Just like in KoT the goal is to either reach 20 victory points first or to be the last monster standing. On your turn you roll your dice up to three times then complete the actions on the dice. Claws deal damage to other monsters, hearts heal you, the energy symbol gives you energy, building symbols can destroy buildings, and ouch symbols cause any military units in your borough to attack you.
The game board is larger in this version. It’s split into the 5 boroughs of New York City. When you attack another monster, you head off to Manhattan to try to keep control of it (and the longer you stay in, the higher up you climb and the more victory points you gain per turn) while your opponents move their way around the board in the other boroughs. Scattered throughout the boroughs are tiles of buildings, which you can smash if you roll the building symbol on the dice. The strength on the building is how many buildings you need to roll in order to destroy it and the number of energy or hearts on the tile is the reward you get for destroying it. However, when you destroy the building, the card flips over and there is a military unit that is dangerous to you. If the Ouch symbol is rolled, monsters are attacked by the military tiles that are in the same borough as them. You can also destroy those by rolling the dice with the building symbol on them and they reward you, typically with victory points.
What I like about this game better than KoT is that in KoT you can be a completely passive player and just sit back rolling for victory points without ever participating in combat or engaging in the rest of the game and still be able to win. You can’t do that in this game. There aren’t really any victory points to roll for on the dice. One thing you can do is roll three stars on your dice. Three stars gets you the Superstar card, which nets you points every time you roll stars. It’s a handy card to get hold of, but of course your opponents can steal it by rolling three stars as well. Aside from this, you actually have to do things and partake more in the game to get points.
This game is as beautifully designed as KoT. The artwork and monsters are adorable.
This game is a little trickier to learn than KoT, because there’s a little more to it. There’s more decisions to make and more dangers to avoid, but it’s not a complicated game. I personally don’t think this game replaces KoT, but my game group hasn’t played it since we got this one. I like both games, but KoNY does give you more ways to win and more ways to die than KoT does. They two games are different enough that I wouldn’t recommend one over the other. Get them both.