Kingdomino (Rules and Gameplay Instructions)

2017 Spiel des Jahres (Children’s Game of the Year) winner, Kingdomino is a tile-placement game developed by Blue Orange Games in 2016. Read on to learn the Kingdomino rules, game history, and how to play. 

Kingdomino is played internationally and available in many languages, including Russian, Chinese, Hebrew, Greek, Ukrainian, Korean and Japanese. This award-winning game encourages children to use critical thinking skills to expand their land strategically!

This Kingdomino rules guide will cover the following:

  • What is Kingdomino?
  • A brief history of Kingdomino
  • What you’ll need to play Kingdomino
  • Kingdomino Rules
  • How to play Kingdomino (Video Tutorial)
  • FAQs

Read on to learn how to play Kingdomino.

What is Kingdomino?

Developed for children, Lords and Ladies develop their kingdom’s land using strategically placed domino tiles in Kingdomino. 

Number of Players: 2-4 players

Ages: 8+

Difficulty: Easy

Length of Play: 15 minutes

Category: Tile placement, City building

Similar to: Queendomino, Carcassonne, Dominoes

Main Objective: The player whose domino kingdom earns the most points at the end of the game wins!

Why We Love It: Children can develop problem-solving and strategic thinking skills by playing games like Kingdomino. 

A Brief History of Kingdomino

Kingdomino, published by BlueOrange game company in 2016, has won multiple awards and is internationally recognized as a family-friendly board game. 

Since its release, you can purchase Kingdomino’s expansion’s Age of Giants or Kingdomino Origins. In addition, Kingdomino Duel and Queendomino are additional games played independently of Kingdomino. 

What You’ll Need to Play Kingdomino

Everything you need to play is included in this boxed set.

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The complete game box contains: 

  • 4 3-D castles
  • 48 dominoes
  • 8 wooden king tokens
  • Illustrated rules

Area of Play

Players begin by taking a starting tile and the king or queen token of their choice. Each player chooses a different color. 

If playing a 2-player game, you will need both king figures of the same color. 

Players select the castle that matches their colored tokens and places it on their beginning tile. 

The castles need to be assembled initially upon receiving the game, but they can remain assembled for future gameplay. 

Next, shuffle the domino tiles with the numbers displayed face-up and place them back into the box. 

  • Place all the dominos back in the box once shuffled to use for a four-player game. 
  • If you are playing a 3-player game, remove 12 of the dominos before starting. 
  • Remove 24 dominos if you are only playing a 2-player game. 

Keeping the number side of the dominos visible inside the box, distribute the number of dominos for each player that aligns with the number of players. 

For example, four dominos for a 4-player game or three dominos for a 3-player game. 

In a 2-player game, each player receives 4 dominos because they each have 2 king tokens. 

Setting Up Domino Tiles

Step 1: Players arrange their dominos in ascending order by placing the lowest number on top and the largest number on the bottom. Now, flip over the dominos displaying them face-up in a column with the smallest value on the top of the column. 

Step 2: One player gathers all the king tokens and shuffles them in their hands. Randomly select a king, and the owner of this piece can place it on one of the tiles in the column. 

Repeat this for the additional player’s tokens until each king is placed on each visible domino. 

Step 3: Place the next player’s dominos in another column of ascending values and the images face-up.

Players will select dominos from those currently displayed when starting the game. 

Kingdomino Rules

The player whose king token is positioned on the top domino (with the lowest value) in the first column begins by placing that tile in his or her kingdom. Then, they move their king to any available domino in the next column. 

Each player remaining completes the previous step and claims a domino to add to their kingdom, starting with the next king in ascending order.

In a 2-player game, each player will complete this action twice using both king figures. 

Placing Dominos

The domino tiles are made up of two sides or two images. When connecting dominos to each other, you must place them side by side and not diagonally. 

The orientation does not matter; therefore, you can turn tiles around to match images. 

The images must match when connecting one domino to another, similarly to actual dominos with matching numbers. If at least one of the two images matches, you can place a domino directly parallel to another. 

Your kingdom may never exceed a perfect 5×5 square area, but the castle does not have to be centrally located. 

If you select a domino you cannot legally place, you will have to discard it. 

Gameplay 

After the first column of dominos has been claimed, select new domino tiles from the box and replace the column’s tiles using ascending values again. Players should carefully select tiles for their development to earn the most points. 

The king figure on the top domino in the column goes first and moves his or her king to another vacant tile. Collecting a tile and adding it to their 5×5 grid. 

This pattern is repeated until all the dominos from the box have been taken. At this time, gameplay continues using the face-up dominos remaining in the columns until there are no tiles remaining. 

When it comes time to score your kingdoms, it is okay if some players may not have complete 5×5 grids. They will still earn a score based on the tiles they have used. 

How to Keep Score in Kingdomino

At the end of the game, each player will calculate their scores based on the properties created during the build of their kingdom. The player with the highest score wins! 

Properties are domino spaces that share the same landscape images. 

For example, if your completed 5×5 grid has a section of four tree tiles touching each other, that is considered one property. Properties include meadows, deserts, water, forests, mines, or wastelands. 

To determine points for each property, add the crowns shown in each property and multiply that number by the number of matching tiles. 

If a property has no crowns displayed, it is worth 0 points. 

For instance, if I have a property consisting of 4 water spaces, and there are 2 crown images shown on those water tiles, I multiply 4 x 2 to get a score of 8 points for that property. 

Total the values of each property to determine your final overall score. The player with the highest score wins the game!

If there is a tie, the player with the most crowns in their kingdom is the winner. 

How to Play Kingdomino – Video Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions 

Which is better, Kingdomino or Queendomino?

Queendomino is a stand-alone game but can be combined with Kingdomino to expand gameplay and include more players. The games are equally fun, but Queendomino is more complex and requires more game pieces to play. 

Can you combine Kingdomino and Queendomino? 

Queendomino can be played independently or used as an expansion to the original Kingdomino game. 

How do you play Kingdomino with four players? 

Kingdomino can be easily played with 2-4 players. There are adjustments to some of the rules based on the number of players participating in the game. A four-player game is easy to manage because each player selects only one king token to begin the game. 

Other Games Similar to Kingdomino (Our Guides)

If you enjoy tile placement or domino games, be sure to try out these similar games at your next game night: 

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