[This is a product-sponsored review by the wunderbar folks at FUNKO. All content within spawns from a first-time playthrough of the exact item available via retail.] Can you remember the […]
[This is a product-sponsored review by the wunderbar folks at FUNKO. All content within spawns from a first-time playthrough of the exact item available via retail.]
Can you remember the last time there was this much Godzilla merchandise in the biggest stores across the country? Not just sloppy merch or movie tie-ins, either – but a plethora of genuinely superb offerings from titans like NECA, Parker Brothers, and (of course) Funko – are up for grabs on the main aisles of Target, Wal-Mart, bookstores, game stores – you name it. The last time anything close to this in scale existed for the King of the Monsters this side of the Pacific was during GINO’s 1998 heyday, and the immensely popular TRENDMASTERS Toy craze of the early 90s before it.
To put it briefly: it is a superb time to be a fan of the big guy – and Funko’s GODZILLA: TOKYO CLASH is one of the best offerings for the IP out there. Far more tabletop than boardgame, this uniquely and beautifully crafted release is a prime example of the top-tier merchandise diehard fans have been waiting decades for – and the best part? It’s actually a blast to play.
TOKYO CLASH pits the three most well-known kaiju in existence – GODZILLA, MOTHRA, and KING GHIDORAH – alongside a lesser-known foe to non-fans, MEGALON – against each other in an all out brawl for dominance and the title of KING OF THE MONSTERS. The setting is, of course, Tokyo, and while there’s not much in the way of visual cues to distinguish the playing area as this iconic location – the pieces, cards, and figures offered do go a long way in setting the tone for a truly satisfying experience.
I sat down with a fellow fan, and two completely Godzilla-less boardgame fans, to battle through an inaugural playthrough, and for those looking for a short review:
This is an excellent tabletop experience fans have been waiting decades for. We will be playing it again, and soon!
For those wishing for more detail, well, let’s get the downsides out of the way and move right on into the excellence of this title, because the pros far outweigh the cons.
PROS & CONS
CON: Firstly, the learning curve for this title is steep. That’s not to say it is anywhere near impossible to play, but the game is absolutely right to recommend an age set of 10+. While the rule book denotes a standard play time of 45 minutes to an hour, it took a table of four college-degree-wielding adults this recommended play time just to get the game set up correctly, then figure out the core mechanics (*three of the players, including myself, are experienced tabletop players).
CON: The rule book is vague when it comes to the core mechanic of the game. Important principles like “How do I do damage to my opponent” and “How do I destroy buildings specifically” are only addressed in roundabout ways as secondary parts of other mechanics. The guide could sincerely use a ‘core mechanic breakdown/player goals’ section to lead players in before it even touches on how to start running through turns.
PRO: This game is fun, period, for fans and non-fans alike. Once you surmount the learning curve and get going, TOKYO CLASH is a literal blast. There are a lot of moving pieces, but this makes for an intricate player experience that far surpasses what any of our players were expecting.
PRO: Replay Value is extremely high. The game is designed at its core to be played with a different setup every time, and this plants it firmly amongst some of the best tabletop titles I’ve played. The honeycomb tiles designed for the play area are provided in triangular sets of three, and can be rearranged to make a new board for each experience, something that goes a long way in justifying the $34.99 price point. If you’re a fan of either Godzilla or solid tabletop brawlers – you’ll want to play this one again as soon as you finish.
PRO: The artwork and monster miniatures are phenomenal. Funko didn’t rehash any known figures or source a single piece of pre-existing franchise art for this game. TOKYO CLASH is positively packed with brilliantly vibrant kaiju art to accompany the exceptional kaiju miniatures. Each playable monster has his or her own extensive deck of cards (alongside character mats, etc.) full of new art worthy of entire product lines. The art design of this title goes a long way to immerse players into the game. Those in our party unfamiliar with TOHO’s work were just as taken with the included pieces simply because they’re truly pleasing to play with – especially the miniatures.
PRO: This is a well-made product. All included tiles, cards, tokens, and/or pieces are made with either thick cardboard or paperstock to ensure the game lasts as long as you’d like it to. At the price point, this was a very welcomed surprise.
PRO: Gameplay feels like a true brawl. This i cannot stress enough. Once you figure out the game’s core mechanic – that your deck of cards serves as your very essence and health – everything takes off into a wonderfully unique and intense PvP monster mash. Figuring out that you have enough energy to nail Ghidorah with a napalm blast to the face before throwing him three spaces back with momentum is immensely satisfying, to say the least. It is this penchant for the development of intense kaiju rivalries that has me itching to play the game again already.
PRO: TOKYO CLASH was clearly made by fans of the TOHO films. This may seem like an obvious to some – but many long-time Godzilla fans know that our beloved IP often gets treated with a malicious irreverence; as either kiddie fodder or a property so ridiculous it doesn’t warrant artistic endeavor. Funko, however, has crafted a love-letter to kaiju eiga, going as far as to ensure each kaiju has every one of their iconic (sometimes obscure) abilities on-hand. Whether it’s the perfect art for Megalon’s napalm spewing or surprise appearances from Gigan and Jet Jaguar, this attention to detail and loving respect for the source material rockets the game up there to my favorite Godzilla boardgame ever purchased. And for a guy who’s been collecting since age 5 and running a Godzilla website for over a decade – I’d say that’s high, but well-earned, praise.
All in all, if you’re hesitating to pick up this title, don’t. It’s a superb release by Funko Games, and an experience that will appease newcomers and veterans of both Godzilla & Tabletop games alike.
We had an absolute blast playing through TOKYO CLASH, and if you can’t tell – we’re sincerely looking forward to stomping our way through it again!
GODZILLA: TOKYO CLASH is available at your local Target, and on the FUNKO GAMES WEBSITE for $35. Grab yours by clicking the image or link above!
To check out the full gallery of our own 4-player experience with the game, click on the images below: