Kingdomino – Review

Theme

You are the Lord of a small kingdom, looking to expand and gain new lands. Wheatfields, forests, mines, deserts, meadows and waterfronts are all ripe for the taking. The only problem, other lords are vying for the same lands, and plotting to undermine your kingdom!

Mechanics

Kingdomino is a tile drafting and tile placement game. Where based on the number of players in the game, you will remove 3 – 4 tiles from the box and placed number side up. Players will arrange these tiles with the lowest value at the top then going down. Once this is done, tiles are flipped over revealing the land side. These lands are formatted like domino pieces – hence the name of the game – one half with one land type and the other half as another or possibly the same. Once you flip over the tiles, you may notice that the rare land types are generally always at the bottom. These lands provide the most point multipliers on each single tile at the end of the game but are risky to select because there are so few of them.

The crowns on the land types represent how much you multiply the number of tiles connecting. For example, if there are three forests connected with 2 crowns between them. You multiple 3 (the number of forests) by 2 (the number of crowns) to give you 6 points.

Tile selection works as follows: the first player will select one tile she would like to draft by placing her corresponding meeple on it. The next players in turn order will go until all tiles are drafted. Once the tiles are assigned, players will reveal and arrange a new set of tiles with the same procedure listed above. Now the player whose meeple is first takes their tile and adds it to their kingdom then placing their newly freed meeple onto the new set of tiles effectively creating a new varying turn order.

Now there are a few rules to consider. You can only connect sides to similar sides. Meaning you can’t connect a forest to a desert. The exception to this rule is when you connect a tile to your castle, as your castle acts as wild tile.

There are a few variants in this game. Dynasty, where the game only lasts three rounds. The Middle Kingdom, where players gain 10 points if their kingdom is in the middle of their grid when the game is over. Harmony, players gain 5 points if their kingdom is complete and there are no discarded tiles. Finally – my personal favourite variant – the mighty duel where 2 players use all 48 tiles in the game attempting to complete a 7×7 kingdom rather than a 5×5 one.

Art and Components

The art of this game is reminiscent of Portal Game’s Imperial Settlers which is a personal favourite of mine. The characters and the structures on the tiles are fun and cute and reflect the simplicity of the game. The components include 48 tiles, 4 kingdom castles and a handful of meeples. Simplicity at its finest. The box for the game is very functional, holds the tiles in place and makes it easy to shuffle for each play and easy to remove from the box when refilling the tile pool.

 

Final Thoughts

Bruno Cathala is a board game titan with an impressive list of games under his creative belt. 7 Wonders Duel, Five Tribes and now Kingdomino. This a game with important decisions that must be made. The variants and scaling of players make the game playable for 2-4 players. This is a quick game to learn and play, but tricky to get the
hang of. It’s great for couples or young gamers and the price point is really affordable when you consider sheer quality of game you’re getting for its modest price.

Tile laying is a very common mechanic, what are some of your favourite tile laying board games?

Written by: Michael Gaa

My love of board games and wasting time on social media is the reason I’m here. Said love of games began at the tender age of 18 when I was introduced to Lords of Waterdeep. Since then, I’ve been an avid board gamer and take every opportunity to bring social deduction games to the table with friends. I also enjoy playing Magic: The Gathering, and cube regularly.

36 Comments Added

Join Discussion
  1. mudsoccer August 4, 2017 | Reply

    Love the simplicity of the game and how quick it is.

  2. Ruth D August 4, 2017 | Reply

    Looks like a great family game

  3. Soulraise August 5, 2017 | Reply

    Seems like an easy game to pick up and have fun right away…

  4. PSpooner August 5, 2017 | Reply

    Cool game, love to play with the whole family

  5. Mark W August 6, 2017 | Reply

    I enjoy this one but I haven’t gotten around to trying the 7×7 yet.

  6. John Arboleda August 6, 2017 | Reply

    this game really deserves to be the best of this year, good use of graphics an mechanical

  7. Jeffrey B August 6, 2017 | Reply

    thanks. Was wondering about this one. Sounds like fun.

  8. Umut C August 6, 2017 | Reply

    Lovely design, pretty and fast. Gonna get this to mainly play with my mother. I think she will find it simple, cute and fun.

  9. Tpancoast August 6, 2017 | Reply

    I look forward to trying this some time.

  10. KHamilton August 6, 2017 | Reply

    I am looking forward to playing this one with my “less committed gamer” husband. I think it’s easy enough that he will enjoy it, but meaty enough to keep me interested.

  11. Josh Willhite August 6, 2017 | Reply

    I’ll have to try and check this out, thanks for the review!

  12. JamesL August 7, 2017 | Reply

    As Kingdomino won the 2017 Spiel de Jahres, I’ve been meaning to try this one. But, not had a chance yet. Thanks for the review.

  13. Ronnay August 7, 2017 | Reply

    Nice review. I’ve played it 8 times now in different player count. Have not yet played the 7×7 grip, but will try that soon.

  14. Rick May August 7, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks for the review! Looks like a fun, easy to learn game with great components

  15. Matt H August 8, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks for the review. Sounds like a great couples game, like you suggested.

  16. Gunder August 8, 2017 | Reply

    Very Inexpensive for the amount of plays your will get!

  17. Dan D August 11, 2017 | Reply

    Such a great little game

  18. Michael Shea August 13, 2017 | Reply

    I have the game and like it enough that I’m thinking of buying a second set to try some bigger games.

  19. Ronnay August 15, 2017 | Reply

    At BoardGameGeek in the Files section for Kingdomino you can find rules for solo play (2 variants in 1 file).

  20. Nathaniel August 23, 2017 | Reply

    Just got this game. Looking forward to playing it.

  21. Jason Mack August 27, 2017 | Reply

    Really want this to play with my family

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