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Game of Kingdoms Review

Quick Look: Game of Kingdoms

Designer: Lenny Tim
Artist: Lenny Tim
Publisher: Self Published
Year Published: 2018
No. of Players: 2-6
Ages: 8+
Playing Time: 10-15 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com


tl;dr: Quick and simple trumping gameplay with a medieval theme. 

Getting to the Game: Shuffle the entire deck, and deal 6 cards to each player. Take the top card of the deck and turn it sideways face-up, placing the deck on top. This color is trump for the entire game.

Much like the name implies, the object here is attrition. When you're the active player, you're the "attacker," meaning that you can play select cards out of your hand in an attempt to get the player on your left, the aptly-named "defender," to take them. The defender has to be able to beat each successive card you throw out, but you can only attack with cards whose value has already been played. It's this last bit of gimmicking that gives this game a delicious edge.

Playing the Game: I keep going back and forth on this game. While the rule that the attacker can only use cards that have already been played is cool, it's really all that this game brings to War. It also streamlines the deck down to 40 cards, which is nice--games of War tend to go overlong.

The actual cards get in your way as well. There's some kerning issues in the font chosen for the Squire cards, so the name tends to feel squished, even with the whole width of the card to work with. 

Overall, there was a moment of "Oh, cool!" when I explained that you could only attack with cards already in the battle after the first attack, after we played out an entire game, there was a feeling of "done-ness" at the table after we finished. This might be a great game to bring to the table with younger kids--learning how trump works, and how hierarchies function.

Artwork and Components: The artwork here is not wonderful. The color of the cards is only denoted in the card name, not the art itself, which does two things: 1) It makes this game very hard to play in yellow-ish incandescent lighting, and 2) makes the game almost impossible to play for colorblind players. The individual suits themselves have very subtle differences between colors, which means that if you knew the cards cold, only then could you play it if you suffer from color-blindness. Maddeningly, the Green King is wearing blue armor. The Blue King wears red armor. The art itself is merely functional.

The components are a deck of 40 cards, the quality of which is your average gift shop souvenir card deck. Serviceable, but won't hold up over a lot of plays. Comes in a thin tuckbox.

The Good: Defenders dictating the cards able to be played in the attack is brilliant for strategy. Gameplay is quick, light, and fun.

The Bad: Art and coloring make this game nearly impossible to play in suboptimal lighting conditions. Not colorblind friendly. Art itself is blah.

Score: While Game of Kingdoms does a couple of neat things, there's more getting in the way than there is reason to play it. A deluxe version with sturdier cards and better art would be worth a look. I'm giving Game of Kingdoms a score of Slain.

Check out Game of Kingdoms on:


Nicholas Leeman - Reviewer

Nicholas has been a board game evangelist for over 10 years now, converting friends and family alike to the hobby. He's also a trained actor and works summers as one of the PA announcers for the St. Paul Saints. He lives in Minneapolis, MN with his board gaming wife and son.

See Nicholas's reviews HERE.
Game of Kingdoms Review Game of Kingdoms Review Reviewed by The Madjai on March 26, 2019 Rating: 5

1 comment

  1. Hi Nicholas, great review! How do we find out your score meanings?