Kingdomino Duel Roll and Write Game Review

Previously I discussed about The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game. It’s a roll and write version of a popular board game.

I noticed that the biggest advantage of this genre is how fast we can setup the game and ready to play. In any day where we want to play a game but we already get tired because of other activities, setting up a board game can be a huge barrier.

With games from this genre, we can simply just take a sheet, pencils or writing utensils and the dice and we are ready to play. Just roll the dice and start making decision for our action.

While roll and write games are mostly light to medium weight game, but they can still give a good experience. Some can be very addictive that we want to play the game right away.

Because of that, I started to look for more games from this genre. This next one, Kingdomino Duel is one of them. It is also based on a popular game called Kingdomino from the same designer.

So, what is this Kingdomino Duel roll and write game? How do we play the game? Can we play the game solo? Are there any expansions for it?

Those are probably just a few questions that came to mind after hearing about the game. Well, in this article, I’m going to share with you my Kingdomino Duel Review based on my experience on playing the game and what I can find from the internet.

Hope this helps. Is Kingdomino Duel the best roll and write game out there?

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Overview

Game’s Title: Kingdomino Duel
Genre: Roll and Write, 2 Player Only, Competitive, Fantasy Setting, One Time Abilities, Dice Drafting, Set Collection, Solo Variant.
Designer: Bruno Cathala, Ludovic Maublanc
Artist: Cyril Bouquet
Publisher: Blue Orange Games
Number of Players: 2
Playtime: 20 minutes
Official Website: Kingdomino Duel (blueorangegames.com)

Release Year: 2019
Price: $15

Contents:
8 Rule sheets (Multilingual)
4 Dice
2 Pencils
1 Notepad:
Map Sheets (70)
Spell Sheets (34)

About Kingdomino Duel Game

Kingdomino Duel is a roll and write version of Kingdomino,  a board game released in 2016 by the same designer, Bruno Cathala. The board game version won the Spiel des Jahres award, which is probably the most prestigious award for tabletop game industry.

It is very common that a well known game will get their roll and write  or dice game version. There will be no domino tiles like the board game but instead we will roll 4 dice and create a domino tile using the faces from those dice.

Instead of placing a tile, we will draw or write the faces on our personal sheet using the same rule from domino game. We have to place the same icon adjacent to the existing or previous tile.

The added word “King” on Domino represents the setting. Instead of pips like in Dominoes game, the tile depicts several different terrains surrounding the castle. We will be trying to place them so the same type of terrain will be adjacent to each other.

If then the one of the tile of each group has a Crown icon, we will get points. Otherwise that group of terrain will be worthless. So, not only we have a challenge of placing the tiles for the set collection, we also need to compete on getting the Crown icon.

That same territory building idea and the challenges also apply in this dice game. While we are still a King in a castle, instead of drawing terrains we will be drawing 6 different coat of arms on a map.

It’s like the King has to divide their land into several territories. Each turn, we will roll 4 dice and take two of them, giving the rest to our opponent.

Even though we will be playing on our own sheet and focus on taking the dice that will help us, we will also want to focus on what our opponent will take.

The two dice that might not help us can also help our opponent significantly. On the other hand, letting the opponent take the dice that we want but doesn’t help them much can be a better strategy.

With 6 different Coat of Arms that we are trying to collect, we probably won’t be able to collect everything equally. Maybe it is better to just focus on several.

On the other hand, because it is a dice roll, sometimes, the dice roll just don’t give a helpful result. Because of that we still have to find a way to mitigate that or we will lose a turn not being able to draw at all.

Unlike the board game version, which can be played up to 4 players, this dice game version only support 2 players. Hence, the Duel on the title.

Aside from the original idea of tile placement, Kingdomino Duel also introduced a new mechanism to this series. While collecting certain coat of arms, one player can be the first one to unlock a Spell from the Wizard depicted on the box cover.

The Spell is a one time ability. Each different coat of arms will lead to different unique ability that will bend the basic rule of game.

As an example, one ability allows us to flip the dice face Another spell allows us to ignore the connection rule which will give flexibility during subsequent rounds. Only the first player to access the Spell can activate that ability in any time during the game.

The spells are very situational to be useful. We may not even activate them at all.

Here is a overview video from BoardGameGeek channel during Origins Game Fair 2019, when they released the game for the first time.

Components

Kingdomino Duel game comes in a small box with magnetic clasp. I think it is supposed to look like a book with a very sturdy hard cover. We can even place the box standing without leaning on other things. The overall size of the box is 11 x 18 x 4 cm.

Inside the box we will find multiple rule sheets in 8 different languages, and a giant pad with more than 100 sheets with 2 types of sheet. At the bottom, we will find 2 pencils and 4 dice in a customized transparent plastic insert.

I think I have a second printing of Kingdomino Duel. The difference between this and the first printing is only how they print the sheet.

Apparently, there is no room left to add anything to this box. So far, there is no expansion for Kingdomino Duel.

I know that we will eventually throw away the sheets and probably the pencils.  If we want to replace the content with laminated sheets, the inner size is about 10.3 x 16.8 x 3.4 cm. The insert will take like 2.3 cm depth.

Even after we have used all of the sheets, the box will keep the dice in the right place. But that is not the case with the pencils as they will move around.

I guess, if we no longer want to play this game again, the box can become a nice storage for small game pieces or as stationary box. But because of the box form, if we store anything that exceeds the base part, we won’t be able to close the lid.

Usually, in a dice game or roll and write game, we can use the box or the lid as a tray to roll the dice. With this box form, I don’t think it is ideal to use that way.

Under the insert itself, we have a lot of rooms to store small pieces. As long as it is not taller than the dice.

I kind of wish that the box has more room to pick up the components. Otherwise, I have to flip the box to take them out.

At the bottom, we can see the same art as we can see on the box cover.

The art on the cover is nice showing the Wizard character that we will not find elsewhere from the components. At the back of the box, we can see the short versions of how the gameplay works in 3 steps and 8 languages.

They also show how the dice become a domino. But they do not show a lot of the gameplay aside from the drawing the first domino piece.

Here is an unboxing video by Meeple Village channel for Kingdomino Duel.

Rule Sheet

The rulebook is just a single sheet folded into 6 pages in a thin paper. The game comes with 8 different sheets for 8 languages: English, French, Germans, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Dutch.

According to BGG page, there are several other versions for its own language like Chinese, Korean, Polish, Nordic. The game itself is language independent so anybody can use any versions.

Unfortunately, I cannot find the rulebook digital file for other languages from the publisher’s website. For the English one, we can find it on this page. But even that one is not the same version as my copy, not that they made any changes for the gameplay.

Game Contents (Page 1). Regarding the sheets, while they updated the amount of sheets but it seems that it’s not very accurate with the actual amount.

