Kingdomino has got a smattering of dominoes to it, but instead of matching numbers, you’re building a multi-terrain kingdom around your castle. It’s like the Ronseal of board game titles – it does exactly what it says on the tin. Kingdom-ino? Well played, Bruno Cathala, well played, sir. This won the coveted Spiel des Jahres award in 2017 (the Best Family Game of the Year) and it’s easy to see why…
Kingdomino is a charming, colourful, tile-laying board game for 2-4 players. You are competing monarchs, acquiring rectangular 2x1 land tiles that have two different terrains on them – including lakes, mines, pastures and more. There are 48 tiles in total, and in theory, the more valuable tiles are the higher-numbered ones. Some tiles will have crowns on them – these are worth precious points. The game ends after 12 rounds (24 rounds in the two-player variant). Players then multiply the size of each continuous terrain by the number of crowns within it. Highest score wins!
The gameplay is as wonderful as it is simple. Randomly select as many tiles from the supply as there are players, then place them numerically. In turn order, players select which Kingdomino tile they want by placing their monarch on it. Then more tiles are revealed, but turn order has changed. Now the first player is the person who claimed the lowest numbered tile in the previous round. They do two things: claim another tile from those just revealed and then place the tile they claimed earlier into their own expanding kingdom.
When putting a tile into a kingdom, at least one of the two terrain types must touch a matching terrain (dominoes-style). You might wish to expand your woodland or concentrate on a giant lake instead. However, players must think strategically and plan ahead; the borders of your kingdom only stretch so far. You’re limited to building five squares high by five squares wide. (In the two-player variant, you can build a 7x7 grid, which becomes quite the pleasant puzzle.)
The rules are quick to teach and elegant to present – you’ll be up and running within two to three minutes of taking it out of the box. Games are short and snappy – they fit into that wonderful ‘Let’s play that again!’ category. The tiles are thick, chunky and therefore durable, which is handy because, believe us, you’re going to play Kingdomino again and again!
Player Count: 2-4
Time: 15 Minutes