When I heard that Henry Audubon (Space Park, Parks) was designing a new game for 25th Century Games, I knew I had to get my hands on it. In this new game, up to 5 players assemble to rid the forest of the nasty monsters that lurk in the shadows. Can you take down enough monsters to earn fame and glory in Kingswood?
In the center of the table there are 6 locations, 5 which are always the same each game and 1 that’s randomly chosen. There are 3 adventurer meeples that will be moved around the town giving perks to the active player. If a player moves an adventurer from the Tavern, they can purchase a heart for 1 coin or refresh all their used hearts for 1 coin. If they land on the Market, that player receives 3 coins.
Many times in Kingswood, you’ll have a specific goal in mind during your turn, which may mean you need to skip over a location in the town. Skipping over a location means you have to pay a single coin to the bank for each skipped location.
Into the Woods
The spot everyone wants to take an action on is the Forest. This is where players can spend the resources they have to defeat the monsters. Each monster has a cost you must pay to defeat them along with the number of victory points they award the player. If players defeat similar types of monsters, they can earn bonuses based on the text on the cards. This is something you definitely want to pay attention to.
Gameplay is simple as you collect resources and defeat monsters, all while trying to do it quicker than the other players at the table. I really like that the monster deck has two phases. In the first half of the game you’ll defeat monsters without too much difficulty. In the second half of the game, the deck of monsters gets slightly tougher with more requirements. If you don’t spend a couple turns collecting hearts, swords, spells and coins, you probably won’t fair well when the tougher monsters fill the forest.
The first player to reach 21 points ends the game.
An Adventure for All Ages
We’ve played Kingswood quite a bit since receiving this prototype. I was really impressed with how fluid the game was and how accessible it is for new players. Each time I sat down to teach the game, everything just clicked.
Because the Kings Guard meeple moves into the place the adventurer left, the number of action spots available are decreased. This meeple keeps a player from using this location but also can assist a player who is very broke. A player can remove the Kings Guard from the board and receive 2 coins instead of taking their normal turn.
Tristam Rossin has done an excellent job illustrating every card in this game. I loved the style of the different town locations along with the monsters that you encounter in the forest. The use of the tokens in the game work really well. For instance, when a player uses a spell book to defeat a monster, that token is flipped over to its used side. Visiting specific locations will allow you to refresh these tokens for a price.
Each player is also given a character card that has a special perk. These always help players in some way, and after playing with a couple of these characters, I feel like they are pretty balanced. I enjoyed the 6 different cards and hope to see a couple more added with stretch goals during the Kickstarter campaign.
Kingswood is not a heavy game and is honestly a great fit for families. The kids caught on quickly and even took out the adults who thought they had a strategy. I will say that playing the game with just two players was an underwhelming experience. I never felt like I had a difficult decision in moving adventurers and the turns seemed very repetitive. The additional players kept the game competitive and was where the game really shined.
Since this is a prototype, the final product will be the best that it can be. Chad over at 25th Century Games has already assured me that the location tiles will be larger than a traditional playing card. I felt like the location cards in the prototype where too small and didn’t show off the beautiful artwork well.
Kingswood is a great game to pick up for the family and an excellent fit for anyone looking for a light strategy game. The game play is smooth and easy to teach. I think Henry Audubon has another hit on his hands and I look forward to seeing this game in its final form.
You can head over to the Kingswood Kickstarter now through May 17, 2019 to support this project.
25th Century Games provided us with a prototype copy of Kingswood during the Kickstarter campaign. This in no way influenced our opinion of the game. Previews are a glimpse into an upcoming game with the pros and cons that we experienced prior to production of the game.