Introduction and Object of the Game (Page 1). We can read some flavor text for the theme of the game a bit in the introduction part.  The second part is about the gameplay in general.

Set Up (Page 2). This section is a step by step guide for setting up the game. They added some thematic explanations related to the Coat of Arms.

How to Play (Page 2 – 5). This part explains the four stages that we need to do during each round. At the end of this part, they also mention the special Castle Bonus, another one time ability but this one each player will have.

I noticed that they add Important note section from the original version of the rule sheet at the end of this section. Basically it says it is possible that one player will not be able to draw anything during their turn because of the connection rule and available dice.

In that case, that player will still roll, draft the dice and fill the spellbook.

Wizard Powers (Page 4 – 5). This is the part with the different background color, explaining the Spells or one time abilities. While the sheet says that we can activate them whenever we want in one of the subsequent turns but it can be a bit confusing for certain abilities like flip the dice.

Like it can happen during the drafting or after the drafting before we write on sheet. Here we can also find the definition of DOMAIN.

End of the Game (Page 6). This part explains the 2 ways of how the endgame can be triggered. Followed by how to do the scoring and tie breakers.

They only show one illustration for the final scoring without any step by step scoring process. Luckily they do not waste a lot of space just to put the publisher’s contact info and credits on last page. They use smaller font size which I think more publisher should do the same.

For the most part, this rule sheet does a good job explaining all the rules. Kingdomino Duel is a rather simple game. But there are still things that need further clarifications mostly about tiny details that people can interpret differently.

For example, the rule didn’t say anything about whether we can activate only one or multiple spells at the same time. Another thing is about adding more than 2 crosses which is illegal but the rule didn’t say.

There are a couple of things that people have been asking related to the Spells or Spellbook. Like the splitting the dice or whether the domain must have at least a cross for the 3 points per domain.

Since the spell or Wizard’s power doesn’t have an official name, it kind of make things harder to discuss.

This game was designed by a French designer. I don’t know the original French rules but it seems a couple of mistranslations did happen.

Pencils

The game comes with 2 sharpened pencils so 2 players can play the game right away in a sealed plastic. These are just regular pencils and we can replace it with other pencils or pens.

Each pencil is about 7.5 cm length for the area where our hand will hold it for writing. For my hand, at least, it is an appropriate length but for those with bigger hand, they need to rely their fingers to hold it.

But then, the more we use this pencil we have to sharpen them again and make it shorter. So, eventually I will have harder time to use it.

While the genre of the game is known as roll and write and we do write the score but we are mostly drawing in this game. Some part can be considered as coloring.

What that means is, it will not take that long before we have to sharpen the pencils again. The game comes with like 100 sheets, so I think we will run out of the pencils first before using all of the sheets.

If we want to replace them, I’m not sure about finding standard pencils in that length. The problem is mostly about the insert for the pencil which only has 9.5 cm room.

The good thing is that the coloring part is not necessary. As long as both players can agree, they can just write other symbols to represents the same icon.

They also do not provide any eraser. I understand that there is an idea to prevent players from cheating but it is possible that we make an honest mistake during the game. We draw something that essentially is illegal and we want to fix that.

Because of that, we have to be careful and make sure that we put the right icon before we start the coloring part. Otherwise it will be harder to fix.

As some can probably guess, by using a pencil, we are going to write on a sheet for one time use only. Other games can use a laminated sheet and dry erase marker to write on it. While we still need to replace the marker, we can preserve the sheet.

Some people have said that the pencils are not dark enough. Because of that they tend to use pen with different color.

The rule also suggests using different color to separate the two different icons. I kind of wish that they use 2 pencils with 2 different colors that both players can exchange during the game.

One more complaint that I have is that this is a game where we will write in different order. We can first draw on the right side and move to the left and back to the right or so.

The problem is that we will eventually put our writing hand on the drawn part. Considering there is a coloring aspect, our hands may get dirty.

Sure, we can just lift our hand a bit while writing which will be easier if they use longer pencils. Even that, we will probably do light drawing. This is less of a problem with markers.

Overall, these are minor complaints. We can just use other writing utensils. but it’s not a bad idea at least for players though.

Dice

Kingdomino Duel comes with 4 customized white d6. Instead of pips, they show the coat of arms that we will need to draw on the sheet.

The size is about 2 cm each with rounded corner and they are made of thick plastic. I think they are a bit too big to roll all of them using just one hand. Maybe they use the same size as the grid on the sheet where we will draw the icons on.

I think each of them are unique. There are a couple of identical icons on several faces but on different dice.

In this game, every round, we will roll all 4 dice. One player will pick one first and the other player will pick two of the other 3. Then the first player will take the last one. During the next round, players will switch the order of drafting these dice.

They will have to combine the result into a domino piece or 2 x 1 tile. Then they will draw them in that configuration that they can still rotate on the sheet following the connection rule of dominoes game.

The connection rule is that we have to place the icon orthogonally adjacent to the same one. If we cannot connect any of them, we cannot draw anything and it’s like losing any benefit from it.

That is how we choose the dice. We have to make sure that we can draw them, connect to existing icons or while keep the other icons open for drawings later in the game.

Another thing to consider is how we can prevent our opponent from taking a dice that they want. Both players can get good combination of dice but if they switch them, maybe one player will get less benefit while the other still get something.

We also need to consider about the cross icon or dignitaries that will give value of those icons. Without them we will get no points.

The last thing is about activating the Spell from Wizard. More about this later.

So, all of those considerations give Kingdomino Duel some depth. Sometimes the choice will not be obvious and not easy to take.

With the nature of dice rolling, there is an element of luck. At the start, we might not care that much of what icons to collect. As the game progresses, we will wish that the dice will show certain faces.

The more of the same icons we can get and place them in the same group, we have higher potential to score more. But it is not a guarantee. Sometimes it’s like an investment, we focus on one or more icons but they just do not show up.

Coat of Arms / Shields

These are the icons that we will see on the dice faces. Thematically, in a Kingdom, the King will divide his Kingdom into several domains or regions with one dignitary or high rank person in command. This person will have a Coat of Arm as their icon.

In this game, all of these icons has a shape of a shield but with different pattern. There are 6 different Coat of Arms, which can be a single or double dots, single or double stripes, a block or black and white quadrants / checkerboard pattern.

These are the patterns that we have to draw on our sheet. The sheet already has a template for the shield outer figure. We just need to fill them with these patterns.

Aside from 6 different shields, there will be 2 dice with a single “?” on one of their face. These are the joker or the wild icons that can be considered as any of those 6 shields.

The SINGLE DOT SHIELD appears at least once in all of 4 dice. One dice has two faces for this and another one will have one single dot shield with a cross sign.

The SINGLE STRIPE SHIELD is similar to the Single Dot but with two less number of shield of all 4 dice. In fact, they are the opposite side on 3 dice. The one dice with 2 Single Dot Shields will only has one Single Stripe Shield with the other side being a “?” or the joker.

