KINGDOMINO: AGE of GIANTS (expansion)
KINGDOMINO is a fine 4 player game that benefits from this expansion pushing the number of players up to 5. It may have benefitted more, or at least the players of it may have benefitted more, if the AGE of GIANTS had added 2 additional players and not just one; so many games are for 2-4 players and so many groups have up to six players in them that making this for just five is both good and a shame at the same time.
AGE of GIANTS of course introduces Giants to the game, six of them, and they cover up one of the Crowns in your Kingdom thus reducing your scoring power. Thankfully there is a way to move Giants around the lands, all you need are Giant footprints for them to follow and luckily enough there are six Dominoes that contain these. Giants are found on the Dominoes with the letters A through to F while Giant Footprints are on Dominoes numbered 49 - 54.
The expansion plays out the same way as the basic game with the exception that the Dominoes are shuffled, all of them including the lettered ones, and placed with their non-game side (number or letter) upwards in the Giant's Tower; this is instead of stacking them. This keeps them from falling over as the Tower door closes magnetically and the Dominoes are drawn one at a time from the slit at its base. To keep them from slipping out when you are not playing the game you should keep the card inner that fits into the Tower blocking the slit and also holding a number of Dominoes.
Apart from Giants, Footprints and additional Dominoes there are 17 'QUEST' tiles. These have Shields on them with either a '5' a '10' or a '20' clearly defined. Some of the Quests depend on you completing your 5 x 5 grid of Dominoes, some on the position of your Start tile and another on what terrain you have in certain positions in your grid. These make for more strategic (and lucky) play. Obviously they are not all used in every game, in fact only 2 of the 17 are in play and these can be selected or randomly decided on. There are two Quests that are not on tiles 'the Middle Kingdom' and 'Harmony' one or both of which can be used but have to be decided at the start of the game by general consent of all players.
When setting out the Dominoes for each round they are drawn from the Tower and positioned not as they are drawn but by number, though any with Letters are placed above the numbered ones.
The Giants are more a nuiscance/fun value and appear to have been added in to pad out the expansion. The addition of the extra player alone wouldn't have warranted an expansion even with the Tower for better and safer drawing or the Quests. This is not an expensive boost to the KINGDOMINO game being found online at a price of between $14.00 - $20.00. Once all the Giant Footprint Dominoes are in play then the Giants will remain where they stand - this must be taken into account when you are selecting and placing Dominoes to your Grid.
AGE of GIANTS is under the KINGDOMINO banner but can be used for the QUEENDOMINO game also without having to change anything in that game other than the changes made for the King's version; just ensure that you sort out the components from this game if you have kept them in with the KINGDOMINO pieces.
As a fan of both KINGDOMINO and QUEENDOMINO I am pleased that this expansion adds fun and a little player interaction to them. There isn't a lot to it but what there is has been crafted with the same quality materials and a theme that fits neatly into the game. The only thing that I am a mite confused with is the new Home Tile for the Brown Castle. It has a series of red marks that form a Crown and thus it looks like it should be special or have some extra ability or power; perhaps it is a forethought to the next expansion ? Okay if you don't like choosing your colour you can shuffle the tiles face down and whoever draws the new tile goes first but that's about all I can think it is of use for, at least at the moment.
Overall this is a good expansion to two good games.