Court of Kings

 Game: Court of Kings Players: 3- 6
 Publisher: Pawn Joker Games  Time: 40 minutes
 Age: 13+  Replayability: 6.5/ 10

Court of Kings

With all these new board games coming out, It’s hard to find a unique mash of components and mechanics that we have not seen. Sure, we can look at a lot of games and recognize noticeable differences compared to other games. But for the most part, we’ve almost seen it all (unless we are still getting warmed up to the field of board gaming). Court of Kings implements a verbal interactive experience through the court of the king. We must all work together to contribute to the fate of the kingdom. With each round comes a new letter for us to read and discuss. Do we consider executions? Perhaps we raise taxes? Regardless of your decision. Someone will be secretly plotting to win the crown. Everyone is dealt a secret agenda that will be their end game trigger. For example, I was a duke, so I wanted to make sure no one received the crown before five rounds (more on that later).

This is a fully functional board game with fourteen unique letters for all the players to discuss. The components are uniquely delivered through forms of options and track boards. Throughout the game, you are introducing advocacy cards that could help or hinder your experience depending on the advocate’s outcome. It’s an interesting concept with a great experience to offer.

My Experience

Like I mentioned earlier, I played the duke in this three player dilemma. Our first letter came from a boy, of course, he was only a messenger, but the letter he brought to us considered war as an outcome stemmed from our choices. Our advocacy card began our journey by forcing the green city track up one and disabling the vote of the player to our right. As a group, we decided to go to war with the sender of the letter. That option moved both blue down one and red up one. That round ended and the nest round began. We flipped the next advocacy card and read the next letter. In the end, I won by default because we went five round without any of the other players winning. The warmonger needed the red city track at five while he wanted the blue city track below three. The Isolationist would win with a red city of one and a blue city above seven. I won by having the duke, who’s win condition is to have no one crowned by the fifth round.

Final Thoughts

Court of Kings does what many games do not. It involves trackers that are influenced by our decisions. These outcomes could at any moment, end the game for us. I found it to be a very interesting play and a great way to experience something new. I did find the story was a bit unclear, I’m not sure how exactly we crown a king if we are all on the court. But aside from a few plot holes, the game was fun. I do find the replay value may not have longevity only because we have fourteen letters available to us. While this could imply we get three solid unique rounds out of the game per player, these letters will eventually be reused and the outcome may not always be different. Sure, different agendas could have a difference influence on the game. But I still feel new letters could be introduced to keep longevity. I enjoyed the design of the verbal interaction and the way the win outcomes happen.

You will like this game if you’re a fan of verbal interactive board games.

You will not like this game if you’re looking for something with a huge replay value.

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Joseph Nicholas

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Indietabletop. Communication major. Favorite mechanics include: Bluffing and Deduction, modular boards, and action point allowance. Favorite video game genres are Rpgs, Puzzles games, and Sim/Tycoons.

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