Designer: Bruno Cathala
Published: Blue Orange Games
Playtime: 15-20 Minutes
Play Type: Tile Placement/ Tile Drafting
You are a powerful lord seeking to expand your kingdom into new lands. You will grow as a kingdom as you explore new territories to seek the best combination of mountains, forests, oceans and plains. However, the competition is fierce for the best plots of lands. Other lords will be seeking the riches your kingdom hopes to covet.
Both setup and game play in Kingdomino is very simple. During setup, each player will take a meeple (or two, in a two player game) in their color of choice, the castle and castle tile in their color of choice. The player will then place their castle and tile in front of them. Additionally, players will put out as many tiles out as lords in the center of the table. Remember, in two player games each player will play two lords, so four tiles will need to be placed. Tiles should always be placed in numerical order, with the smallest number on the top of the column. Then place an additional column of the same amount of tiles. Randomly determine an order of meeples to place on the first column of tiles. Each tile should end with one meeple on the tiles. That is all there is to set up.
Game play is equally simple. Each round players will take turns in ascending order of tiles. The first player will take the tile that their meeple is on. They will then place that tile in their kingdom. The first tile can be placed on any side of the kingdom, however there are rules for future placement. Any tile not touching the castle, must share a side with an identical type of tile. Additionally, the kingdom may not because larger than five squares by five squares. The king likes order. If you cannot place your tile fitting these restrictions you must discard it. After placing your tile, take a look at the next column of tiles and place your meeple on one of them. Remember, the top tile will always go first, but tiles at the bottom tend to have more crowns. After all players have gone, place out another row of tiles for the next round.
You may be asking why do I want crowns? That brings me to scoring. After all tiles have been placed from the box, players will move onto scoring. Players will score points by counting their tiles in each landmark (groups of similar types of tiles that are touching adjacently) and multiplying it by the numbers of crowns in the landmark. Remember, if you have no crowns, you will score nothing for that landmark, as anything multiplied by zero is zero. You can have multiple landmarks of the same time in your kingdom, but you score them separately. Add all of the scored landmarks together and that is your final score.
I have the giant version of Kingdomino, so my components are slightly different than the base game. However, the game while simple is high quality. The tiles have fun little depictions on the various tiles. I especially like the decision to include the 3-D castle which could have remained as just a tile. It provides a stronger table presence. The meeples are also bright and fun.
- Quick and Simple
- Family Games
- Quality Components
- Low Price
- Tile Drafting Strategy
- Maybe too simple for some gamers
- No direct player interaction
Kingdomino is quickly developing a strong following on boardgamegeek and other forms of social media. I definitely understand why after playing it almost 15 times since getting it this weekend. The game is simple and easy to teach, and quick enough to get several rounds in. It quickly becomes addictive as players try to complete their full five by five kingdom. The game is also easy to pick up because the price point is low. I especially suggest picking this game up if you enjoy Bunny Kingdom by Iello. It does scoring in a very similar way, however Kingdomino is simpler and more streamlined by having the card drafting replaced by the direct tile drafting, and by having no modifiers to score.
The tile drafting system in this game is very simple to understand but provides strategy that may not be seen at first glance. Players will really need to decide whether they want a specific tile each turn or if they want to go earlier in the turn to have more selection in the next round. While there is no direct player interaction, it is still important to avoid being tunnel visioned. Players need to be aware of their competitors kingdoms, because if a player is consistently getting all of the crowns or all of one kind of land form their score is going to be higher than the other players. For instance, take a look at this picture…if you look directly next to my kingdom, I have all of the mines and crowns and scored a large amount of points because players allowed me to consistently take all of the mines. Players should be aware of this, and not become tunnel visioned into their own kingdom. The goal should be to score as high as possible while still ensuring other players aren’t scoring even higher!
I highly suggest this one for people who are looking for a quick game that can be played in under a half hour. This one could easily be taught to children as young as seven or eight, but can be enjoyed by adults as well. Kids may need additional help scoring, but otherwise the rules are very easily understood. Overall Kingdomino is a quick, fun and high quality game. I would say it is definitely worth picking up for 17.99$ MSRP, especially for those looking for quick games to play after work or to spend some family time.