments
Designed By: Prospero Hall