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Board Kings

App review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Board Kings App Poster Image
Familiar board game formula gets messy with multiplayer.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Gameplay is basic and should feel familiar to anyone that has played causal board games. There’s not a high level of difficulty, though players have a lot to manage, such as building and upgrading their boards, attacking other players, and managing their limited dice rolls.

Violence & Scariness

Players can go to other players’ boards and cause mischief by destroying the other players’ properties and stealing their in-game currency.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

There are numerous types of microtransactions in the game, offering players upgrades, in-game currency, extra dice rolls, etc., all for a real-world price. It’s not as obtrusive as some games, but it’s still pushed heavily and later upgrades make it feel almost necessary to progress.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Board Kings is a free-to-play casual strategy board game available for download on iOS and Android devices. Players move around their custom “board,” upgrading properties and earning in-game currency. Players can also invade other players’ worlds, destroying their properties and stealing money. The game includes a number of available microtransactions to boost player’s available options, including special upgrades, extra money, and additional dice rolls. While these purchases aren't required to play, progress late in the game can feel stalled without buying into these options.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

They say that life is a roll of the dice, and that’s never been more true than it is with BOARD KINGS, the free-to-play casual strategic board game for iOS and Android devices. Players start with an empty space, but quickly build their custom board by buying new properties, collecting cash, and upgrading to bigger and better options. Once you’ve crafted your space, it’s time to take the game on the road. You can invade other players’ boards and crash their party, wrecking properties and swiping their funds while evading the police and being sent to jail … or at least head back to your own board in time to stop someone from doing the same to you. If you keep your residents happy and grab parts of a golden trail, you can also progress to bigger and better boards.

Is it any good?

What do you get when you mix the engineering of a city building simulator with the competitiveness of a causal board game? The answer is Board Kings, an interesting sort of hybrid that tries its best to combine elements of a few different genres. The result is a hodgepodge of a game that feels a bit like a disjointed jigsaw puzzle. While its entertaining in some aspects, it never quite finds an identity of its own. There’s a blatant comparison to be made between Board Kings and the classic board game Monopoly. Players roll dice and move around what begins as an empty board. After landing on a space, players purchase or upgrade buildings, collect money from the citizens of their little board game city, and occasionally play small mini-games to earn extra goodies. Then it’s back to another roll of the dice and a repeat of the process until the player eventually has no turns left. The idea is to build a sprawling city and keep the money rolling in.

Where Board Kings departs from the familiar formula is its multiplayer component. Players can occasionally invade other players’ carefully crafted world, wrecking their opponents’ boards like a rampaging monster, crippling the economy and getting some extra cash in the process. The havoc continues until the player is captured by the patrolling police and sent back home. Of course, this also means that at any given time, others might return the favor and invade the player’s home base. The whole thing feels like just a random force of nature that can frustratingly stall any progress. This is made worse later in the game as the price for upgrades and maintenance scales up, pushing players to spend more real-world money to keep the game moving along, or at the very least, to rebuild after a string of invasions. If you can deal with this uncertainty, or want to wreak some havoc, Board Kings could be the game for you, as long as you accept its flaws.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about microtransactions in video games. What are some of the ways that games try to encourage players to spend real world money? What are ways for parents to monitor kids and keep them from spending too much?

  • What are some of the benefits to playing real world board games versus virtual versions? What do the virtual versions offer that their real-world counterparts can’t?

App details

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For kids who love board games

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