❥ King of the Valley
2 - 4 players
Age: 10 +
Publisher: The Game Master
Designer: Hans van Tol
Artist: David Cochard
Are you the real King of the Valley? Prove it! As king, you look for queens and subjects for your kingdom. Make tactical and strategic choices to collect all subjects and score points!
With 25 tiles with characters (5x5 grid) from the pile with 'I' on the back you form the valley. Each player places his own king-meeple on the playing field and starts with 2 gold. During the game you move your king in a straight line, horizontally, vertically or diagonally, through the valley. This is how you collect nationals and specialists. To collect one, move your king in a straight line and end up on the character you want. To collect two or three characters, 'jump' with your king over the characters you want to collect. These may only be the same type of characters. When you have collected the characters, place them on your own castle board.
On the hill are new characters. Here are tiles with 'I' and subsequent tiles with 'II'. When those tiles are gone, the 'III' tiles are added. After each turn, the active player replenishes the valley from the hill. You can choose from which row this is, make the right choice for this!
From the second round you can also buy one of these characters in a turn. The cost is indicated next to the character on the hill, it ranges from 2 gold to 10 gold on the top row. More gold can be earned by forming kingdoms or sending tax collectors to your subjects. When you have a set of five different subjects, you can exchange them for one kingdom token. Then place the subjects face down next to your castle board. Specialists can be recognized by the gray borders, these give you special actions such as collecting taxes from your nationals.
You continue in this way and as soon as the hill can no longer be completed, the game ends, all players still complete the round so that everyone has had an equal turn.
Now the scoring follows, which you can keep track of on the score block. You get points for:
⌘ Your subjects
⌘ Kingdom tokens
⌘ Farmer and Farmer's Wife Couples
⌘ Order of Knights (number of the same color)
The player with the most points is the King of the Valley!
❥ My Thoughts
King of the Valley in my opinion is a very nice game, which is perfect as a family game. The artwork is very nice, full of color and detailed. I first played this game at the Spellenspektakel'21. I walked past the stand and after the first short explanation I was immediately enthusiastic. After that I was able to play the game myself, the rules were explained a bit more so that we could start playing quickly. This was a fun way to get acquainted with King of the Valley.
It's a simple game, which doesn't necessarily have many different actions. But don't forget to make tactical and strategic choices and thwart your opponents. You should also pay attention to which subjects they are gathering, because maybe you and your king can thwart them. The cardboard hill mechanism also works perfectly. The characters slide down easily and it just looks really cool.
King of the Valley is not a heavy game that you spend hours on, but I find that very pleasant. It is a game that you could perfectly grab in between. The game plays very well with two players (can play up to four players) and is therefore definitely in the top of 2-player games for me.
The Game Master provided me a review copy