The chair creaks as you settle onto it. The candlelight flickers. All around you the ravenous faces of your so-called friends twist in delight as you slowly open the box laid out on the table. Welcome to Dangerous Games! Each week, we'll feature a horror/thriller/monster tabletop game you should be playing. Don't be scared… roll the dice… what's the worst that could happen?
King of Tokyo: Halloween Collector Pack (Iello Games, 2013)
A looming ape tears down a skyscraper. A giant lizard breathes atomic fire down on the bay. Tokyo is under attack! Giant denizens of the deep seas and hidden forests tear the city apart in a desperate vie for power. This is nothing new, nothing the city doesn't have answers for. But the clock is ticking closer to Halloween… you've heard rumors about monsters that come out on October 31st. Suddenly, a rain of flaming pumpkins pelt the downtown district as wispy black smoke circles around the outskirts of the city. Something big is coming to Tokyo… just in time for Halloween.
All the wonders of the witching season come alive in the flavorful expansion to the giant monster dice-rolling game King of Tokyo. The basic rules are still the same: last monster left standing or first to twenty victory points wins. But the new Collector Pack introduces Halloween costumes, two new monsters, and new evolutions! Can you scare up a win with this expansion?
A few months back I reviewed King of Tokyo, and the rules here are generally the same. The goal is to keep your monster in Tokyo for as long as possible without getting beat upon by your opponents. You roll dice to hit, heal, and get power-ups. The Halloween Collector Pack doesn't change those basic principles, but it does add a lot to the new game.
First, though this doesn't effect mechanics at all, there are two new monsters: there's Pumpkin Jack, a giant pumpkin-headed monstrosity, and Boogie Woogie, a nightmarish mixture of smoke and ooze. Both have evolution cards, which change their characters as the game progresses. But the real cool addition here are the costume cards. With twelve different options, the costumes can be bought like other power ups and drastically change the game. But if someone hits you hard enough they can steal your costume from you. It's still a race to the finish - but the pack changes everything.
As an expansion this already changes the replay value of the original game. Will you want to play this expansion over and over? That depends on how much you like Halloween. The new mechanics of the costume cards are fun and unobtrusive. They change the game but not drastically. I'll probably keep my expansion mixed in with my base game forever, but I'm a Halloween junkie. Others may not feel so obliged.
"Hey, Giaco, why are you reviewing a Halloween-themed item a week after the holiday?" The answer to that is my one big complaint with this game: it came out just days before Halloween. Normally, when a company has a holiday-centric product coming out, they release it at least a month before the holiday. This game, whether through oversight or manufacturing complications, came out way too late and way too close to Halloween. Other than that, this is an awesome expansion, worthy of picking up if you like the core game. But it's a weird situation: are you going to play your Halloween expansion over Thanksgiving with family and friends? With King of Tokyo: Halloween Collector Pack, you may have to.