Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Dave Reviews: Queens > Kings


The sequel to Kingdomino. Takes the basic game and adds mechanics to complicate it. BECAUSE WOMEN EMIRITE LOLOLOLOL

This is about as sequel as a sequel gets. Nothing about the mechanics of Kingdomino has changed. Tiles are set out in numerical order, higher numbers being generally more valuable, everybody picks one, and the selection order for the next round is determined by who takes what—lower numbers get earlier picks next time. Putting together tiles of the same type, with as many crowns as possible on those tiles, is the main method for scoring points.

Queendomino adds a new tile type: red construction tiles. A series of buildings are available for purchase (oh yeah, there's money now), which can be placed on any open construction slot. Buildings do not have to be purchased for a slot right away. Purchases happen after a player selects a tile, however, so you have take your spot in the turn order into consideration when deciding how likely it is you'll get a building you want. These buildings can give you knights and towers, as well as bonus points at the end of the game. There's even a dragon that you can use to torch the available building of your choice if no one else has used it that round (purchased buildings can't get burned off someone's board).

Knights collect money. You can use them once, on the tile you played that turn, and they collect money equal to the size of the linked terrain you placed the knight on. Balancing the knights, and money, you have against the buildings you need is important, because money is only worth a small number of points at the end of the game. Towers determine who the Queen works with; having the Queen on your side makes construction cheaper, and she acts as an extra crown in the territory of your choice if she's with you at the end of the game.

If you've played Kingdomino, you're already about eighty percent sure of how you'll feel about Queendomino. The additions don't change the core of the game, they simply offer more to think about. Given how simple Kingdomino is, that will likely be a positive to many fans. If you haven't played Kingdomino, the only reason to start there is if you need the simplest possible game. Queendomino is still easy to learn.

The thing about Queendomino is that it doesn't really fit a niche. Kingdomino is a beginner-level game, the kind of thing you show to people who are not gamers in an effort to bring them into the hobby with something that's guaranteed not to confuse them. Queendomino is basically what you show those people next, an exercise in how a game can have complexity added to it. It's hard to say who this game targets as an audience. It's good but not amazing, simple but not especially simple, contains some complexity but not that much. It's a good game. It's just hard to say, for anyone who hasn't played Kingdomino, how much they're liable to like it.

Score: Four crowns in fields out of the five that would have won me the game, damnit.

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