Welcome back to Wooden Shoe Game Reviews, this week we take a look at the hot new title Kingdomino which recently won Spiel des Jahres 2017. Kingdomino is a fast placed mashup of kingdom building and dominos for 2-4 players ages 8 and up. In the game you take on the role of a Lord hoping to expand your kingdom by exploring the lands around your castle by placing tiles each turn.
The game is easy to set up and plays quickly, players randomly select 12 tiles per person playing (with 4 players all 48 tiles are used) and set them inside the box removing the leftover tiles from the game. Players then draw one tile from the box and line them up on the table in ascending order by the numbers listed on the back of the tiles and flip them over. On the first turn player order is randomly selected and players select the tile they want to place in their kingdom from the row of chosen tiles. When all players have chosen a new set of tiles is drawn and placed in the same fashion and the game continues.
After the first turn player order is determined by the tiles that were chosen in the previous turn with the player who selected the first (lowest number) tile going first. Players then pick up the tile they had selected in the previous turn and add it to their kingdom. When adding new tiles players must ensure that at least one side of the new domino tile is placed next to their starting square or matches the landscape of one of the other tile they had previously placed (desert next to desert, water next to water, etc). In addition to this all dominoes must fit inside a 5×5 grid, this one gave us some trouble and eventually we wound up printing off grid sheets to use as player mats to help in following this rule.
When all of the tiles have been selected and played (if possible, tiles that cannot be played are removed and not scored) players add up their scores. Scoring is determined by the number of connected landscape tiles of the same type and the number of crown tiles in that set of landscape tiles then multiplying those two totals together. For example if a player had a set of 5 connected desert tiles containing 3 crowns they would earn 15 points for those tiles. Players then add the points from each set of tiles to get their final score.
This was an instant hit in our house and has seen a lot more plays with re-matches occurring as soon as one game was finished and play time pushing into bed time.
I loved this game! I like trying to find the best tile for my area and matching them up for a BIG SCORE. I enjoyed the puzzle of trying to fit the tiles together and in the box (5×5 grid) and making sure you can place everything. I didn’t like that I wasn’t able to move the tiles around after I placed them because that made it harder.
This game is great! I liked getting the tiles that other people needed to finish before they could and the tiles with the most crowns to get bigger scores. The game is really fast so we can play it a lot which is fun. The higher number tiles give you more points but getting them means you don’t get to pick the tile you want first next time so you have to figure out what you want now and what you might want later.