Review: King of Tokyo Cthulhu Monster Pack

cthulhumonsterpack

Length

Release Date
Designer: Richard Garfield
Publisher: IELLO
Category: Family Game, Dice Game
Player Count: 2-6
BoardGameGeek Rating: 7.4 (34 votes)
Price: $9.99 MSRP
IELLO’s success over the past five years has largely hinged on the immensely popular game King of Tokyo and its successor King of New York. You can find many debates on the internet about which game is better, but IELLO’s ultimate goal is, of course, for you to buy both. The first phase of that plan was King of New York: Power Up!which includes a new monster, Power Up cards for all of the King of New York monsters, and Power Up cards to use those same monsters in King of Tokyo. Now they’re in phase 2 of their nefarious money-making scheme, with individual Monster Packs that include a new monster, and Power Up cards for that monster for both games. Unsurprisingly, for anyone who follows hobby board gaming, the first monster pack is Cthulhu.  Of course, King of New York: Power Up! was extremely effective, as it convinced me to go out and buy King of New York. Will Cthulhu be just as convincing? Let’s find out! 

Content Guide

Cthulhu is a bit creepy, and while it’s handled light-heartedly in this game, he is, of course, a “god” in that mythos, and there are Cultist tokens. And again, King of Tokyo and King of New York are all about smashing stuff. 

Review

The first thing I really like about this Monster Pack is that they chose to step it up a notch and make a bit more than the Monster figure and board, and the cards. There are also a set of tokens that work as buildings in King of New York, and simply work as a bonus for rolling four-of-a-kind in King of Tokyo. You can use the new tokens without the monster, although not really the other way around—some Cthulhu cards reference the tokens. This gives you considerably more bang for your buck. While the King of Tokyo rule feels somewhat generic, I like the four-of-a-kind more than the three-hearts rule that grants Power Ups in the first place, since it’s a bit more flexible and can reward some rolls you normally might not consider (e.g. four 1s). It’s a bit more natural in King of New York, since the tokens naturally replace some of the buildings. Only the Cultist side of the tokens is used in King of Tokyo, while the buildings are used in King of New York—and they have their own share of new contributions. There are some expensive buildings that give extra power-up cards, and even extra turns!
The question, then, isn’t really if the content is any good. This is a “more of the same” expansion with a few new twists, but for the most part any fan of King of Tokyo or King of New York is going to have a really hard time finding any faults with this expansion’s content. The real question is whether a $9.99 one-shot monster pack is justifiable or a $39.99 game. Personally, I would say yes, at least for this pack. The tokens add an extra layer of gameplay, and Cthulhu himself is well-done and a fun addition to gameplay. I’d start with the bigger expansions first, but this is a nice bonus for us King of Tokyo / New York fanatics.
Thank you to IELLO for providing a review copy of the Cthulhu Monster Pack. 

The Bottom Line

 

Derek Thompson

I've been a board game reviewer since 2011. I love card-driven games and party games. I have a Ph.D. in Mathematics and teach the subject at Taylor University in Upland, IN. My wife and kids are my favorite gaming partners.