Review: King’s Gold lets your kids play pirate by rolling dice
King’s Gold is a very fast game that can end even faster if you have a lucky roll of the dice. The object of the game is to collect the most gold coins, reproduced here in the form of plastic. Players can collect gold in different ways – by grabbing it from the main game box, stealing it from the king (more on that later), or stealing it from other players (which the kids love the most).
These actions are achieved by rolling five dice, each decorated with different symbols (1, 2 or 3 coins, a skull, red crossbones or a cannon). Players get three rolls of the dice to try to achieve the final goal combination for a particular action, and you can save dice off to the side if you want. If your kids have played Yahtzee, they’ll quickly understand the process.
The easiest combination is a coin die and a cannon, which lets you take that many of coins (either 1, 2 or 3) out of the coin box. When you do this, however, you also put the same number of coins into the “King’s box”. Rolling a coin die and a skull lets you steal that number of coins from another player. Rolling five coin dies lets you take all of the coins from the King’s gold (very useful for players who are behind or if the King’s gold is plentiful), while rolling five skulls lets you take all of the coins from another player (get ready for your opponent to take revenge on you). The ultimate roll, however, is five cannons, which lets you take all of the coins from the box, and ending the game (even if there’s King’s gold left). Multiple actions can also take place during a turn – you can have a cannon/coin combo and a skull/coin combo, meaning you can take coins from the box and another player at the same time.
Adding some danger to the mix is the red crossbones icon – if you roll any of these, you have to put them aside and can’t re-roll them. If you end up getting 3 (or more) red crossbones in the course of your turn (for example, if you roll 1 crossbones on the first roll, then get two more on the 2nd or 3rd roll), then your turn is over and you have to add 3 of your coins to the King’s Gold box as a penalty. The crossbones means that it’s difficult to get the all-five combination for any particular coins.
We played this game with our nine-year-old son, who grasped the concepts quickly in terms of what he was looking to roll and the mechanics of the game. He was also the one who won the game the fastest after being able to roll five cannons early). Meanwhile, his father kept rolling crossbones on his first roll, which limited options to either taking from the main box or other players. The game is definitely more fun with more people, as you can always see who has the most coins and steal from them, keeping players with less gold in the game.
The box that the game comes in has a nice holding area for the coins, which we used as the main box. The metal game top we flipped over and used as the King’s Gold area. Storage of the game is quick and easy, as there’s not a lot of pieces to contend with, and there’s a holding area for the five dice as well. The game also comes with instructions and two other pieces of paper that show the combinations for players who need a quick reference.
Games take about 5 to 10 minutes to complete, so these won’t be long gaming sessions, and can be used in between playing other games.
Final rating: Thumbs up!
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