Kingdom Builder is a new game from designer Donald X. Vaccarino. It’s a fairly light game, maybe even a gateway game. The base mechanic is simple. Draw a terrain card, and play 3 settlements on the selected terrain. If possible, you must place adjacent to existing settlements. Each game 3 randomly goal cards are chosen. The goal cards define how you get victory points for the game. Some goal cards reward you for spreading out over the whole board, or building by water or mountains, or linking locations contiguously. There are a total of 10 of these cards, 3 of which are used each game, so the combinations of these cards really change the strategy from game to game. The game also includes 8 different terrain maps to keep the board different for each play.
- The game can play very quickly. The first game probably took 45 minutes, and the second about 20 minutes.
- For a light game, there is a surprising amount of strategy.
- Lots of replay value due to the randomly selected victory point goal cards and the many possible map setups.
- A great option for a gateway game beyond Ticket To Ride
- It’s a good filler game, but wouldn’t satisfy most gamers as the main course.
- The theme is nonexistent
Overall Rating: 6/10
- Strategy: 5
- Theme: 3
- Components: 6
- Mechanics: 9
- Fun: 6