CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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- For 2 to 4 players
- 45 minutes playtime of playtime
- In Kingdom Builder, the players create their own kingdoms by skillfully building their settlements, aiming to earn the most gold at the end of the game
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Top Customer Reviews
If you like games like Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan, you will certainly like Kingdom Builder. It has the same subtle strategy, where there are often a handful of options to choose from each turn, and the game becomes about optimizing these choices.
Most importantly, it's a fun game, easy to learn, and has the longevity to be played over and over again. Highly recommended!
The one drawback in the game is that it is very unforgiving at the beginning. Your first three turns can make or break your game. A bad initial placement can make it very difficult to recover. While experience can help you overcome this, there's no help for you if you receive a bad card draw. (Getting two or three of the same terrain in a row at the beginning can be a particularly bad situation). For this reason, we play with a minor variant. Each player starts with two cards instead of one, replenishing their hand each turn. This greatly reduces the luck factor and, in my opinion, greatly increases the enjoyment due to having more choice. Some argue this lengthens the game, however, in my experience the length of the game is far more dependent on the playing style of those at the table. When approached about this, the designer preferred to keep the game as it was and won the Spiel des Jahres so it's obviously a quality game as written. In my opinion, it truly shines with the variant.
Gameplay is very straight forward - setup a configuration of four starting boards chosen randomly, and select three of the ten kingdom builder cards, which will determine the point-scoring objectives to win the game. In turns, players will then play a card and place three settlements on the board in the corresponding terrain type (grass, flower fields, forest, canyon, desert, mountains, or water), trying to place them in a way that will earn the most points at the game end, as awarded by the three starting kingdom builder cards. If you have settlements beside special location hexes, these will give you the ability to perform special actions to help your cause.
The simplicity of the rules, combined with the short play time, attractive components, and perfect blend of luck/strategy devoid of viciousness makes Kingdom Builder ideally suited to introduce to non-gamers, friends and family. There is some theme, but it is largely window dressing that plays a serving role to the puzzle-like tactical game-play, and this is where the real fun lies.Read more ›
By those criteria, Kingdom Builder deserved it.
I normally am not a fan of positional games, but found this to be easy, forgiving and fast.
The basic premise is that terrain cards tell you where to place pieces, while victory condition cards tell you what you are trying to accomplish with your pieces. The "modifiers" that make the game interesting are location tokens which allow you to tweak the positioning rules a bit and obstacles and terrain changes that constrain your placement.
The board is built by picking 4 board segments from the 8 possible selections that ship with the game. (Easy expansion options, anyone?)
Easy to learn; easy to play
Fast - (30-60 minutes for 4 new players)
Forgiving - The board is big enough that you don't end up "trapped" into a dead-end game.
The open board and fast play keep it from being too competitive
Each replay will be somewhat different
A good introduction to positional games
Scoring is easy to make mistakes (e.g. count the number of your several-dozen pieces near a mountain)
Several "back to the rulebook" situations can arise
Summary: (4 stars)
It's a solid game, especially if you like positional games and casual games, you will like this one.
I don't think it's quite on par with the likes of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Carcasonne, etc. and I think that hardcore wargamers will probably find it too simplistic for more than a few plays.
I don't think anybody who reads this review and still buys it will regret buying it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this game for my Niece's thinking they would love it because it had a lot of five star reviews and sure enough they love it. Read morePublished 3 days ago by CLOWN
I'm pleased with every aspect of this game, from the material/construction to the actual gameplay. The layout is simple and straightforward, but the scoring objectives and board... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Aaron Whitt
My wife and I love this game. We especially love that we can play it with each other or with our more people. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Ben Savio
This game is awful. I'm amazed by all good reviews here and on other websites. Like another reviewer, I'm posting this because it needs to be said so you can avoid wasting money on... Read morePublished 1 month ago by D. Lewis
This has been our family's favorite game for several years, and we now have both the Nomads and Crossroads expansion sets. Read morePublished 1 month ago by R. A. Bay
Great game! Playable with kids aged ~10 and easy to learn. Not easy to play well - the replayability of the game is very high, since every part of it is changeable from game to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Colorado-zon
Kingdom Builder is a great game if you are a beginner to intermediate level board game player. Many enjoy the game because of the simplicity but I find it lacks strategic... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Eric Ly
Very fun, fast game that anyone can pick up. Getting a lot of mileage with this one over the holiday seasonPublished 1 month ago by Lucas Rohr