The DOUBLE DOT and DOUBLE STRIPE SHIELD can be considered as identical in number of appearances and cross. Each dice only has one of each and only one dice has one cross next to them.

The two shield are on the opposite side of each other on every dice. Usually that means, if we focus on one, we can probably just ignore the others.

The BLOCK SHIELD and QUADRANT SHIELD are the rare one. They only appear on 2 dice also on the opposite side of each other. Maybe because of that, they are also the only two to have two crosses on a single shield. Either no cross or 2 crosses.

Even though they are less likely to show up, but if we consider the “?” on the other two dice that don’t have these rare shields, I guess we can say that all of the shields are equal.

With how they are placed on the dice, I think if we try to collect one side, maybe it will be better to ignore what’s on the opposite. We can only choose one and focus on that.

However, sometimes, they just keep showing that other side that we may not collect but our opponent does. Because of that, both players cannot just divide them equally. They may have to compete for the same shields.

Dignitaries / Crosses

As we can see from the dice, some of the symbols or icons also has one or two crosses on the top left side of it. These represents the dignitaries or the high rank people who are appointed to lead their group of that symbol.

In the game, the crosses are what gives the symbol the value. If we only collect the same symbols without having any of cross, they are worth nothing. We will score 0 point from that domain.

Otherwise, we multiply the number of these crosses with the number of same symbols in a domain or adjacent area as our points. So, if an area has a single shield with 1 cross, that area is worth 1 point.

With 2 crosses, 2 points per shield and so on. Because of that, not only we want to collect the shield, but we also want to collect more crosses. Crosses cannot be transferred to different shield.

Even for the same shield but different domain. We have to score each domain of the same shield separately.

Each dice will have two shields that at least has 1 cross. Somehow the two that has the cross are the opposite side of each other. That means, if we flip it, we will get the same number of crosses but for different shield.

Only one dice has two shields, each with 2 crosses.

It is possible that in a game, we will not see any crosses at all. This can be good or bad for both players.

As a consolation prize, if we pick a shield with no cross beside it, we gain a favor from the Wizard. Once we have enough favor we can access a spell that we can activate once. More about the Spell later.

So, there is a reason why we might not pick a shield with a cross. However, we still need the cross to get a score at all. Even if we failed at placing the shield with a cross in a single larger domain, we still get a score at least.

Because of that, everytime the dice roll shows any of the cross sign, players have to be careful about letting them go. Even if we don’t actively collect that shield and the other dice are instead showing what we want.

It is possible that one player can take all of the cross signs. This become worse when the dice roll just do not show those cross at all. The difference is score can be very significant like 100 to 50 points between players.

On the other hand, since we are competing against just one opponent, maybe the difference in score doesn’t really matter. We can win even with just 1 point more than the opponent.

Because of that, sometimes, it’s fun to try gambling in this game, invest on the rare shield. If it pays off and we keep getting that rare shield with 2 crosses, we can score very high. Otherwise, we will lose badly. But it is so satisfying when we succeed.

? Shield (Wild / Joker)

I said that the Joker shield can be considered as more rare shields. However, that is not always the case.

The purpose of this shield is to give flexibility for all shields. Most of the time, we have to consider the other shield that we get alongside this Joker shield.

We want to make sure that we can continue accumulate or expand the domain. If we just choose the rare shield just because the joker shield allows it to, then those rare shield will be in separate domains.

It’s possible that those rare shield will end up getting in the way of connecting a bigger domain for another shield. If then the cross is only available in the smaller domain, we will lose the chance to score very high.

So, personally, in this game, I think this Joker shield is more attractive when I already find some rare shields with crosses. We can expand those rare shields. Otherwise, it’s just to make sure we can draw at all.

It’s possible that we are so invested in collecting just one or two shields and then we forget to open a chance to place the other type. This usually happens towards the end of the game where we already close any adjacent side to the Castle.

We want to try focus the rest of the rounds just boosting several shields and yet the dice roll forces us to get another shield. If none of them are this Joker shield, we might have to skip drawing for that turn.

The downside of the Joker shield is that we don’t get any favor from the Wizard despite having no cross. We might need one of those spells later.

Notepad

This is the the component where we will do the writing and probably the main component of the game. The game comes with a big notepad consists of  more than a hundred of sheets.

There are two type of sheets in this one notepad, the MAP and the SPELLBOOK. Each player will use one Map and share one Spellbook sheet for each session.

Both sheets are identical copy. They do not provide variants with these many sheets.

Back then from the original printing, the publisher used one side of the sheet for the Map and the other side for the Spellbook. The problem with this is instead of having 2:1 ratio we get 1:1 and end up getting too many Spellbook sheets.

With the second printing, at least with my copy, the two types are separated with still double sided sheets. I don’t know why but the ratio is not exactly 2:1 but closer to that than the original.

The rule sheet says like 134 map to 66 spellbook while the actual number for my copy is around 140 to 68, both sides for each. Each copy of the game was supposed to support almost 70 sessions while the original can only support like 25 with those 100 sheets.

To play the game, each player will take out the Map and take one Spellbook and put the Spellbook in the middle of the players. Then, if they want to play another game of Kingdomino Duel, they can just flip the 3 sheets.

Because both type of sheets come in the same notepad, the size of the sheets are identical, which is 16.5 x 9.6 cm. It is almost as big as the footprint of inner part of the box with the box is a bit wider.

Maybe people will have a hard time putting back the laminated sheet to the box. There will be no extra space for the plastic edges.

I guess with the number of plays that this game can support, we don’t really need to have laminated sheets and just buy another copy. It’s true that the price is not that high.

For the paper, I think they use the same quality as their rulebook or closer to it. So, they are not that thick. If we place the sheet on a glass table, I think we can see the printing on the other side. Maybe it’s not ideal to play on a cafeteria with glass table.

Also, regarding the thickness, maybe it’s not a problem if we use the pencil. However, if we use pen with certain ink or marker, it is possible that it will bleach through and make the other side become unplayable.

Spellbook Sheet

I guess we start with the Spellbook sheets first which is at the bottom of the pad. Here we can find something like a scroll on a wooden table as the art. Thematically, the Wizard is teaching us the spell, I guess.

As we can see there are two identical sides, one for each player. In the middle is the one time abilities or SPELLS that players can try to compete to access them. Once one player has access to it, the other player can no longer access them.

So, it’s kind of a race. Even if the second player only one box behind, that player has to strike through the entire line, ending the race. If somehow both players manage to access it in the same round, only the player who pick the first dice get to access it.

So, there are 6 different Spells. At both end of each row, we can find the Shield Icon associated with that ability. In between the shield and the ability, we can find between 3 to 5 boxes.

