Kingdomino

Designed by: Bruno Cathala
Published by: Blue Orange Games (2016)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 8 & up
Playing time: 15 – 20 min

In Kingdomino, you are a lord seeking new lands in which to expand your kingdom. You must explore all the lands, including wheat fields, lakes, and mountains, in order to spot the best plots, while competing with other lords to acquire them first.

The game uses tiles with two sections, similar to Dominoes. Each turn, players will select a new domino to connect to their existing kingdom, making sure at least one of its sides connects to a matching terrain type already in play. The order of who picks first depends on which tile was previously chosen, with better tiles forcing players to pick later in the next round. 

The game ends after a set number of rounds and points are counted based on the number of connecting tiles and valuable crown symbols. The Lord with the most points, wins!

Spirit Island

Designed by: R. Eric Reuss
Published by: Greater Than Games (2017)
Players: 1 – 4
Ages: 13 & up
Playing time: 90 – 120 minutes

In Spirit Island, players are spirits of the land, each with their own unique elemental powers, forced to defend their island home from colonizing Invaders spreading blight and destruction. Work with your fellow spirits and the Dahan (local islanders) to increase your power and drive the invading colonists from your island in this Cooperative area-control game!

Every turn, players simultaneously choose which of their power cards to play, paying energy to do so. Using combinations of power cards that match a spirit’s elemental affinities can grant free bonus effects. Faster powers take effect immediately, before the Invaders spread and ravage, but other magics are slower, requiring forethought and planning to use effectively. 

In the Spirit phase, spirits gain energy, and choose how they will use their power cards and spread their presence on the island.

The Invaders expand in a semi-predictable fashion. Each turn they will explore new lands; and then build in those lands, forming settlements and cities. Then they will ravage those lands, bringing blight and attacking any natives present.

The islanders fight back against the Invaders when attacked, and lend the spirits some other aid, but may not always do so exactly as you’d hoped.

The game escalates as spirits spread their presence to new parts of the island and seek out new and more potent powers, while the Invaders step up their colonization efforts. 

Defeat will come if any spirit is destroyed, if Blight overruns the island, or the Invader deck is depleted. You are Victorious if the Invaders are destroyed or driven from the lands in FEAR!

Just 4 Fun

Designed by: Jürgen P. Grunau
Published by: KOSMOS (2005)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 9 & up
Playing time: 20 – 30 min

In Just 4 Fun, players use cards to place stones on a 6 x 6 gamebord trying to claim four squares in a line, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

Each turn, you play any combination of your hand of 4 cards to place a stone. The value of the cards must equal the value of the location you claim, which are numbered 1 through 36.  

Multiple stones can be placed on a square, and a square is only safe if a player has two more stones on it than any other player. 

The first player to have 4 squares claimed in a line, or the player with the most points after 20 turns, wins!

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