The King of New York Power Up! expansion requires King of New York to play. Check out our King of New York review if you want to know more. If you already have King of New York, read on.
The King of New York Power Up! expansion adds a new monster, Mega Shark to your King Of New York games. It also adds a missing component from the core game, adding a unique feel to each playable monster. In the core King of New York game, the monsters are only differentiated by their looks in the cardboard figure you use to represent your monster in-game. Power Up! adds a set of eight evolution cards for each monster. The evolution cards give each monster a unique evolution ability that can be played at any time, unless specified by the card. You gain one card at the start of the game and more if you roll three hearts during your turn. This makes each monster feel and play slightly differently, which has a huge impact on selecting your monster and also encourages you to play different monsters to try out their evolution abilities.
After introducing new players to the game, introducing the evolution cards is very straightforward. They don't have a huge impact, but they do make playing each monster different and feel unique, which has a great effect on the thematic feel for the game. Once you've played a game with them, you won't want to play future games without them.
Some of our favorite evolution cards are Mantis' "Swarm of Locusts," which lets you roll an extra dice that turn and lets you return the card to you hand if you roll three hearts later, meaning you can try to bounce this card on alternative turns, healing one turn and rolling an extra dice the next. We also love the new monster Mega Shark's "Loan Shark," which forces another monster to pay you three energy (plus the return of the three energy you give them) or lose a health. This is very good for whittling down their health each turn until they can generate energy, and if they pay, you just give it back to them next turn.
King of New York Power Up! also contains the Evolution cards for the New York monsters to be played in King of Tokyo, as that plays slightly differently, which is a very nice touch. If you own both games, and we strongly encourage you to own both games, the buy-in value for this expansion becomes incredible. If you are mixing the monsters fully with King of Tokyo, you will need to purchase King of Tokyo Power Up as well, but if you are only playing the King of New York monsters in Tokyo, this purchase alone is fine.
The Bottom Line:
King of New York Power Up! is an essential purchase to make the monsters feel unique and adds great depth and theme to them. The new monster Mega Shark is a solid addition, but the reason for your purchase of Power Up should be for the evolution cards which will take your King of experience to the next level. It doesn't impact the complexity of the game after you've learned the rules, as the requirements are printed on the cards you draw, but does improve an already incredible game.
Get this game if:
You love King of New York / King of Tokyo.
You want the extra depth and theme for each monster.
You want to play Mega Shark in King of New York / King of Tokyo.
Avoid this game if:
You don't own King of New York / King of Tokyo.
You don't like playing games with people.
You don't like fun.
This copy of King of New York Power Up! used for this review was provided by CoiledSpring Games.
King of New York Power Up! is a fantastic edition to King of New York and adds what was missing from an already incredible game. Owning both King of New York and King of Tokyo (plus Tokyo Power Up) doubles the value of this expansion as it is compatible with both core sets.