Players can fill in these boxes to access the spell. The rule suggests that we fill in the box by making it full color. Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way. We can just use check mark or cross each box.

Somehow they use a red color for the final box. Some people think there is a special meaning to it while the publisher just want to make sure that it is the last box that players need to fill to access the spell.

The way we get to fill the box is by picking a shield icon from the dice that doesn’t have any cross or dignitary on it. Let’s say if we take the Single Stripe Shield with no cross, then we fill the first box of the second row.

We have to draw the Shield first before we get to progress on this ability. So, if somehow we get the dice but we cannot draw them, we cannot get that progress.

After we have access to the spell, we can activate them whenever we want in later turns. The exception is the last two spells at the bottom with the lightning sign next to it. These two need to be resolved right away.

The rule sheet doesn’t say but I guess we can activate any Spells that we have at the same time. Since, acquiring the spells relies on the result of the dice roll, we really don’t know when we can actually get it.

Sometimes it can happen soon enough. Other times, we don’t get one at all. Even if we do get one, activating them at the right time may not happen as well. Maybe even the game already ends by then.

Once we have activated them, we need to cross the icon in the middle as the indicator. They are just one time ability per game.

Details of each Spells

So, what are the Spells or the one time abilities? Again, since there is no name for the spell, it’s kind of difficult to discuss it. We just start from the top row to the bottom.

The first one is the SINGLE DOT ABILITY. It says that we can play the domino tile without following the Connection Rule.

The Connection Rule says that to play the next domino piece, we need to put the same symbol orthogonally adjacent to the previous tile or to the Castle. Which is why the icon indicates the two dominoes where the part that has the same color are not adjacent.

From what I understand, not only we can ignore the same symbol connection, but we can also ignore any connectivity at all. It’s like we can start a new domain from another corner, not just expanding from the previous area. Not that it is a good idea to play that way.

The best use of this is if the dice roll somehow doesn’t show the shield that we can connect. That is the best time to activate this ability.

However, if we already play it very well where we can always have spot to connect, we may not need this. This is more like a safety net and we probably have to hold it until the end or don’t use it at all.

The second one, the SINGLE STRIPE ABILITY says that we can separate the dice to fill into the map. However, each dice must respect the Connection rule.

From what I understand, this is the only ability that allow us to fill in the map perfectly. There are 34 shields that we can fill from the map.

If we place domino tiles regularly, there will be two left over spaces that do not connect. Which means, the other player that doesn’t have this ability, will not be able to draw on the last turn.

So, this one is very useful. However, as the rule says, that each die still need to follow the connection rule. If somehow the final dice cannot follow that rule, then this one is useless as well. It may be a good combo to have this and the first ability but that rarely happens.

The third one or the DOUBLE DOT ABILITY allows the owner to pick two dice immediately during the drafting phase. However, only when that player is the first one to draft.

So, instead of A-B-B-A order, the owner can activate the ability and it becomes A-A-B-B. Another situational ability and from 17 rounds, only 8 chances or less to activate it. That is if the dice roll do shows the two that we want.

It can be very powerful if we do have the other ability like the one that allows us to rotate to any faces. Towards the end of the game, the tension will be higher as for when to use this. So, once we have this ability, we need to keep checking the possibility.

The fourth one or DOUBLE STRIPES ABILITY allows us to turn one of the dice to any faces that we want. We have to choose the dice first, and then rotate it however we want.

If we follow the rule where we can activate any ability whenever we want, it sounds like we can mess around the other dice that we don’t take. It is possible that the dice only show one good face for the opponent and we switch it and they can no longer use any dice.

I don’t think that is the idea of the game to just be mean to each other but maybe both players can agree on that house rule.

I thought at first that we can only turn the dice upside down so we need to memorize a bit what’s on the other side. However, since we can turn it to anything, that means it will be more powerful if we know which dice to choose.

I will definitely choose the dice with the rare shields and 2 crosses. Of course, I have to work on any of them first and maybe I already achieve that by the time I have access to this.

I assume that if we choose the shield without any cross, we still get the wizard progress. So, that can be another use if somehow both players are one step away from accessing the ability.

The fifth one from the FULL BLOCK SHIELD, is a bit tricky, especially since we need to activate it right away. It says, choose one COAT OF ARMS and each different domain with that symbol will give 3 points at the end of the game.

The scoring will not happen until the game has ended. So, in a way, we can still increase the score after we choose which shield to give the extra points.

What that means is if somehow we have one shield scattered all over the map, each of them will give us 3 points. So, it’s like we have to play incorrectly where one symbol doesn’t connect at all.

If let’s say from 34 shields, 17 of them are of 1 shield that doesn’t connect, we can get 51 points. But that’s it and no other score. It’s impossible to happen as we still need to connect something in order to draw.

In my experience, getting this one is already very rare. Only one dice with one face to give the progress. When we do get it, and if somehow we do the placement very well, we probably only get one or 2 domains at most.

I guess, it’s a bit different if we get this one early, which is also not likely to happen. While we can work on it afterwards, we are losing the chance on getting higher score by doing the placement poorly.

So, if this comes early, we can work on it but no guarantee that the dice will show. If it comes later, it will give some extra points.

The problem with this one is that they do not provide a way to choose which shield. I guess they expect us to circle the symbol from the owner’s side.

The last ability from the QUADRANT or CHECKERBOARD shield allows us to add one cross to the coat of arms of our choosing. For this one, we also need to activate the ability right away after we have access to it.

This can be a huge one since this is the only one that gives extra score immediately. That extra score can be from just 1 point or multiply a number of shields in a domain.

The additional cross cannot be done to a shield that already has 2 crosses. But by that time, we already have a lot of shields to choose from. This is more flexible than the Special Castle Bonus as we do not need to cross just the one we recently drew.

I guess that means between the Full block shield and this checkerboard shield, the latter is a better choice and both players probably should try to get it. Like the full block shield, if this comes early, we need to work on that domain.

If it comes later, we have to carefully choose the one that gives the most points.

That is it with the Spells from Spellbook in Kingdomino Duel.

Map Sheet

This is the last type of sheet and the main component of Kingdomino Duel. All of the map sheets are identical.

As we can see, there are two parts, the playing area and the scoring area. I will start with the one on the right, which is the Scoring Column.

Here we can see the 6 Shields and the 7th 3 point bonus from one of the ability. Right next to each symbol is a field where we can write the points that we get from each symbol.

At the bottom most, we can tally and get the total score. It is possible that we will get 0 point from one or more shields. On the other hand, from the other shield, we can get like 50 just from one.

The scoring will only happen at the end of the game. Both players will then compare their final score to find out the winner.

The PLAYING AREA on the left is where we will draw the shields. It is a 5 x 7 grid with a Castle in the middle.

