Power Up offers 2 things - a new character, and evolution cards for each monster. So first thing, the new monster is the Pandakai. Not really from the realm of Godzilla movies, but with the success of Kung Fu Panda, no one can blame them for wanting a Panda in the game. The monster alone wouldn't be enough to justify buying the expansion in my book, so we have to go to the evolution cards. The expansion includes 56 cards, 8 cards for each of the 7 monsters, that give them some kind of unique ability. Some evolutions are temporary, meaning one time use, while others are permanent. When a monster rolls 3 or more hearts on a turn they get a random evolution from their deck. They hold on to the card, keep it secret, and play it at any time. This introduces some new strategic choices. The cards make your intentions a little less obvious, which is good. It also gives you something to go for at the beginning if you roll more hearts than you need to heal, or if you roll hearts while in Tokyo.
So, the verdict on Power Up. I like the way it changes the game. I don't introduce it to new players, but I'll try to bring it in within 3 games. The evolution cards give each monster their own unique feel. The Cyber Bunny has cards that make it easier for it to get energy and buy cards, while the King, Gigazaur and Meka Dragon have cards that help them attack. It will push certain monsters in different paths, but that's not a terrible thing. I've seen people win without drawing any evolution cards, and I've seen people with 4 evolution cards wipe the floor with everyone else. These cards do add more luck to an already luck based game, but they also add more flexibility, and offer more choices, which is a good thing in my book. Overall, I'm happy to own Power Up! I think it's a great addition to King of Tokyo. The base game is perfectly good without it, so don't feel like you have to go out and get it. Power Up gives you more things to add to a good game. It will keep it feeling fresher longer, and that's a good thing for any game.
Want to buy the expansion and support BoBG? (Right now June 11 2013 the price is a bit high. It can be had for <$20 if you look around)