Kingdomino has been on our table numerous times since picking it up a couple months ago. It’s easy to look at the bright colors and cute theme and dismiss it as a child’s game. Doing this would be a huge mistake! This game has the rare quality of engaging adults and kids alike. There’s enough strategy that it will keep you coming back for more as soon as the game is done.
How to Play
Players commit their royal meeple to a rectangular tile in the center of the table. The tile at the top represents the person who goes first while the tile at the bottom is the person who goes last. Players take the tile their meeple is on and have to place the tile in their kingdom. Any tile piece can be positioned next to the castle regardless of land type. As the kingdom grows, tiles have to match at least one adjacent land type.
Players score points by counting up all the matching pieces of land and multiplying it by the number of crowns on that land type. If you have 5 water tiles that are touching with two crowns on them, your total will be 5 x 2 = 10 pts. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. It’s that simple.
In Kingdomino you want to create a chain of similar land types and score high numbers of points. Trying to pick up tiles with crowns on them may mean that you are the last player going into the next turn. The turn order is always changing based on what tiles the players are committing to pick up.
Players can look around and keep others away from specific tiles by committing their meeple to that tile before they get to it. The game can get pretty competitive when you watch what others are doing!
Keep in mind, your kingdom cannot grow forever. Each player is restricted to a 5 x 5 grid, which makes placing tiles important since you’ll have to plan for the future. Poor planning will lead to gaps or unusable spaces in on your board.
Players of All Ages
Each of our kids have really taken to Kingdomino. When Erin and I sit down to play, we know that one of the kids will walk in the room and ask to play within minutes. We love that the game encourages the kids to really plan out a strategy and watch for what tiles are coming up next. It’s also nice that scoring your final points gets them to practice their multiplication. It’s easy to see why this game is nominated for the Spiel des Jahres 2017.
We’ve really enjoyed the “Mighty Duel” variant that allows two players to use all the tiles and expand their kingdom to a 7 x 7 grid. You have more space to plan and your scores will climb over 100 points. This is definitely the way to play when there are only two players at the table. It’s great to see that the game doesn’t lose its fun at a lower player count. There are also 3 other variants in the rule book to keep things fresh.
Kingdomino is really a special game that captures the essence of family-friendly gaming. The component quality is high, the colors are bright, the game is engaging, and one match is over in under 20 minutes. Blue Orange Games has published a really wonderful game, and it’s one that you should consider adding to your collection.
Visit your local game shop and pick up Kingdomino or order it on Amazon today.
- Engaging and quick gameplay
- Beautiful illustrations on each tile
- Enough strategy for kids and adults
- The game might look “too cute” for your crew of hardcore gamers