The size of each grid is about 1.7 x 1.7 cm. So, they are a bit smaller than the dice. The idea is so that after players have chosen the dice, they can connect the 2 dice and place them on the grid.

For players who are not excel in spatial puzzle, this can actually help. At least for me, as I can keep rotating and try different placements.

Each grid already has a shield form template so we can just draw the stripe or dots from the dice. On the background, we can see the entire Kingdom. Some parts of it are sea, land, maybe mountains and forest.

The art is just flavor. It doesn’t have any impact to the gameplay. Any Shield icons can go any part of it.

The Castle in the middle of the player sheet is where we start. In this domino game, we have to create the domino pieces from the dice and follow the connection rule. We need to place the same icon adjacent to the existing icons that we previously placed.

At the start of the game, we have no shields yet. So, the Castle is considered as a wild icon and we can put any shield adjacent to it. It only works orthogonally but not diagonally.

That means, with 4 sides of the Castle, we can use it to draw 4 different shields. It’s not a good play to just cover all of them immediately, especially with just one symbol.

We have to leave some of them open so that if we have to use dice that doesn’t have any connection, we can put them there. Usually, we will just start from either left or right of the Castle.

Eventually, we will cover both the upper and lower side as well leaving just the other left or right side. By that time, hopefully, we already have drawn several different shields so we don’t need to rely on the Castle.

This 5 x 7 grid is also a bit strange compared to the original board game version of Kingdomino where we will try to create 5 x 5 or 7 x 7. With 34 grids, as I already mentioned, no matter how we try to place our domino pieces, we will eventually have 2 disconnected shields left.

Even the publisher said so. Which is why the ability to separate the dice is a good one. However, the final score is what determines the winner. Having that ability just means the owner can have one more draw than the other player.

If the owner played poorly, the other player can still win.

On the left side of each shield in the grid, we can see two white dots. This is where we draw the cross or the dignitaries that will give the domain the value.

Only one cross on each dot. It seems like there is enough room for more dots and more crosses in a single grid. But that is not the case. They leave it open so we can still enjoy the art on the back.

Special Castle Bonus

Aside from being a wild, the Castle also has another purpose. Each player has one Special Castle Bonus from the start.

This allows them to put a cross icon on any shield that they just drafted from the dice. The bonus is accessible anytime but it is also a one time only.

After a player has activated the bonus, they are expected to put a color on the white roof of the Castle as indicator.

We definitely don’t want to miss out activating this ability as it can give a lot of points. However, when to use it is a bit tricky, mostly because it must be done when we draw the dice.

I think the idea of this bonus is so that if we have created a large domain but somehow the shields have very few crosses or none at all, we can use the bonus as mitigation. At least we still get something from it.

Of course, if we do the placement very well, we can use this extra cross to increase the score even more. It is tricky because we have to do it when we know we are going to cut the territory.

On the other hand, it is probably not the only territory and maybe there are others that can even give more points. Most of the time, it is better to use it later in the game. Like any one time ability, it is very easy to forget about this one.

The rule also says that the dice that we add a cross on cannot be used to fill the Spellbook. I guess, we can still just add the cross to a shield that already has a cross. We can also add it to a shield that we choose because we pick the joker or “?” icon.

That is it with all of the components to play Kingdomino Duel. Now, we can learn how to play.

How to Play

Kingdomino Duel is a competitive game for 2 players only. Some people have been trying to create their variant for different player count like solo or 3 players.

This section will only discuss the official rule to play Kingdomino Duel. We can find out more about the other variant using this links, for solo and for 3 players.

This next video is a tutorial and playthrough by Monique and Naveen from Before You Play channel about Kingdomino Duel.

Setup

1st. Each player take 1 MAP SHEET and put the sheet in front of them on the table. Players also take 1 PENCIL or other writing utensils.

2nd. Take 1 SPELLBOOK SHEET and put the sheet between the two players. Each player put their name on one side in the box at the top.

3rd. Take all 4 DICE included in the box and put them on the table next to the Spellbook sheet. Each player will take turns rolling all 4 of them.

4th. Players can choose who goes first  in a round and that player becomes the PLAYER A. The opponent will be the PLAYER B. Players will switch role as player A or B between rounds.

Now, we can start the game.

Gameplay

The game of Kingdomino Duel is played over several rounds until the end of the game is triggered and players proceed to scoring to determine the winner. Each round consists of 4 main phases.

1st. Rolling Dice
2nd. Setting up the Dominoes
3rd. Filling in the Map
4th. Filling in the Spellbook.

The end of the game can be triggered during the 3rd phases. See below. Otherwise, the game continues.

After resolving all of those 4 phases, at the end of the turn, PLAYER B should collect the dice and become the PLAYER A for the next round.

Rolling Dice

During this phase, the player A of the round rolls all 4 dice.

Setting up the Dominoes

This is the dice drafting phase. Player A will pick one from 4 dice first. Then, Player B will pick 2 of the remaining 3 dice. Lastly, the Player A will take the last dice.

If Player A has the THIRD SPELL and they want to activate, the Player A can choose 2 dice immediately. Player B will take the remaining 2 dice.

Both players now have 2 dice that they can combine to create a single domino. They can use the combination in the next phase.

Filling in the Map

During this phase, both players can use the domino they created using two dice to draw the symbols of shields on each of their Map. Players can choose two empty and adjacent Coat of Arms or shield to draw.

They also need to draw the corresponding cross or dignitaries from the dice, next to the shield or Coat of Arms.

When adding a domino to the Kingdom or the Map sheet, players must follow one of the 2 Connection Rules.

One. Connect one of the symbol of the domino orthogonally adjacent to the Castle, regardless of the symbol. That means all 6 can be placed next to the Castle but the Castle only has 4 sides that we can put symbols next to it.

Two, Connect at least one of the symbols on the domino to a matching Coat of Arms already in the Kingdom, drawn on previous turn. Dominoes must be connected orthogonally not diagonally.

NOTE: If players have access to the FIRST SPELL, they can choose to activate it at this point for one time only to ignore the connection rule. At this point they can also activate the SECOND SPELL to separate the dominoes or dice but each dice must follow the connection rule.

The FOURTH SPELL can also be activated during this phase. Player who owns the spell can rotate one of the dice to any side that they want.

If by any chance one player has access to both or more Spells, they can activate one or all of them at the same time.

There is a chance that players cannot connect their domino by following those rules. In that case, that player draw nothing in this turn. This will affect the next phase.

If both players cannot draw anything, it triggers the end of the game. Otherwise, the game continues.

The rule suggests that when two different Coat of Arms are side by side, create a line on the grid to separate the two squares or domains. This will be helpful to visualize the territory and connection for each domain.

Special Castle Bonus

Once per game, each player can add 1 CROSS of the 2 Dice that they have chosen. This can be applied to QUESTION MARK dice as well.

