Review: Kingdomino Origins (Blue Orange Games) – English

Hey Kingdomino Origins! Kingdomino…… Hmm, I feel like I recognise that name? Well, I believe so: a true classic of recent years, but now we go back to the beginning, to the origins, where it all began…. Prehistoric times, where starting fires, fishing and hunting were the main occupations of our existence. Our primal urges so to say. Guarding and expanding your territory was also part of the daily routine and that is exactly what players will do in Kingdomino Origins. You choose your strengths to develop and you expand your rule over these strengths by building with dominoes. Yabba dabba doo!

Hey Kingdomino! Domino… Hmm, I feel like I recognise that name as well? Well, I think so: everyone has played with classic dominoes at some point. Whether it was Mexican Train or some other random game using these dominoes or maybe because you wanted to line up all the dominoes and then knock them all over. Kingdomino takes inspiration from the classic domino placing games. Players build a colourful kingdom to score the most points.

How is Kingdomino (and thus the basis of Origins) played? In the centre of the table four colourful domino-like tiles are placed. Depending on the number of players, players take turns choosing a tile in a certain order. The tile they pick also determines the order for the following round. Acquired tiles players play within their kingdom (in the basic game of Kingdomino). All dominoes have different terrains (colours). Often they are two different terrains on a tile, but there are exceptions. Players earn points with the amount of crowns on a terrain times the number of squares of a specific terrain placed contiguously.

In Origins, players are not yet civilised enough for any kind of civilisation, as they are still newly Neanderthals. A crown has no value to these primeval humans (yet), but fire provides sufficient comfort and thus points. Players therefore try to claim the recent discovery of fire. What makes Kingdomino Origins different from the base game?

Fortunately, thanks to the different game modes, Kingdomino Origins remains varied and surprising enough compared to the previous games in the Kingdomino series. All three game modes are unique enough to make you want to keep playing all of them.

The exploration variant remains close in spirit to the original. This variant offers the familiar feel with a fun addition: volcanoes. These allow you to place extra flames in areas where you could not yet score points. This is a nice tactical twist on the already (comparatively stone-age) rock of a base game.

In the totem variant, resources are deposited on the tiles. With each tile you take, you also take resources into your area. Whoever has the most of one kind of these resources gets the corresponding totem. This totem earns extra points at the end of the game.

Finally, we have the tribe variant. In this variant, resources are also used, but you can now spend them you big spender! This allows you to attract tribe members who give you points according to their special rules. This variant is a lot more complex than the other variants, so maybe not immediately attractive for those who just want to enjoy a nice simple game of Kingdomino. But because of this, this variant does offer something for everyone!

All in all, again a lot of news in the Kingdomino universe. For us personally the volcanoes are a great addition. Even if you would find the 2 more extensive variants too intense, this is still a very valuable addition to the collection for fans of Kingdomino or newcomers to this universe.