Godzilla: Tokyo Clash Review

Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - 12:00 | By: Giaco Furino
Crushed Buildings, Clean Design

The screams of terror rise up below your huge, stomping feet, but you pay them no mind. Just like you pay no mind to the tanks firing rockets at you, the train cars crisscrossing the tracks, or even the UFOs flying over head. You are the great King Ghidorah, and the only thing that concerns you is being the biggest, baddest giant monster in Tokyo. But Godzilla's rising out of the water, Megalon just tunneled up through the earth, and you can hear Mothra's screech in the distance. How are you going to protect yourself against these lesser beings and come out on top? There's only one answer: you need to destroy them. That's the aim of the game in Godzilla: Tokyo Clash by Funko Games.

Godzilla and Megalon clash in the streets of Tokyo!
Godzilla and Megalon clash in the streets of Tokyo!

Godzilla: Tokyo Clash is a strategy battle game for 2 to 4 players. Each player takes on the role of one of 4 famous Godzilla monsters, Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Megalon, or Mothra, with the aim of accruing the most victory points at the end of the game. Points are awarded when damage is dealt (in a unique manner we'll cover in a moment), and the player with the most when time runs out wins.

To play the game, each monster comes with their own personalized deck of cards. Some cards allow you to move across the hex-based modular board, while others allow melee or ranged attacks. Almost every card has some energy cost, and here's the part that feels very thematic. you gain the energy needed to use your cards by destroying buildings and vehicles. If I throw a tank into a skyscraper, I may not be doing any damage to my opponent, but I am charging up my energy to perform more powerful abilities.

The four playable monsters in Godzilla: Tokyo Clash
The four playable monsters in Godzilla: Tokyo Clash.

Each monster in the game comes with their own special ability to add to their unique deck of cards. Godzilla can throw vehicles and opponents further than anyone else. Megalon can grab a card from the discard pile before drawing a new hand. King Ghidorah slowly charges up all 3 of its heads before it can unleash a devastating attack. Mothra gains points just for being next to buildings, and doesn't need to destroy them like everyone else does. These light thematic touches add an approachable level of complexity to the game's clean design. 

 
 

What I'm really intrigued by in this game is the way damage is dealt, and how that funnels directly into victory points scored. First, the attacker plays a card to deal damage to their opponent. Then the opponent can (if they have one) play a card to mitigate some or all of that damage. If there's any remaining damage, the attacker draws that many cards from their opponents deck. Each card in said deck has a victory point amount on it. You take the highest victory point card from your opponent, put it in your trophy pile, and then discard the rest. So not only are you fishing through their cards for high points, you're also removing options from their deck. It's elegantly designed, and feels just as big and exciting as a battle between Kaiju should feel.

Power cards for Godzilla
Power cards for Godzilla: Tokyo Clash.

The look of this game calls just as much attention to itself as its clever and easy-to-understand ruleset. The map, which is modularly constructed of hexagon tiles, includes spaces to add 3D buildings and tokens representing vehicles. The result is a map that feels worthy of the beautiful monster miniatures that come with the game. You really feel like a giant beast weaving through skyscrapers in downtown Tokyo, and it brings that immersion even more to the foreground.

The BottoM Line

Godzilla: Tokyo Clash truly captures that fantastic feeling of giant monsters stomping around Tokyo that you'd expect from a Godzilla game. It makes a promise to the prospective player when they look at that colorful, bold box art, and it keeps that promise. This is a game that rewards the player for destroying property and challenges them with outside influences (like the military and navy), but in the end it's all about player vs. player, duking it out for the title of the biggest, nastiest monster. It's tactilely pleasing, approachable, and fast-paced for a miniature-based strategy game. In effect, it's everything you'd want and expect from a game called Godzilla: Tokyo Clash.

Get This Game If:

  • You're a Godzilla fan (or curious about the franchise)
  • You're looking for a light miniature battle game with everything you need in the box
  • You've always wanted to dropkick a subway train into a three-headed dragon monster

Avoid This Game If:

  • You're luck-averse (the damage system does rely on drawing random enemy cards)
  • You're more of a Gamera person

The copy of Godzilla: Tokyo Clash used in this review was provided by Funko Games.


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Deputy Tabletop Editor

Giaco Furino is a screenwriter, writer, and editor living and working in Brooklyn, NY.