However, it must be done in the same turn as where we draw the dice. It cannot be done later.

To indicate that we have activated the bonus, we can put a color on the roof of the Castle in our player map.

Also, this should be resolve before the 4th phase or Filling the Spellbook. The rule says that we cannot use the dice that we put a cross on for filling the Spellbook.

Filling in the Spellbook

After adding a Coat of Arms without any cross to the Kingdom, players can get closer to the corresponding spell. They can fill the square on their side from the appropriate row.

If the Coat of Arms comes from the QUESTION MARK DICE, players do not get to fill the square in the Spellbook.

Only one player can access the same spell in each game. After one player has filled all of the squares of any given row or Spell, that player has the access to that Spell, and denying the access to the opponent.

The other player must strike through their entire line to indicate that they can no longer working on it. If both players manage to access the Spell on the same turn, the PLAYER A wins the tie.

Activating the Spells

There are 6 different Spells. The first four spells can be activated whenever we want during the subsequent rounds after we acquire the Spells. As noted above, we can activate more than one spell at the same time.

For the last two Spells, they have a lightning symbol. This indicates that the Spells must be resolved right after the player has acquired it.

For the FIFTH SPELL, we need to choose which of the six Coat of Arms that we want to get the bonus from each domain with that shield. To indicate that, we can just circle the Coat of Arms of the owner’s side.

The bonus points will be counted during the Scoring Phase.

For the SIXTH SPELL, we need to put a cross on any Coat of Arms that we have drawn on our Map. Each Coat of Arms can only have up to 2 crosses. So, we need to add the cross on another Shield with less than 2 crosses.

To indicate that we have activated any of the Spells, we can cross out the Spell’s icon or the Coat of Arms for the corresponding spell.

End of the Game

The end of the game can be triggered by two ways.

One. If one player fills the last remaining Coat of Arms of their map.

Two. If both players cannot place their domino this turn. That means, the game can end even if there are still a lot of empty Coat of Arms.

If any of them are met, then after resolving the round, players proceed to scoring.

The way to score is to multiply the number of Coat of Arms in the same domain with the number of dignitaries or crosses that are in that domain.

Domain is a territory or group of squares with single type of Coat of Arms that are orthogonally adjacent to each other. Each Kingdom can have multiple domains. One Coat of Arms can also have multiple domains and each of them must be counted separately.

If a domain has no dignitary or cross, the domain is worth nothing. A domain can score zero but the same Coat of Arms can have a score from a different domain.

We write the total score for each Coat of Arms on the appropriate row of Scoring Column on the map. For the player who has the Fifth Spell, they count 3 points for each domain with the chosen Coat of Arms and write the score on the last row.

It doesn’t matter if the chosen Coat of Arms has no dignitary at all in any of the domain.

We can then tally the score and write them at the bottom most part of the column. The player with the most point wins.

In the case of a tie, the player who has the most Coat of Arms in a single domain breaks the tie. If the tie persists, the game ends in a draw.

That is it with how to play Kingdomino Duel.

Experience and Thoughts

I think the biggest issue with this game is the luck of the dice roll. Not because we do not get the right symbols but it is possible that we will get no dignitary at all for one Coat of Arms that we are collecting.

Some might say that it can be swingy. There are a couple of playthrough videos displaying this issue where one player can score like more than 100 points while the other is just 50 or so.

So, even if we already do a good job with placing the dominoes and even created a big territory, it’s possible that we will not get score at all from that. Even if we use that Special Castle bonus, it is just 1 point per Shield.

If let’s say we always get just 1 type of shield without any crosses at all, at most we will get 34 points from that Special Castle Bonus. While it is a very unlikely scenario, but it just means that the one time bonus may not worth that much to mitigate the luck.

It’s like investing that just doesn’t pay off. I have not played the original Kingdomino game but Chris Yi from Meeple Overboard channel said that it’s like playing the board game but with only 5 x 5 grid where we remove some of the tiles.

It is possible that some of them are tiles that can give us score and we are just gambling on the wrong symbols. That is not going to happen with the 7 x 7 where we use all of the tiles and we can expect some will give us score.

At least that means this roll and write version, in a way still capture the same experience as the original version. It’s just not the best one.

The luck can be frustrating. Some people might say that it is not a big deal because it’s a very fast game.

On the other hand, I might say that this is not a game that I’m willing to play a couple times in a row like other with roll and writes games. Even though this is very portable and fast to setup. It feels disappointing at the end of the game.

The disappointing feeling can happen in two ways. Either we keep getting bad rolls in a row or we already build up a great territory, but the one with cross just doesn’t come out.

Usually I like games with a score because I can compare the score with my previous play. If I can get the similar amount of points that means maybe I do a good job. I know that I’m doing better or worse with higher or lower score respectively.

But that is not going to happen with this game. I might win, but score rather low. Based on my experience, the score is between 50 and can go up to 120 or so.

But it got me thinking. This is a two player only game. If the goal is to win, I simply only need to score 1 point more than my opponent. I really don’t need to score as high as possible.

The problem with that is instead of focusing on what I can do with my board or sheet, I started to look on my opponent. Then, the next thing is, I started to just mess around with theirs.

In the case of Kingdomino Duel, sometimes, it’s about hate drafting. I draw the dice that I do not particularly collect or need just because I cannot let my opponent get it.

Personally, I don’t mind that kind of interaction as long as it’s not the main focus of the game. With Kingdomino Duel, at first, I thought that is not the main idea. But after I realized that luck plays a big role here, I can’t help but going to that way.

On the other hand, I started to find a different way to play the game. At first I thought that the two rare shields are like trap that we should not try to collect.

But because the game feels random, I try to shoots for the moon by actually collecting those rare shields. I thought I might lose because of luck but I can also win that way and probably get a very high score.

Again, in a game for 2 players only, the score is kind of meaningless. We either win or lose. With more players, 1 point ahead might might make a difference between 2 or more players. So, by trying to shoot for the moon, it’s like we can win big.

Those two rare shields can score very high but mostly if we do roll the ones with double crosses. If we only rely on the joker or question mark dice, they just become like the other shields.

If we do get a lot of double crosses, one rare shield can give me like 60 even 70 points which is more than half of the possible total score. On just one game, I managed to get like 110 points just from 1 rare shield while the other shield score 15 or lower.

While the other shields may show up more often but the one with cross may be swingy as well. I don’t know why but from the second group of shields I almost always got like around 40 points.

Oddly enough, the most common shields have wider range of score. Of course, it can score zero, but in one game, I can get like almost 80 points.

Consider this as just another data point. Maybe this doesn’t really represent the probability or anything.

Regarding the spells, the last two from the rare shields almost never happened. From me playing the game at least 10 times, I only got to activate them once for each.

Spells from the second group, I think we manage to access them quite often. However, using them is very rare. Changing the dice face is easier to use but grabbing the first pair rarely happen.

