Kingdomino is a fun game that reminds me of Carcassonne, another family favorite.
In Kingdomino, players compete to create the most prosperous kingdom. Never mind that your prosperous kingdom is only a 5×5 domino square. With bountiful wheat fields and lakes and mines, a king (or queen) can have a rich kingdom indeed!
The rules are simple to learn, but I had a severe case of brain fart on the first play-through, leaving me and my kiddo thoroughly confused on when we can claim dominos…it was YouTube to the rescue!
- Pick a castle and player totem color. Place the castle on an appropriate starting tile
- Draw four domino cards (three if there are only three players) and lay them out in a column, from lowest to highest numbers. Flip over the dominos to reveal the terrain side
- Have a player pick all player totems at random and place them on a domino
- Draw four more domino cards, lay them out from lowest to highest numbers, and flip them over to reveal the terrain
- The player with his or her totem on the top domino makes the first move. He or she will move the totem to a domino in the new column, and take the domino he or she just left. Use this domino to start building. Terrain type must match, and it can’t be any larger than 5×5 squares.
- Repeat until all domino cards are used, and score each kingdom. The player with the highest points win!
Note the numbers on the dominos. The higher the number, more valuable the domino. Scoring is a nice math challenge for the kiddos. Follow the instruction on how many points each terrain type is worth. Let the kiddos handle multiplications of those points on areas that contain crown marks. For example, a forest tile is worth one point. If you have an area with three forest tiles, the area equals 3 points. And if one of those tiles has two crowns on it, you get to multiply the original points by two!
As I mentioned before, Kingdomino is similar to Carcassonne in that you’re building and competing for lands with the most resources, but in Kingdomino each player gets to build his or her own little domain, which is a different kind of fun than Carcassonne. The gameplay is faster too — always a plus for an impatient player like me (and kids, I assume). I hope you give this award winner a try!