This is the Kingdomino vs Catan game comparison showdown. These games are not very similar but it makes sense to think about them up against one another, they are both award winners and both that simple to play but impossible to master unicorn. These games also happen to come out over 20 years apart but you would never notice. We dive deep into both. Learn a little about the games then check out our Kingdomino vs Catan notes and final verdict.
ABOUT THE GAMES
About Kingdomino (2016): The game uses tiles with two sections, similar to Dominoes. Every turn, each player 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 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. Your goal is to make touching groups of the 6 different types of terrain with as many crowns as possible.
FOR MORE: Kingdomino Page | How To Play Kingdomino | Kingdomino Review | Games Like Kingdomino | Buy Kingdomino
About Settlers of Catan (1995): You need to grow your empire. Each game is completely different because all the resource tiles and numbers on them are changed and randomized each game. These control everything. You need to build settlements and cities to gain resources that are going to let you build even more and ultimately lead to victory points for the win. Every turn starts with the roll of two dice and that number corresponds to one of five resource types on the board. If you have a presence on that tile (or tiles) you get that resource.
FOR MORE: Settlers of Catan Page | How To Play Settlers of Catan | Settlers of Catan Review | Games Like Settlers of Catan | Buy Settlers of Catan
KINGDOMINO VS CATAN ANALYSIS
Theme: The most similar thing in Kingdomino vs Catan is the Theme. These are both about growth in the medieval period and both feel like they could take place in Robin Hood’s back yard. The characters are faceless at best, being a few scattered knights from Catan, and the resources are the big show. Pretty spot on with the exception of not having an established king in Catan.
Gameplay: Very different. Kingdomino is much simpler to play than Catan, you have very few choices to make and you are forced to act quickly based on the limited information of that specific moment. Catan has many more decisions, lots of information to act on, and to complicate things further, player relations.
Mechanics: Getting stuff is a huge difference. In Kingdomino you have drafting where everyone is going get something, pretty equally distributed, from the resources offered. In Catan you roll dice and that corresponds to places you have decided to settle. In Catan it is “controlled luck” and in Kingdomino it is “this or that”. Catan has an engine builder meaning you need to make investments that hopefully pay off, Kingdomino has flat decision making. Clusters matter in King, they don’t in Catan. Nothing alike.
Time Commitment: Catan is about 3 – 4x as long as Kingdomino. It is a much more robust game that is about building up instead of quickly disseminating and reconstructing things. It takes much more time in the former to have a full game, where the latter is built to be quick.
Player Count: Interestingly similar. Catan is 3 – 4 (base game) but King is 2 – 4, the interesting part is the 2 player game is different from the 3 – 4 player game in King. Catan and King 3 – 4 kind of play the same but a 2 player game is nothing like any game of Catan. This is because each has their own magic in how they utilize player interaction and is exactly why Catan isn’t for 2 players. Yes this is rambling, but it is kind of rapped up in the verdict.
Cost: Catan is a staple that is one of the best selling board games of all time. It is a robust box with solid components and because of all this it has a reasonable yet VIP price of around $40-ish. King is smaller and all cardboard so the $20-ish price tag makes sense. Everything is as it should be, no red flags here.
Verdict For the Shelf: Catan (80% of the time) and Kingdomino (20% of the time). Honestly, Catan is just one of those iconic games and if you have the choice for only one, it should get the benefit of the doubt. The only time you should really prioritize King is on number of players, it is a fantastic 2 player board game and perfect if you need that. You could argue that Kingdomino is lighter and that is a selling point, but Catan is so easy to play and pick up that you can discard that right away. You lose the exciting drafting component, but that is made up for with Catan’s trading.
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