Before I begin I was sent a copy of the game in exchange for an honest review. This is not a paid review. If you would rather watch a video of this review, check it out below. You can order your own copy here.
Want to know how to make me take a second look at your game? Make it fantasy. I just can’t help it. Toss some swords, and some goblins, and like a moth to the flame I am there. Luckily for me, I have become a bit more discerning and I do not immediately back these games, but I spend some time really examining the mechanics of the games before I make a decision.
You know what else I like? Art. You know what board game artist I really like? Tristam Rossin. His work is whimsically delightful, and it always makes me happy. So when I got a chance to review Kingswood a fantasy themed game, with art from Tristam…I had to know more.
In Kingswood each player represents a different guild, with their own asymmetric starting resources and ability, Each turn you will start by picking up one of the adventurer meeples, and activating their location, then you move them to an adjacent location and perform the ability there. Then the Kingsguard will then block the first location you activated.
You will spend your turns moving around the board collecting resources, and battling monsters in the forest. Each monster will be dealt with with a variety of resources, and will reward the guild with both fame and another reward, which might be treasure, or refreshing of resources, or a bonus of fame at the end of the game. The game ends after a player hits 20 fame, then all players get equal turns. The most fame at the end of the game wins.
So what do I think?
This game is magnificently streamlined. Simple worker placement, rondel style mechanics tied up in a neat thematic bow. Often the knock on euro games is that they are not particularly thematic, this game, however, manages to create an environment where you do actually feel like your guild is slowly becoming more and more powerful, letting you face off against stronger and stronger foes.
The game also has a very strong solo mode, which feels very much like the multiplayer game. Along with not requiring players learning many new rules to play, and for the most part you can easily hop from one version to the other.
While I really like the artwork, and the whimsical style, I do wish that the artwork was just a bit more prevalent on the cards.
Less of a quibble with the game, and more a warning for gamers. This is a supremely simple game. If you are looking for a deep, complex game then this one is perhaps not the game for you.
Bringing it all together
Kingswood is an attractive and perfectly streamlined rondel style game. The art is delightfully whimsical, though perhaps not as prevalent as I would like. The game feels significantly more thematic than one might expect in such a light and fast game. A good choice for a quick game, or for a family game night.
Krom not read good
* Light, whimsical game with perfectly streamlined mechanics
* Delightful art, though I wish it was more prevalent
* A good solo mode that does a good job capturing the feel of the competitive game
* This is a very light game, it is not a game of deep strategy