Kingdomino Duel Review

Kingdomino was a game that we couldn’t get enough of in 2016 when it was released. This game wasn’t something we would ever consider taking with us on a date night to a local coffee shop or on a family road trip. Thankfully, Blue Orange Games has squeezed the experience of Kingdomino into a very portable package that caters to 2-player gaming. Today we’re taking a look at the roll n’ write game Kingdomino Duel.

2019 has felt like the year of the roll n’ write as we’ve seen a wild amount of this mechanic show up all over the place. Kingdomino Duel uses the roll n’ write mechanic in a way that still stays true to the drafting/tile placement feel of the original Kingdomino.

Constructing a Kingdom

In Kingdomino Duel, each player is given a player sheet to represent their kingdom. The active player rolls 4 dice. These dice are filled with a variety of shield types that can be chained together to score points. The active player drafts a single die, the other player drafts 2 dice and the active player receives the final unclaimed die.

Players have to place this set of drafted dice in their kingdom using a couple simple placement rules. Each player draws in the face of the shields from the dice and records any X’s that are on the dice. These X’s work as multipliers just like the crowns did in the original Kingdomino.

Placement is everything in Kingdomino Duel. You want to leave space to expand areas of your kingdom but you’re also not going to get the perfect dice combination each round. There is a lot of adjustments and re-thinking strategy as the original plan goes down in flames.

Casting a Dicey Spell

A new element with Kingdomino Duel is the wizard powers that are available to players during the game. When you draft a die that doesn’t contain an X, you get to mark off a box in on the corresponding shield type. When a player fills in each box and claims that wizard power, they have now blocked that ability from the other player. These aren’t game changing abilities but it’s a great consolation prize for not taking a die with a multiplier present.

Kingdomino Duel is an easy game to teach, quick to learn and will come naturally to anyone that has played games in this series. This small box fits a very specific niche in our collection that not everyone will feel a need for. Kingdomino Duel plays in around 20 – 25 minutes, takes up minimal table space and only supports 2-players. It’s become a great date night or late night game for Erin and I. The kids have enjoyed playing the game with me too but I’m not sure this would be one that they pull off the shelf to play with a friend.

I’ve been very impressed with how Blue Orange Games has captured the feel of the original game in a format that puts 2 players head-to-head. This game escapes the criticism of feeling like a solo experience of some roll n’ write games on the market. In order to win, players have to pay attention to what shield faces their opponents are taking and build a higher scoring kingdom. If you’re looking for a solid 2-player roll n’ write that travels well, Kingdomino Duel may just be a great addition to your game library.

You can purchase Kingdomino Duel at your local game store or purchase it through Amazon today.

Blue Orange Games provided us with a retail copy of Kingdomino Duel for this review. This in no way influenced our opinion of the game.

Highs

  • A roll & write that isn’t a solo experience
  • Easy to teach and can play anywhere
  • Great dice quality
  • Feels like part of the Kingdomino world

Lows

  • Players have to be willing to change strategies on the fly.