Your keep is completed and now it’s time to survey the surrounding countryside. Lakes, forests, fields and mines await for you to exploit. What will you find? This simple tile-laying game is inspired by the traditional game of dominos… but fun.
How Easy is it to Learn?
Kingdomino is one of the easiest games around Each player has a starting tile with a castle on it and one or two meeples (depending on the number of players) which they’ll use to determine turn order.
3 or 4 (depending on the number of players) tiles are randomly drawn and placed near the box and on the first turn, the meeples are drawn at random. Each player can claim any of the tiles by placing their meeple on it, but the player who’s meeple is closest to the box goes first. Why not place your meeple there if you can? Because there might be a more strategic tile elsewhere that’s worth giving up the starting advantage for. A second row is placed once all the tiles are claimed and as players pick up their tile and place it around their castle, they’ll claim the next tile by putting their meeple on it, and play continues after this fashion.
Laying tiles is very simple. Each tile has two terrain types and must match at least one of the terrain types of the tile you’re placing it next two (water, forest, field, paddock, mine and swamp). The castle is a wild card so early in the game you’ve always got options.
Some of the tiles have crowns printed on them and these are what score points. You multiply the number of crowns on a given terrain type by the number of contiguous tiles of that terrain to score points. So if you have 2 crowns on a field and 5 contiguous fields, you score 10 points.
The trick is, you must lay your tiles in a 5×5 grid. If you can’t do that, or you can’t match a tile, the tile is forfeit and you’ll have holes in your grid. You crack a sad and move on.
You now know the rules. The rulebook is colourful and easy to follow and the mechanics of the game are that simple. It has a complexity of 1/5 on Board Game Geek. You can’t go wrong if you’re after a simple game.
How Easy is it to Play?
The game is very easy to play. Tiles are nice and thick and easy to move around. There is minimal setup and you don’t need a lot of maths to score. You don’t have to keep score, you just score at the end.
How Easy is it to Win?
There is a little bit of strategy involved. Tiles are drawn randomly but you have to make choices between tile value and turn order. You have to plan far enough ahead that you don’t block yourself from being able to lay a tile. If you’re really competitive, you might consider what other players are chasing and try to stop them, but it’s not really that sort of game and more often you’re hanging on, hoping someone else doesn’t take the tile you’ve got your eye on. However, you don’t need any insider knowledge or particularly arcane tricks to make the most of the game – it’s designed to be easy and accessible.
Is it Fun to Play?
Board Game Geek rates Kingdomino as 7.4/10 so it’s pretty popular. It’s a hit at our game nights because of its simplicity, yet it’s also fun. There’s an element of suspense as you wait for tiles to (hopefully) become available and you have to think about tile placement, but it’s not overly taxing.
Who Will Enjoy It?
Kingdomino is a great game for new and casual players, but also a fun filler for experienced gamers. It’s rated for ages 8+ but a sharp younger child shouldn’t have trouble with it either.