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Kingdomino Two Player Review

Important Note:

All board game reviews and ratings from “A Pair of Meeples” are entirely based on the game at two players. You can learn more about our rating system by clicking below.


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Kingdomino, if you haven’t gathered from its title yet, it’s sort of like dominoes but for Lords, Ladies, and other royalty.  Just kidding you can be mere peasants like us and still play this game, conquer new lands, and create and expand your own kingdom.

Kingdomino Board Game Review

8.5 out of 10
Kingdomino Board Game Review

Is it Good For Two Players? : Definitely

Kingdomino is a great low complexity game that almost anyone can enjoy. Everything just works well and the entire game plays so smoothly that you’ll end up playing three or more games before you even realize it. This game is quite possibly twice as good at two players compared to other player counts, as you have more options on how to play.

Theme: 7/10
Replayability: 6/10
Components: 7/10

Conflict: 4/10
Fun: 6/10

Husband’s Rating
8 out of 10
Wife’s Rating
9 out of 10

Pros

Quick Playtime

Nice Components and Art

Simple and Easy

Still has a fair amount of depth

Cons

Fairly Luck Dependent

Gameplay Experience:

Kingdomino was one of the first games added to our collection and years later it still gets pulled out quite often to play.  I don’t believe I have ever played dominoes before, and if I have I do not remember, but from an outsider’s view, standard dominoes look quite unenticing (unless we’re talking about professional domino toppling, which is the exact opposite of unenticing, you just can’t look away after that first domino is pushed). 

Anyway, now Kingdomino on the other hand, looked quite fun with all of its colorful terrain tiles, little castles, and royal meeples.  Being a board game beginner at the time, it seemed like a perfect game, especially since it had that giant 2017 Game Award symbol on the front of the box, which means it must be good, right?

With us being new to board games, reading the rules took a little longer than it would now but in a few minutes we were underway and playing the game, following the rules for 2 players.  My wife grabbed her castle and I grabbed mine and we started choosing which new lands we wanted to add to our kingdoms, not strategizing or thinking it out very well.  Nonetheless, our kingdoms grew as we gained new forests, farms, fields, mines, lakes, and swamps.

In a short 15 minutes, we were on the last round of tiles and now it was fairly obvious, we should have planned our conquests a little better.  Both of us could not play our last tile as they couldn’t connect to our kingdoms, making us both miss out on that last-ditch effort to expand our control even more and ultimately create a larger kingdom than the other. 

 In Kingdomino though the size of your Kingdom isn’t the only thing that matters, even if some insecure Kings try to tell you otherwise.  The value of the land you have acquired is what matters most and in this case, it was actually me who had the most valuable land.  In reality though if my Royal Lady wants to get technical since we are wedded in royal and holy matrimony, she could divorce me to split our territories resulting in a tie, but luckily she didn’t do that and still puts up with me.

In just 15 minutes we had finished the game and had enough fun to play again, and again.  I think we played a total of six games the first day we played it if that tells you anything about how short, simple and good this game is.

Kingdomino Rules Summary:

Kingdomino is a very simple game to play.  It can play from two to four players but since this is a Pair of Meeples were going to be focusing on the two-player gameplay.  To start each player takes their 3d castle piece and corresponding tile, and places it in front of them, this is the start of your glorious kingdom.  You cant forget your corresponding royal meeples too.

Starting Pieces
Starting Castles and Royal Meeples

Then 2 columns of 4 face-down tiles will be placed in between the players and ordered from lowest to highest.  One column of tiles will be flipped face-up and these are the initial lands you will get to choose to add to your kingdom.  Players will take turns placing one of their meeples on a tile claiming it. After all meeples have been placed onto a tile, the next column of tiles will be flipped over revealing new lands to add to your kingdom.  

Kingdomino Tile Picking
First Tile Selection, after all visible tiles have a meeple on them the other column will be flipped.

The visible tiles you have already claimed with your royal meeples will decide the player order for choosing the next set of tiles.  For example, if my meeples were on the first and second tile after all tiles were claimed, I would have the first and second pick from the next set of tiles.  You can see how this makes for some interesting strategic decisions because deliberately choosing to do this would mean I get my pick of whatever I want from the next tiles and my wife gets whatever is leftover. Often it will not make sense to do this, but the option is sometimes there.  

Tile turn order example
Here is an example of how the top meeple is the first meeple placed onto the newly flipped tiles

This potential for two turns in a row is something unique to two-player games of Kingdomino only.  This is because each player has two meeples to choose from and thus can select two tiles from each column.  In a 3 or 4 player game, players only get to select one tile, this means there is a lot more player control over the turn order in a two-player game.

