Theme and What is it?
Mini people with big heads, the Ankama trademark character racing through a dice chucker. I will warn you ahead of time, to really understand KR, you should read the entire review.
It’s rare that I ask anyone to reserve judgment prior to reading whole article. Some people prefer the artistic aspect of games, some the play only, some the build quality. So, we do our best to separate these different aspects for easy reading.This game deserves a longer look.
Dice chucking and racing. Games don’t get mechanically easier than Kingdom Run. Where the strategy comes in is deciding what to do with the dice you have thrown. The dice are d6 with 5 possible outcomes; move, catch-up, get to next river or land, make person go to sleep or wake up, or steal victory points, with the last action being to copy one of the former actions.
Points are gained by the initial points, passing landmarks, and order of finish, you can also steal someone else’s initial points. Ultimately, it may not be the person who finished first that wins, but the one that planned out their point strategy best.
This is where this game falters, both in my review, and in the actual game. When I saw this game for whatever reason, I was very inclined to dislike it. I cannot explain why, perhaps gut reaction, perhaps a dislike of the cutesy characters.
It was unfair. It was not objective. It was just me being snooty. Check out the conslusions, to see why.
Game Build Quality
The game is built well enough. There is not much to it. Wood pieces, a couple pieces of cardboard, and specialized dice.
They all are functional and do their job.
I love this style of art.
However in gameplay situations it tends to turn me off to the game. I understand how biased this is, an I have no excuses. The art however is bright, colorful and matches the theme quite well.
When playing this game, I imagine a bunch of kindergartners in a foot race with obstacles, madness. So, any bias I have, is only my own, and it should not bias you.
This is where this game shines. The pushing and shoving and putting to sleep to win the game, is great. The strategy of choosing what to do with the dice is surprisingly deep, for what my initial reaction to the game was.
I thoroughly enjoyed Kingdom Run.
Age Range & Weight
For my very first playtthrough, I played with a friends 5 year old child. she made it through, but barely. The game says 7+, but I would imagine a savvy 6 year old would have no issues navigating this game.
Sometimes I am so pleasantly surprised that I don’t quite know what to do. I have read and watched other reviwers make the mistake of judging a game before having played it, and sometimes reviewing a game before having played it.
If I had done that, this review would have been significantly different. I would not have understood the nuanced strategy of putting someone to sleep, or catching up.
This is what I would call a “sleeper” hit. You owe it to yourself to add this to your collection. This will be quite high on my shelf, and I would rate this a BUY NOW, DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200 game.
I am so pleased that my initial reaction was so utterly wrong with this game. This is the children’s game I will beg my daughter to play.