Mostly because it’s less flexible to activate. Most of the time I forgot that it is even there, especially after getting bad dice rolls in a row. It’s like I no longer care.

Somehow, it feels like switching the pace of the game. Early in the game, we just pick and draw, a very fast game. Suddenly, with this one time ability, we have to slow down and evaluate whether it is a good time to use them.

For the first two spells from the common shields, both of them are almost accessible. The one that separates the dice is the most used spell while the other one that ignore the connection rule is not so much.

Mostly because the whole idea of the game is to keep the option open. I might consider it a bad play if we rely on this one spell. It is mostly a safety net.

Maybe it will be different if somehow we have more control of the dice roll to the point we can always choose the same shield over and over again. But it is not the case here.

Because of the second spell, the game always end in similar way. The one player who managed to access the spell will have one last turn to draw the dice, completing the map while the opponent will just drafting the dice.

I’m curious that the game can actually take longer than 34 rounds. If somehow both players screw up and along the way failed to draw their dominoes, the game can be longer.

In that case, failing to draw doesn’t necessarily mean losing a turn. The opponent might suffer the same situation but very unlikely.

Also, the one with the second spell isn’t necessarily going to win. At most it will just give a couple of scores. Luck where we get a good dice roll that we can draft still determines the winner mostly.

Because of that, so far, I’m not sure I consider getting to the spells as a main reason for choosing the dice. Most of the time, it’s about getting the cross or being able to draw them.

Overall, Kingdomino Duel is probably not a bad game. It does give spatial puzzle to solve as where and how to place the domino.

I think it is just less forward thinking with the dice drafting. Mostly because we don’t know what is coming next from the dice roll compared to the board game version.

It might feel disappointing with the randomness. There is a built up tension as we keep collecting one type but end up being worthless.

Solo Variant

As mentioned before, on BGG somebody posted a solo variant for Kingdomino Duel that we can find on this page. I don’t know if it is an official one but Gaël Viller, the author (username: gagoune) is credited on BGG as the solo designer for this game.

With this variant, we will be competing against an AI called Bruno. Player will be doing the same thing as the regular mode from rolling, drafting and filling the map and Spellbook.

During the dice drafting, we will still take two dice and give the other two to Bruno. The way it works is, we roll 4 dice and based on where the dice are landed, we collect them into a 2 x 2 grid.

So, the dice closest to each grid will occupy that grid. The dice on the top left corner and the bottom right corner of the grid will be considered as A group while the other two are the B.

The player can only choose one group either A or B combination while giving the other for Bruno. In this variant, the player always become the PLAYER A from the regular game but for the dice drafting they can choose either group.

Bruno will only do the Set Collection part without the spatial placement. We just track the number of collected shields along with the crosses from the dice.

This variant assumes that Bruno is doing a good job connecting any of the same symbols into a single domain. So, any shield symbol that we give to Bruno and if he already has a cross or more, will multiply the points.

Bruno will also compete to be the first to access the Spells or Wizard’s power. While Bruno doesn’t activate them, except for the instant two, but he will deny the player from accessing the power and get additional points from each spell.

Moreover, if we cannot acquire the other spell, that will give Bruno more points as well, even if Bruno doesn’t get them either. We are still going to use the Spellbook sheet from the base game.

Another interesting part is how to resolve the Special Castle Bonus. Bruno will activate his at the same turn when we activate ours. While we still need to add to the shield that he has the most but only from the two active dice that we choose for him.

With this variant, the game will end only if we can fill every square of our map. Otherwise, the game continues and Bruno can keep increasing his score.

The author also shared Bruno’s Map Sheet. It is similar to the Map sheet from the game but only to track the number of shields for each Coat of Arms and their crosses.

It has 6 x 14 squares for 6 different shields. I think we do not need to draw the symbols on each square. We just need to put a check mark or so.

Session Reports and Pictures

Usually, I share a session report of playing a game on BGG. Here are the links of each session for this game.

I also put turn-by-turn pictures of a session and unboxing pictures for every game on my collection that anybody can find on my Instagram. For this game, search for #KingdominoDuelAtHomeOfMark on IG for all of the sessions.

November 2023 session and more pictures of that session on IG.

December 2022 session and more pictures of that session on IG.
October 2022 session and more pictures of that session on IG.

Summary

Kingdomino Duel is a roll and write version of Kingdomino the board game. In both games, we will be using the rules from dominoes game where we have to connect the same icon from the domino tile to the existing one.

The difference is that in this dice or roll and write version, we have to build the dominoes first. We do that by rolling 4 dice and the face of the dice will determine the icons or for the dominoes.

This is a 2 player only competitive game, which is very rare for roll and write game. The game comes with a lot of sheets and two pencils

After rolling the dice, the active player will take one dice and the second player will take 2. The active will then take the last so both players will have 2 dice faces to create their domino tile.

There is definitely a tension with the drafting as the one we didn’t take will be given to our opponent. That might help them a lot so we will get a tough decision between choosing the one we want or denying the opponent from taking the one they need.

After the drafting, both players must draw them on their own sheet, following the connection rule as in a game of dominoes. There are 6 different icons in this game that we can get from the dice.

We have to make sure that we can still draw the domino while at the same time, keeping the option for future connection. If we cannot connect, we do not draw while the opponent can keep progressing.

The Map sheet that the each player will draw icons on has a total of 34 spaces. Players can trigger the end of the game if one of them fills the last spaces. Or, if both players cannot draw anything in the same round.

So, how we place the domino tiles is one of the challenge, the spatial challenge. The other challenge is to expand the domain or territory where the same icons should be orthogonally adjacent to each other.

Collecting them in the same domain won’t be enough. The problem is for domain to worth something, the icons must have a cross sign which is also from the dice.

So, from 6 different icons, we might find the same icons with or without a cross. During scoring later, we get points by multiply the number of same icon in the a single domain with the number of crosses in that domain.

Without any cross, even if we manage to collect the same icons adjacent to each other, the domain is worth nothing. In that case, we score nothing from that domain.

Because of that, most of the time, we might have to choose the dice with the cross icon even though we do not collect them yet. With the dice rolling mechanism, it does feel swingy.

Somehow the one we have been collecting just doesn’t show the cross sign if ever. Or, they do show up but we are not the first to draw.

As consolation prize, if we do not draw an icon with a cross, we are getting closer to access one ability or spell. These Spells are one time only that allows us to do a bit of mitigation like separate the dice, ignore the domino connection rule or rotate the dice to certain face.

They are very situational to use and only one player get to access it. Because the progress to access them still relies on randomness of the dice, we may not access them at all. Or even if we do, we even forget that it is there ready to be used.

With all of the randomness in this game, it kind of ruins the experience and makes it harder to play again right away. Even though the game is very portable, affordable and fast to setup.