Anyway, after all the tiles are claimed, players will move their meeples from the previously claimed tiles to a newly flipped tile of their choosing always following the turn order decided by the previous tile selection. After each meeple is moved, the tile the meeple was on has to be added to your Kingdom. Tiles must connect to a similar terrain at least on one side (but the starting castle tile is considered wild on all four sides), and your Kingdom cannot exceed a 5 x 5 grid.

Columns are replenished facedown and this process will repeat until all tiles have been flipped, selected, and played if possible.  And that is basically how you play Kingdomino.  Scoring is quite straightforward in this game.  Certain tiles have crown icons on them and these are mostly what decide how valuable you’re land is.  You count the number of connected sections of each block of terrain and multiply it by the number of crowns in that section.  You do this for each section of terrain in your Kingdom and add them all up to decide who has the superior Kingdom.

Kingdomino End Game Example
Example of Kindomino Endgame

There are some minor rule variants included in the game such as “The Mighty Duel” where you use all the tiles instead of half resulting in a 7 x 7 Kingdom being made(only works for two players). “Dynasty” is another variation of play where your scores over three games are added together instead of deciding a winner after only one.  There are also some possible end-game bonuses that you could include for things like a perfect square Kingdom or a perfectly centered castle.  We typically don’t use the end scoring bonuses but do occasionally play the “Mighty Duel” or “Dynasty” variant.

Conclusion:

Kingdominos is a great low complexity game that almost anyone can enjoy.  It’s another great gateway game as it is easy to learn for beginners but also still provides some depth for more experienced board gamers.  Everything in Kingdomino just works well, and the entire game plays so smoothly that you’ll end up playing three or more games before you even realize it.  

The game can also fit a lot of different people’s playstyles as it can be high or low conflict depending on how you like/want to play.  You can pay attention to other people’s boards and block them from getting the tiles they need, or you can just do your own thing and pick the tiles you need for yourself and not intentionally screw over your opponent.

Overall this is a great game for people just starting their collection but as we said, we would not call ourselves beginners and still play this game quite often.  So even if you’re already deep into the hobby, but don’t have Kingdomino, don’t pass on it just because it is a simple 15-minute game, because the fact that it’s simple and short is what makes it so awesome.

Is Kingdomino Good For Two Players?:

This game is quite possibly twice as good at two players compared to other player counts.  Not only can you explore deeper strategies since you get two meeples to use, but you also have the option to play the “Mighty Duel” which uses all of the tiles instead of half, something you can only do at two players.  So in a way, if you are buying this game for mostly two-player sessions, you’re getting more bang for your buck, and the ability to play with more people is just a bonus.

This game will always be great to us because it is so quick to play. It’s a perfect game for those nights when we don’t have a lot of time to pull out something heavier, there have been times when we can even get a couple of games in before dinner is done cooking. So if you and your partner don’t often have time to play hour-plus long games, this game is a great alternative and still provides a lot of enjoyment.

Pros

  • Quick Playtime
  • Nice Components and Art
  • Simple and Easy
  • Still has a fair amount of depth.

Cons

  • Fairly Luck Dependent

Blue Orange Games Kingdomino Award Winning Family Strategy Board Game, 4 players
Blue Orange Games Kingdomino Award Winning Family Strategy Board Game, 4 players
Blue Orange Games Kingdomino Award Winning Family Strategy Board Game, 4 players

We hope this Kingdomino two player review has helped you.

Our reviews are not paid reviews, but some games are given to us, we do not let this affect our opinions in any way. This post may contain affiliate links so we might receive compensation if you sign up for or purchase products linked to. As an Amazon Associate, we can earn from qualifying purchases. This helps cover our site's costs and allows us to continue reviewing games.


Kingdomino Expansions

Blue Orange Games Kingdomino Age of Giants Expansion - Kids, Family or Adult Strategy Board game extension for award winning Kingdomino or Queendomino games - 2 to 5 players. Recommended for ages 8+

Kingdomino – Age of Giants Expansion

This expansion adds a lot of new tiles and other components including a neat domino dispenser. It adds some additional challenges to the game that take place of end-game bonuses, increases the interaction between players, and allows a fifth player to play the game.

Kingdomino vs Queendomino

Blue Orange Games Queendomino Board Game - Family or Adult Strategy Board Game for 2 to 4 players. Recommended for ages 8 & Up

Queendomino is a standalone game and also an expansion for Kingdomino. It adds more complex challenges to the game and a new territory. Queendomino can be played alone or can be combined with Kingdomino allowing up to 8 players to play at once.

This game has not made it to our collection yet because the simplicity is what we love most about Kingdomino. If you are wanting your games of Kingdomino to be a bit heavier though, Queendomino might be a great purchase for you.


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