Kingdomino

Kingdomino

A few months ago while playing at my local game cafe, myself and a friend had about half an hour to kill. He suggested Kingdomino. At that point in time, I hadn't yet tried the game so I figured it was a good opportunity. We were able to get two plays in during that half an hour and the game was added to my collection shortly afterwards. 

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About

  • 2-4 Players
  • Published by Blue Orange Games
  • 2017 Spiel des Jahres - Game of the Year Award
  • Tile Drafting
  • Tile Placement
  • Territory Building
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Setup

  • Each player takes their 2 kings (Only 1 king for a 3 or 4 player game)
  • Each player places one of the starting tiles in front of them and places the matching castle on top of it.
  • The dominoes are shuffled and placed in the box in the box insert or on the table to form a draw pile (Remove 24 dominoes in a 2 player game or 12 dominoes in a 3 player game)
  • Form a draw pile (3 dominoes for a 3 player game or 4 dominoes for a 2 or 4 player game) by placing the tiles numbered side up in ascending order then flip them to the landscape side. 
  • A player takes all the kings into their hands, mixes them up and reveals one at a time to determine play order. When your king appears, place it on an empty Domino in the line.
  • When all the dominoes have been chosen, form a new line in the same way as before. 
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Gameplay

Play order is determined by the position of the kings on the domino line.

  • The player whose king is placed on the 1st domino of line adds the chosen domino to their territory according to the connection rules.
  • The player then chooses a domino in the new line by placing their king on it.
  • It is then the turn of the player whose king is on the second domino and so forth.
  • Once all kings have been placed on the new line, another line is formed and the next turn can start
  • The game continues until all tiles have been drafted.
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Connection Rules:

  • The domino must be connected to either the starting tile or another domino matching at least one of it's landscapes.
  • All your dominoes must fit in a 5x5 grid. If a domino cannot fit into the 5x5 grid, it must be discarded.

End Game

Once all the tiles have been drafted, each player should have a 5x5 grid in font of them (unless a player had to discard any tiles).

Each kingdom is composed of different properties (groups of connected squares of the same type). Each property will give you points equal to the number of squares multiplied by the number of crowns appearing within that property. If a property has no crowns it will not score any points. The player with the most points is the winner.

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My Thoughts

  • I immediately loved this game. After my first play I quickly requested a rematch. It's colorful. It has theme. It's easy and it plays in 15 minutes. 
  • The components are all good quality. Be careful when punching out the castles to not damage the connection pieces. Once put together, they fit nicely in the box so you don't have to worry about it again. 
  • The rule book includes instructions in 3 different languages (English, French and Spanish). Each language takes up 3 pages of the rule book. On the back of the book it tells you exactly how many squares there are of each type. It doesn't make a huge difference to me (I'm a live in the moment kind of player) but I guess it's good to know which landscapes are more common and how many of those tiles have crowns on them in order to maximize your score. If your opponents have collected all the crowns for a particular landscape, it's a good thing to know that you won't be able to score any points with that landscape. 
  • If you find yourself playing a 2 player game, I highly recommend trying the 7x7 variant. Instead of removing 24 dominoes during setup, you would play with all of them. It makes for a longer game but becomes highly strategic because at this point you can count tiles. You want to maximize your score while also paying attention to what your opponent is doing so they don't get too far ahead. Maybe you can add 5 points to your score with one tile, but stop your opponent from getting 10 points by taking a different tile. I enjoy these types of decisions. 
  • I've had a few games where I wasn't able to complete my 5x5 grid due to poor planning. The game keeps you on your toes this way by forcing you to pay attention to your tile placement. I do find that not completing the full grid is pretty harmful to your end score. There might be scenarios where it is worth more points to make a placement decision that prevents you from completing it but I'm going to guess that 9 times out of 10, this is not the case. 
  • I absolutely 100% recommend this game if you are new to tabletop gaming and want to start with something simple or as a gateway game if you're looking to rope your friends into trying more games. The best part is that this game is extremely affordable.
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Looking to buy Kingdomino at a great price? You can order here:

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Is Kingdomino just a gateway game or would you recommend it for advanced gamers as well? Let me know in the comments below.

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