In a way, maybe we will have more fun playing the game if we try to shoot for the moon, by collecting those rare shields.

More Similar Games

There are many tabletop games out there whether a board or card game like Kingdomino Duel. These are only some games that I have played that I think share some similarities.

If we are looking for roll and write games specifically, the game that I have tried was The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game. But it is a completely different game that just share the main mechanism.

2 player only Games

Kingdomino Duel is a bit unique for roll and write. There are not many of them that are specifically just for 2 players, especially a head to head one.

The other roll and write games are mostly multiplayer solitaire where each player will do their own thing and compare the score at the end. Kingdomino Duel is much more than that.

The decision we make from the drafting can impact our opponent directly. What we don’t take, we essentially are giving it to our opponent, which can help them out.

It does have a healthy amount of player interaction. We can get this similar experience from other 2 player only games but these are not roll and write.

Jaipur is one of them. This is a card game where we also do set collection with cards in our hand before we trade them into points. The cards that we left in the market can be taken by our opponent. However, there is a chance that we can take them back later.

Like in Kingdomino Duel, there is also an element of racing with the Wizard. In Jaipur, the sooner we trade our hand, the more likely we can get higher value.

Mandala, another 2 player only game also gives that experience in different way. Instead of pick some and leave the other to our opponent, here we are racing to increase our area control over two Mandalas.

We do that by being the first to play certain type of cards. If we let our opponent play that type first, then we have less flexibility to win that part of Mandala.

For a slightly bigger game, Targi is another one but with worker placement mechanism. In this game, everytime we place our worker pawn, we are essentially blocking our opponent from taking that spot and the spot on the other side.

Instead of competing for dice like in Kingdomino Duel, we are competing to access certain actions. The difference is that this does not use dice so not as random as Kingdomino Duel.

Seastead is another one but a bit more complex. In this game, we will take a card that will say two set of resources. We have to choose one and give the other to our opponent.

Then, using those resources, we will be racing to be the first to build and occupy a spot from the communal area. Another interesting interaction that we can get in this game is the chance to piggybacking our opponent’s action.

Somehow, we might want to be careful because our action can be great for ourselves but it’s even better for our opponent. This can even happen in long term like things we did in earlier rounds and can show the result at the end.

Circle the Wagons is a simpler alternative because it is just a micro game with 18 cards for 2 players. It uses the time track mechanism where we can skip some cards and choose the one we want.

However, by doing so, we are giving the cards that we skipped to our opponent. On the other hand, if we do not skip, we are letting the card that we want to be taken by our opponent as well.

Spatial Puzzle

The other thing that I like from Kingdomino Duel is the spatial element, the dominoes mechanism. We have to place the domino tiles so that the same icon is connected while at the same time, open the chance for future placement.

Sometimes the other side of that domino pieces will be the one to block or cut the territory. With this idea, we don’t just collect icons.

We have to consider where we place them and how we place them by rotating, placing away from edges or corners. In other games, it will create a good table presence at the end of the game.

I already mentioned above about Circle the Wagons. In this game, we draw a card that has 2 x 2 grid. We have to then place them to the existing cards in our tableau, either adjacent to it or even overlap them.

Unlike Kingdomino Duel, there is no restriction with the connection rule. However, we still want to expand the territory of the same type as big as we can and we can rotate the card 180 degrees.

Another game with overlapping card mechanism is Café. This is a game about producing coffee, process the beans and eventually deliver those beans to a warehouse or a coffee shop.

While we are still trying to connect the same icons so they are adjacent to each others, but we need to have all of the types because each type is crucial to this coffee making process.

Each card has icons in 2 x 3 grid that we can rotate in 90 degrees increments. With the overlapping, sometimes, the card becomes a polyomino tile, not just dominoes.

Seastead also has this spatial consideration with the Port. The port will dictate which segments of the Flotilla tile that can get extra points based on the position we build the Port on. It’s a smaller part of the game.

Targi also has this in both placing the worker and how we expand the tribe. When we place the workers, two of them can create an intersection in the center area.

If we want to draw that card from that specific position, we have to adjust the position of worker accordingly. The second part is with the set collection with how we laid the tribe cards. Some of them requires to be in certain position like the last card of the row.

Walking in Burano is another one. This is a game about creating a city of Burano where each building will have a different color.

The spatial element is from certain characters that defines the scoring criteria. Some will want certain objects to be close to or apart from each other, vertically or horizontally.

Combined that with a restriction where buildings from a same color cannot be adjacent to each other. Each building is made of 3 cards, the ground floor, second floor and third or roof top that needs to be in the same color.

For 3 dimensional spatial puzzle, there are a couple of games. The one that I have tried is Ankh’or. It is tile laying game where we can put a tile on top of 4 adjacent tiles.

The tile on the higher level is still considered as adjacent or connected when we try to do set collection of either the same type or the same color. While the game was advertised for up to 4 players, I guess this one is the best with 2.

I already mentioned a roll and write game, The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game which also has this spatial puzzle. The puzzle is about opening options so we don’t get stuck with certain dice.

We also have to keep expanding the territory so that which ever color of dice we get, we can use them similar to Kingdomino Duel. The difference is that the hexes of the domains have already been laid out and we only try to fill them up.

We are still going to work on several directions because of the dice.

These next 2 games are more about linear position. Solar Draft, a game about designing a solar system, we need to play a planet card in certain position to get more points. Some of them can even interact with each other based on the color and size of the planet.

Goblins vs Zombies is tower defense game. Instead of laying out cards in certain position, the zombies will come after us in certain order. Some will come early and reach our line of defense sooner and we have to deal with this constantly moving position.

Usually, games with modular boards can offer this spatial puzzle like Tiny Epic Defenders or Adventure of D. The puzzle is about how to get from one point to another with every obstacles in between and limited resources.

These are just games that I have tried at this point. Find out the latest update from this Complete List. If we are just looking for portable games that we can play anywhere, there are more games on that list.

Final Words

That is all I can share with you about Kingdomino Duel, a roll and write game. This is the second roll and write game that I have written a review about and probably not the last one.

I may have missed something that I should have discussed regarding the game. Please don’t hesitate to point that out and share what you know related to this game and I will update this article.

I keep saying that these tabletop games can be a good way to spend some time without looking at the screen of our gadget. If we do have someone close, that we can play with, there are other games where we can play cooperatively or competitively but with a lot of player interaction.

The game can be very fast or like a filler type or it can take hours to play. Some games can also be played in solitaire mode and they are still more engaging than other entertainment activity.

So, what is your experience on playing this game? If you know other games similar or even better than this, please do share via the comment section below. I would love to learn and play that game, assuming I can get a copy.

This article is just my notes about what I can find from the internet. Hopefully this can help anybody who reads it.

Thanks for reading.

 

Mark M.

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