Godzilla: Tokyo Clash
Godzilla: Tokyo Clash (2020) board game review
Godzilla: Tokyo Clash is a board game from Funko Games where the players will fill the shoes of the massive kaiju from the Godzilla monsterverse, including Megalon, Mothra, Ghidorah, and of course, Godzilla. Players will compete by managing and playing cards to destroy more of Tokyo than the other players. And what better way than to destroy the city by throwing the other monsters through buildings?
With the release of another monster v monster clash bringing the box office back, this felt like the perfect game to break out this weekend! Godzilla: Tokyo Clash is not the first Godzilla board game. (There are dozens actually.) However it is currently the highest rated Godzilla based board game on Board Game Geek. (With enough ratings to quality for a ranking that is.) The game is designed for 2-4 players and takes about 45 minutes to play, with perhaps about 5 minutes to setup 15-20 minutes to learn if you are playing for the first time. And while we have a slew of complex game reviews probably coming up, the age recommendation on this game is only 10+.
We have played Tokyo Clash at least four times, which has given us the chance to play as each monster, as well as a variable number of players. And, while this may be obvious as we are reviewing it, this game is a ton of fun! The game is designed by Prospero Hall from Seattle, which also worked on the 2019 games Jaws and Horrified. While Jaws is a fairly average game, Horrified is a ton of fun that manages to be replayable without needing to lean on complexity as a draw. Godzilla is the same, as the gameplay is honestly not too hard, but the strategies change each game depending on the variables I mentioned earlier.
The gameplay itself does mostly consist of drawing, managing, and playing cards. Most of the monster movement comes from these cards, as well as of course most of the attack abilities. Each monster also has an energy level based on the damage that they have caused that can also play into either using stronger abilities, like Godzilla’s Atomic Breath, as well as an ability specific to each monster that they can use. You can play enhancements to make your rampage more effective, and the offense/defense aspect of the game makes being careful with the hand of cards you have a priority. Each game also throws in a random element, like tanks, planes, trains, or in true Toho fashion, UFOs, to change the difficulty as the puny humans attempt to slow down the monsters. All this while they are secretly working on the Oxygen Destroyer, which acts as a time limit for the game.
My only real gripe with the gameplay itself is that movement is mostly determined by cards. So if you get a bad hand, it limits your positioning for to play the cards you have. On top of that, scoring points against other monsters means collecting cards from them. That player does not get those cards back, so if you take a strong attack, it limits the monsters ability to deal that damage back. Once you start a winning streak, it’s hard to stop you. This is where more players contribute towards the balance of the game, as well as the play style of each monster. We have played with 2, 3, and 4, and this game is best with 4 players.
Another gripe I have is that the human element does very little towards the difficulty. It is annoying, but rarely changes the gameplay. (Much like they do in the movies ironically.) But while the gameplay isn’t always balanced, the game does excel at the almost silliness of the concept itself, as even Godzilla’s hilariously cheesy Tail Slide makes its way into a surprisingly fun zoning strategy. And this is where this game really excels, as the gameplay itself is actually very unique. The combination of card strategy with a big 3D map that monsters throw each other around through not only plays well, but it FEELS like Godzilla!
So if you play board games that fall right even on the easier side between Candy Land and Twilight Imperium, and you just really want to dive into all the crazy Godzilla goodness that is the Toho series, I’d give this game a try! The playtime is shorter, but not too short as to feel trivial. There is certainly a strategy to implement, but you don’t have to commit to an hour of instructions, nor inexperience in games causing your ultimate downfall as you attempt to compete for the destruction of Tokyo. It’s a very fun game with a wonderful esthetic that showcases alot of love for these characters, even managing to recreate the feel of the older films in its gameplay. I do think the difficulty in making a comeback in this game hurts it more than anything else, but for only about a $25-35 retail, it’s a really fun game to own! 7/10.
So Godzilla: Tokyo Clash? Have you played it? What did you think? And what monsters would you add to the came in hopefully upcoming expansions? Be sure to leave a like or a comment below and let us know! And if you liked this game review and you want to read more like it, please let us know your thoughts below! As I said, this is our first game review, so feedback is more than welcome!
-review by Ryan Prince