What’s In The Box: Greedy Kingdoms By AEG

January 9, 2019 by dracs

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AEG’s Big in Japan range has brought some fantastic games over from the land of the rising sun.

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I crack open one of the latest additions to that collection and take a closer look at 2018’s Greedy Kingdoms.

The Game

Greedy Kingdoms has been around in Japan since 2009. Initially developed by Hayato Kisaragi, AEG successfully brought it over last year with additional development by Bruno Faidutti.

The game focuses on resource management and bluffing. Both players are kings seeking to show that they are the greatest monarch. How does one do that? By building a whopping great castle faster than that rival upstart, that’s how!

Purchase upgrades, then try and guess which heroes your opponent is sending out to attack and defend. All in a race to see who will build two Royal Palaces first.

What’s in the Box?

The game is fairly simple, comprising of only a deck of cards, a rulebook, and a series of colourful, wooden tokens.

I will admit, I was a bit disappointed when I opened the box and found most of it taken up by cardboard packaging.

However, this did allow them more room for the rulebook, which is presented in a very clear and easy-to-understand manner. I am notorious for struggling with rulebooks, so I really appreciate it when the rules are laid out in such a way as to make life easier for me.

The wooden tokens are representations of the different resources you are trying to gather. Yellow circles represent Gold, green leaves are Land, red chicken drumsticks are Food, and blue stars are Honour. Everything a growing king needs.

Simple as they are, they still manage to be eye-catching and fit with the game’s colourful art style.

Which brings me onto the cards. The cards are the main focus of the game. There are a couple of different types...

Heroes

Hero Upgrades

Kingdom Upgrades - Citizens, Magic Items, and Buildings

Royal Palaces

The cards keep to the game’s Japanese roots, filled with the sort of bright, poppy, anime art that you might expect to see in a Shōnen manga. The characters all have their own distinctive design. This, matched with the art of the Building upgrades, helps to create the sense of a bustling, anime-style, fantasy world.

My one major complaint is that the heroes themselves are a bit repetitive, especially between their base hero cards and their Hero Upgrade cards. The upgrades feature the same figure as the base hero card, only with flashier outfits. This works well as a visual shorthand, but given that each card still features a clear icon showing its character type it would have been nice to see the Hero Upgrades get a bit more creative with something a bit more dynamic, rather than just a copy and paste of the same pose and features.

Final Thoughts

All in all, Greedy Kingdoms is a quick, fun game that would be perfectly suited as something to have a play with when travelling.

The components are bright and eye-catching, carrying the sense of light-hearted fun that the game is going for. 

Meanwhile, the mechanics are uncomplicated and make for a perfect pick-up-and-play game for when you and a friend want a break from something heavier.

One touch I particularly liked is that, while the game is intended for two players, the rulebook does contain a set of variant rules for three to four player games. This requires someone to own a second copy of Greedy Kingdoms, but it was nice to see it included nonetheless.

The only thing I think AEG missed out on was the packaging. While the box is hardly cumbersome, once you've learned the rules a lot of it is wasted space, and switching over to a smaller deck case would make it easier to carry around with you.

Then all you have to worry about is your citizens getting annoyed at these resources going towards palace construction. Just tell them it’s good for tourism.

Is this a game you fancy giving a go? What else would you like to have seen in the box?

"[The art] creates the sense of a bustling, anime-style, fantasy world."

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