Designer: Bruno Cathala
Artist: Cyril Bouquet
Publisher: Blue Orange Games
Year Published: 2018
No. of Players: 2-5
Playing Time: 15-20 minutes
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
There is something strange happening in the kingdom. Sheep have gone missing, large footprints have appeared, and many buildings have been crushed to smithereens. This can only mean one thing—GIANTS! You must track these creatures down and send them to another kingdom before they destroy all that you have built!
Kingdomino: Age of Giants is a small box expansion for the 2017 Spiel des Jahres winner, Kingdomino. This expansion adds twelve new Kingdom tiles (with accompanying giant meeples), seventeen new Challenge tiles, a fifth player castle and starting tile, and a really cool tile-dispensing tower.
I won’t spend any time discussing gameplay for Kindomino or Queendomino, but I’ll have the reviews for those linked below. I will, however, discuss what the new additions add to the base games. Note that Age of Giants can be played with either King- or Queendomino.
Let’s start with the new Kingdom tiles. There are two types: ones with giants pictured on them, and ones with footprints pictured on them. The tiles with giants on them represent the roaming giants that are moving around the kingdoms, while the ones with footprints represent the giants moving on to another kingdom.
When you add a giant tile to your kingdom, you must add a giant meeple to one of your already-played tiles, covering any one of your crowns (your choice). If the giant remains there until the end of the game, you will lose out on the points that would be earned from that crown. When you add a tile with footsteps to your kingdom, you may move a giant (meeple) from your kingdom to an opponent’s kingdom. They then choose which crown of theirs to cover up.
Another new addition with this expansion are the Challenge tiles. These seventeen tiles will add new end-game scoring possibilities. Players draw two before the game begins, which creates additional scoring options.
The final major addition is the tile dispenser. At the beginning of the game, players will select the correct number of kingdom tiles for the number of players, shuffle them up, and then load them into the dispenser with the numbered side facing up.
And that is it for what comes in the expansion and how the different components affect gameplay. Now, let’s see what I thought about it all…
When Kingdomino was released in 2016, I was fortunate enough to review it, and it quickly became on of my favorite small box games. It is fast to play, easy to teach, and has subtle strategy that makes it so very good. You can see my original review of Kingdomino HERE.
Queendomino was released in 2017 and added new building tiles, a queen meeple, and a dragon (to mess with other players). This was such a great expansion/standalone game. I really loved the building market and the new scoring opportunities it provided, the knights that go out and collect taxes, and the battle over the queen (who gives extra points to the player that has her at the end of the game). All of these added an extra layer of gameplay that satisfied my need for a deeper game when I want it. You can see my review for Queendomino HERE.
Enter Kingdomino: Age of Giants, the 2018 expansion for this amazing kingdom-building, tile-laying game. Even though it is a small expansion, it adds a very important way to make the game even better: the Challenge tiles!!!
Yep, that is my favorite part of this expansion. Having different scoring options each game makes the game feel different with each play. Drawing two random Challenge tiles each game means there are 136 possible combinations. Add that with the base game scoring variants and those in Queendomino, and you have a lot of options.
The giants are a fun twist to the game if you like playing a little more cutthroat-style game. When I say a little, I really do mean a little, as the giants typically don’t pose too big of a problem. That said, it is fun moving the giants around everyone’s kingdom, hoping you don’t get one of them last. It feels kind of like Old Maid in that sense.
The tile tower is very cool, too, but not 100% necessary. You can definitely play the game without it, but it does keep the randomness of the tiles better.
Like I mentioned above, the new Challenge tiles add a lot of new scoring options, which makes the game very replayable, keeping it fresh each time it comes off the shelf. The giants are a fun twist and easy enough to play with or without. Finally, the tower is a cool-looking piece of table eye candy that also functions well.
NOTHING! Seriously, there isn’t anything I don’t like about this expansion. Giants – good. Tile tower – good! More players – good! Challenge tiles – great!
I hate that feeling you get when a reviewer says it’s a must-get expansion, as you know your wallet is going to suffer. Unfortunately I feel like this is a must-get expansion if you want to extend the shelf life of Kingdomino. The price point is great (only $15 on Amazon at the time of this writing) for all that the expansion adds to the base games.
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About the Author:
Dane Trimble – Owner
Dane is an Advertising Manager for a national magazine by day and a husband, father of four, and board gamer by night (and mornings). He has a passion for board games and believes board games help bring families closer together while providing kids a unique way to learn many diverse skills. And he thinks they are down right fun!!!
See Dane’s reviews HERE.