Overall Rating: 10/10
GLAM Age Range: 7-Adult
Number of Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 15 min
Publisher: Blue Orange Games
Available At: Amazon.com
Quick Take: I'm calling the Kingdomino empire the new Settlers of Catan but for people who want a great strategy game in a short amount of time. Build out from your castle using terrain themed domino pieces in order to create a kingdom with the highest point value. This game is simple enough for kids but is also a great pick for an adult game night. The game play is very simple but you must be strategic in both the domino you select and where you place it. And if you want a slightly more involved version of this game they have come up with some spin-offs like Queendomino and Kingdomino Duel which we are big fans of as well.
How to Play: Your goal is to end up with the most points at the end of creating a five by five grid of dominos. You earn points by creating domains that include castle points. To begin, you play domino tiles around your castle square which serves as the starting point and can be matched with any type of domino. Unlike regular dominos, these dominos have pictures of different types of terrain. You follow standard domino rules and when placing a domino at least one side of the domino must match a terrain of an adjoining piece. You select dominoes based on the order of your castle tokens. Four dominoes are laid out per turn, in order based on the numbers on their backs. Higher numbers mean it's a more valuable card and might have a castle or two on the card, lower numbers are generally more common cards like farmland and have no castles. Based on the ranking of the domino you selected the previous round, you select dominos in that order. So whoever took the top domino gets to go first the next round, whoever took the domino directly below that gets to go second, and so on. Eventually you have created a full 5x5 grid around your castle, at which point you add up your score and see who has the most points. If you have 8 connected woodland spots and a total of 3 castles on three different woodland spots within this connected domain, you multiple the number of woodland spots by the number of castles for 24 points. Calculate the score of your other domains in the same way. 6 connected water spots with 2 castles would be 12 points, and if you have an area with no castles it is 0 points. Add up your total and whoever has the most points is the winner!
Variations: The game rules provide a number of variations and bonuses for game play. You can play with different bonuses for having your castle in the center of the board at the end of the game or having no gaps in your territory. You can play best of three rounds. You can also make the two player version of the game more interesting by using all the tiles and building seven by seven grids instead of the standard five by five.