Kingdomino is a tile-laying game for 2 to 4 players. It’s like dominoes, but with a twist – players take on the roles of kings expanding their kingdoms. The game is won by the player with the most points after all tiles have been played.
Kingdomino is elementary, it’s like playing dominoes with a few extra nuances, which makes it highly accessible and easy to teach.
Each turn the same number of dominoes as players are drawn from the pile and placed in ascending order (the dominoes are numbered). You must then place your king meeple on one of the tiles. The tile you chose will determine the pick order next turn, for example, if you place your king on the highest numbered domino, you’ll pick last on the following turn. When you do your next turn, the tile you picked on the previous one is freed up and must be placed.
Each player starts with a single tile with their castle on it. This tile is “wild”, so you can connect any of the five different landscapes to it. Otherwise, you must connect dominoes matching at least one landscape. You mustn’t build past a 5x5 grid, if a domino doesn’t fit, then it’s discarded.
Points are tallied at the end of the game; each group of connected landscapes gives you as much points as the number of squares multiplied by the number of crowns in the landscape. The player with the most points wins.
Pro Good components
The components of the game are both durable and nice-looking, which adds a lot to the overall value. The domino tiles themselves are cartoony, colorful, and made of nice and thick cardboard, the meeples are tiny wooden kings, and the castles are beautiful three-dimensional cardboard standups.
Pro A decent amount of strategy
Even though the game is very simple, it can also be quite clever. There’s a fair amount of strategic choices to be made regarding tile placement and tile choosing. Do you try to focus on one type or go for multiple landscapes? Do you choose the tile you need or one that might be useful for your opponent? Do you want to take the least valuable tile right now to get first pick on the next turn?
Con Fiddly scoring
The winner of the game is determined after tallying up the scores once the final tiles have been played. There’s a bit of calculating involved, so you might need a calculator or a piece of paper laying around somewhere. You might also need to help children with the process.
Each group of connected landscapes gives you as much points as the number of squares multiplied by the number of crowns in the landscape. For example, if you’ve made an area of 6 connected forest tiles and the area has 2 crowns, you’d get 12 points. This also means that if you have no crowns in the connected area, you won’t get anything, which can be very annoying.
Con A bit of luck involved
Although you get to choose between multiple tiles, there’s no way to tell what the next dominoes are going to have on them, so you can’t predict how valuable pick order will be. You might take first pick on purpose in your previous turn only to see tiles that don’t help you as much as you hoped.