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Subject: The King Commands - Delightfully Playful rss

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Ed Anderson
United States
Utah
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Camelot has fallen! King Arthur is dead, Merlin is missing and the castle has been looted. You and your friends are the last remaining knights of the round table and you have decided to duel for the few remaining bags of gold. But as all knights know money is not everything, whoever walks away with the best story is the true winner. I can’t say that I was expecting too much when I first heard about The King Commands. I had seen the name come up on a number of online forums and figured I should give it a chance. When I saw it at Board Game Revolution I was taken back by the size and simplicity of the game. I took out the cards and saw absolutely no writing on them and figured there must be something brilliant in the mechanics of this game to make it so simple. The rules were really easy to read and it didn’t take long at all to grasp the concept of the game. Basically, players compete to acquire glory through their run ins with other knights. You know it is a good game when the moment you finish everyone says ‘we have to play at least one more time’. I give The King Commands a solid four dice bordering on five.

Cons

1.) Impression – The game is fun. It is simple in its mechanics but brilliantly crafted. Unfortunately the game is pretty simple and will most likely never be a game that people rave about. I feel like it takes a trained eye to recognize the beauty in its simplicity. There will most likely always be other games that people remember and value over this one. Sad, but this may go forgotten someday. It simply lacks a small amount of impressiveness.

2.) Confusion – There was a certain amount of confusion about the bags of gold and how to acquire them. As far as we could tell, acquiring the bags of gold was only possible by attacking a player who had a bag of gold in their hand. If you have a bag of gold in your hand the only reason you don’t want to lose it is because it will go into somebody else’s hand. Otherwise, you hope you don’t draw gold because it is entirely useless for you. Perhaps if there was some way to place the gold into your own discard pile after a certain amount of time then there would be more motivation to keep your gold.

Pros

1.) Artwork – The artwork is simple yet powerful. Not only does the artwork give you something good to look at, but it manages to enhance the game play by making it easy to organize and reference the cards in your hand. Definitely lends itself to the rummy-style game play.

2.) Simplicity – The game is rather simple and this is a huge pro in my book. Anybody can make a game with insanely complex rules because you simply implement a new rule anytime you run into a hiccup. Simple and powerful, this game covers its bases while employing a minimum number of rules. Fantastic.

3.) Convenience – The King Commands, for lack of a better word, is convenient. The game provides a style mixed with length and difficulty that isn’t found in many other games. I find the theme unique and the gameplay familiar, yet refreshing. I like to have a variety of games in my arsenal and this fills a specific situation that not many others do. Refreshingly unique.

4.) Surprise – This isn’t normally a pro that I attribute to a game but there seems to be an impressiveness in concealing the winner until the end. This mechanic accomplishes two things: it keeps people playing fully invested the entire game, and it makes the end tallying of scores rather exciting. Bohnanza is another game with this interesting mechanic.

This review was originally posted on www.thelistofboardgames.com
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One comment: you might enjoy the artwork, but it's very poor for colorblind gamers. The images are the same and only differentiated by color, making the game unplayable for some.

Obviously this isn't putting down the game itself - but I think it's important information for some people.
 
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