Kingdomino game overview
Kingdomino is a welcoming tile-laying game where you are expanding your kingdom by connecting dominoes that represent different territories. The goal of the game is to get the most points. You get points from dominoes in your kingdom that have crowns on them. However, these crown dominoes become a lot more valuable if they are connected to other dominoes of the same type. I’ll talk more about scoring later.
On your turn, you will connect a new domino to your kingdom and then select a domino to be played next round. It’s important to note that your kingdom must fit within a 5×5 grid (see picture below). You start with a single tile in your kingdom where your castle goes. When connecting a domino to your kingdom, at least one side of it must be placed next to a domino of the same type. (You can connect any type of domino to your castle tile.)
Selecting dominoes and turn order
After connecting a domino to your kingdom, you will then select a domino to be played during the next round. You select your domino by placing a wooden king meeple on it. This is where it gets interesting. Each round four new dominoes are laid out for players to choose from. All of the dominoes have numbers on their backs and are laid out in ascending numeric order. This order determines the player order for picking dominoes next round. In addition, dominoes with lower numbers are less valuable than dominoes with higher values. As a result, you have to balance between going earlier next round or getting a more valuable domino.
Game end and scoring points
The game ends when the stack of dominoes runs out. Then points are tallied up. Points are scored by taking the number of crowns in a territory and multiplying them by the number of domino sides of that type in the territory. You do this for each separate territory in your kingdom. The player with the highest score wins!
Player count: 2 to 4 players
Playing time: 15 minutes
Why Kingdomino is a peaceful game
Sometimes games with kingdom-building themes can feel aggressive and ruthless. Kingdomino is not that way. Each player is building their own kingdom that is separate from the other players. There is no combat between kingdoms or battles for territories. It’s more about being first to a territory rather than fighting for control of it.
The artwork in Kingdomino is comprised of bright and colorful dominoes with whimsical illustrations. On one domino there is a person walking with giant boots through a forest. On another, there is the shadow of a dragon flying over a field. The overall vibe I get from the artwork is one of lightheartedness with a bit of silliness. The swamp dominoes are a little spooky, but there are adorable wizards conducting experiments on many of them that are a joy to look at.
I love the feeling of building something from nothing that you get in the gameplay of Kingdomino. It’s satisfying to see your kingdom come together and its layout at the end of the game. I’ve talked about this before in my Unsurmountable post, but there is something very relaxing about the journey in games that involve creation. Not only do you get to experience the destination of the journey (your finished kingdom), but you get to see exactly how it came together. As a result, winning or losing doesn’t really matter; you’ve already won just by playing the game and creating your kingdom.
Kingdomino is another game with simple components. It has thick cardboard dominoes, wooden king meeples, and cardboard castles. I talked about how simple components can enhance the peaceful feeling of a game in my last post on Herbaceous, so I won’t talk more about it here.
Is Kingdomino a good game for you?
Kingdomino is a fantastic game for lovers of the tile-placement mechanism. It’s quick, simple, and satisfying. The easy-to-learn rules and charming aesthetic also make it welcoming to new board gamers.
In addition, I would like to point out how sometimes it can be difficult to find board games with medieval themes that are peaceful. Oftentimes, they involve combat and domination or a struggle to survive. Kingdomino is a great change from the norm.
A question for you
I’m noticing how a lot of the games in my peaceful series have themes that involve nature and/or animals. The theme of Kingdomino was quite a change from previous entries. What other themes are you interested in that you think would be a good fit for a peaceful game?
This post is part of my peaceful game series where I discuss tabletop games that I believe have a noteworthy amount of peaceful qualities. Click here to read my previous entry in this series: Herbaceous.
One response to “Kingdomino: Peaceful Game Series”
I enjoy the fun, whimsical art as well. I also like how you can make up a story or description of your kingdom at the end of the game when it is complete. You can describe and talk about all of the peaceful qualities of your kingdom!