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Kaiju by Santiago Eximeno

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Another judge was going to review this entry initially, as I (like several others) had written a similar game back in the mid-90's called Very Large Creature, and I (at least) was worried that my bias towards my own 'giant monster eats a city nothing at all like Tokyo in order to avoid trademark infringement' game might impact the scores for this game... but frankly, as judges go.. I'm it. So, without further adeui...

Kaiju by Santiago Eximeno

Theme: (10 points) Kaiju is a godzilla-like game of giant monsters eating "neo-Madrid"; crushing buildings and eating people. I must say that when I asked our gang to name some 'doomed civilization' movies, Krakatoa, Atlantis, and various others were mentioned, but Godzilla didn't make the list. Are the people about to be eaten doomed? Certainly. Do they represent a civilization? Not by any stretch. Minimally topical, depending on your viewpoint.
4 points.

Originality: (10 points) I'm bound to be a bit generous here, although I must say that there are 4 "monster eats city" games that I can think of off of the top of my head, including the new Monster Island by Firefly Games, my own mentioned above, one by Latz Chance Games whose title escapes me, and of course Gammarauders. So, as a game concept/genre/theme, not terribly original but a point or two to ensure that my bias isn't showing. The mechanics, frankly, are those of a miniatures game, and lack a certain depth. They also follow the rather unoriginal line of, "compare your defense score to my offense score and roll a die". There is some innovation in that the players layout the board by placing tiles, although fans of "Zombies" will recognize that mechanic as well. Taken as a whole, the game is not a copy of anything, but there is little here that hasn't been seen before. As a whole, the game is unique, however, so I gave it a couple of points.
3 points

Cohesiveness: (15 points) The game played well, and the rules well reflected the theme, so I gave Santiago a few points there. They were also reasonably free of abberations (holes) which scored him well on my notes. Game play is a bit dry, however, as it, again, involves only a bit of 'get the other guy in trouble by rolling dice against him' rudimentary strategy, and so the ability to keep everyone on the edge of their seats through begining, middle, and end game was a bit lacking. There are also too many 'chits', or small tile pieces - more of these (the buildings perhaps, if not the buildings, tanks, and people) should be plastic pieces as these bits would make the game more cohesive... it would 'feel' more like a monstrous invasion. I do, however, understand why they aren't plastic bits in the proto I reviewed/played, however, so I didn't count down at all for that. All-in-all, the game is solid, and plays without a hitch, so I'm giving credit where credit is due.
14 points

Components (5 points): Santiago did an excellent job of making pieces and a board, as well as a 'top and bottom box cover' for this game, and the art and layout literally ooze fun as you read the rules. The art absolutely reflects the game, and I can not conceive of how it could be made better, other than the plastic bits mentioned above (which would be pricey, and difficult to submit for the contest). Given that this is a prototype for the contest, I have got to go maximum here.
5 well-deserved points.

Fun (25 points): Here's the rub. The game is too simple for our 'been gaming for years' game group. It plays like a miniatures game played on a board, and, with few terrain effects (given the two-dimensional aspect of the playing surface), the game runs out of cool new strategies in about four turns. None of our jaded grognards (the game-test group) wanted to play more than once, and so I brought it home and played with my two kids (ages 7 and 11) who enjoyed it a bit more, although also mentioned that it wasn't necessarily one of their favorites. Personally, I think that was more a function of the two-dimensional tile pieces (you can wind up with quite a few in a small area of the board, and they're a bit difficult to pick up, even when laminated onto floor tile, which I did) than it was the game mechanics.
The bottom line is, however, that the game was a bit shallow... it needs to have more going on. I am awarding some points for being able to watch my boy say, "Can I eat the people after I crush the building?" though.
12 points for fun.

Side Note: I do think, should another level of decision making, such as making the monster eat enough each turn to remain on his feet, or some such simple strategic addition, might spruce this up a bit. I wouldn't change whats there, as mentioned under the Cohesiveness section, I think I'd simply add to it.

Personal Prediction: If it came with a bunch of crunchy bits (plastic pieces), it would sell like hotcakes to 8-12 year-old boys... but I think the average wargamer will find it a bit less than their usual preferred fair. John Q. Public might have a less jaded opinion.

Total score: 38 points

Kaiju by Santiago Eximeno

Thanks for your review!
I must admit that i agree with all your words :)

Kaiju is a beer&pretzels games, with little strategy, but i believe that he can be really interesting to kids and not-usual gamers.
Of course, i 've played Monster Island and Zombies, so i've taken some elements for several games and make a frankesgamen monster, trying to offer something original :)
I want to take a look to Very Large Creature, i adore giant monsters games :)
Well, thanks again for your time and your effort, and excuse me for my erratic english.

P.S. I'll post Kaiju in my web, so if somebody wants to download it -free, of course-, please give me two or three days and visit

Joined: 12/31/1969
Kaiju by Santiago Eximeno

I just wanted to mention The Creature That Ate Sheboygan as a "classic" movie monster game. :)

-- Matthew

Joined: 12/31/1969
Kaiju by Santiago Eximeno

Y'know, I was just sitting here thinking "Hey! I'll bet I could make a giant monster game! What a great, original theme!" when I read this. Curse you, Santiago, and all the members of the BGDF with long memories of past giant monster games! Now I'll have to think of something else, like, er... a giant gorilla! Or a big moth! Yeah, that's the ticket!

:lol: :? :D

Of course I don't mean any of it. I don't begrudge anyone on the BGDF for thinking on the same wavelength as me. Only cut it out, would you?

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