Board Kings Review, Monopoly Style Fun on the Go

Board Kings Android

Classic board games are not often very much fun on mobile devices, they are not much fun on consoles or computers either. Mainly because you are missing out on the social aspect of these classics when you play them on small screens of phones and even tablets. People play games like Risk and Monopoly because they want to interact with other people and have fun. That is hard to replicate in a digital format. Board Kings by Jelly Button Games is a flashier version of Monopoly (which oddly is not available on Google Play). This is the strong point of Board Kings – doing things that would be impossible in real life on a physical board. Too bad it doesn’t go much farther than that.

The secret to success in gaming is variety. That is certainly something Board Kings has plenty of – from boards to play featuring different layouts to themes and game pieces and even different dice. That stuff is going to take time to accumulate, or some deep pockets early on. That is the draw of Board Kings – having your board as unique looking as you are and there is plenty of options here.

One area that Board Kings fails is the lack of anything to do when you run out of dice rolls. In the early stages of the game you are limited to 30 dice rolls total with five more accumulating every 60 minutes. As you upgrade your buildings you can earn more total rolls (I am currently limited to 60 total, other players have closer to 100, etc).

Anyhow, when you are out of dice rolls, you are pretty much dead in the water. If you have coins left that other players have not stolen then you can possibly upgrade some buildings (more often then not when in combination with gems). If you have enough gems then you can buy more rolls.

When out of coins, gems, and rolls you are quite done till more rolls become available. That is when Board Kings is put to the back burner for a bit for me. Right now I play twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) because my rolls run out and I am saving gems for future purchases depending on the situation I face.

That is the biggest problem with Board Kings. It is 101% designed to be a cash run by the developers. For proof, just run out of rolls and see if you can do anything without spending real world money. Couple that with recent, as of this writing, complaints on social media from players complaining about not getting their purchases after being charged for them.

There are plenty of things to spend your gems on. You can land on the vending machine tile and spend gems getting a blind box that contains a piece of a theme (game pieces for example). You can buy board buildings that will give you special bonuses when landing on them (throw three dice, some coins, improve happiness of your bunny denizens, etc).

Another tile that is interesting, and brings in the social aspect, is the Train tile. Land here and you can visit your choice of two friends and run around their board. While on their board, you receive coins per tile you land on. You can damage their buildings and even “own” them which gives you a set amount of coins right then (and keeps that player from upgrading that building till they land on it and throw you off). You can also land on their “Go” tile and smash their piggy bank, effectively stealing money from them like you would when landing on the “Coin King” tile on your board. Your friends can do the same thing to your board.

The variety continues when you upgrade your buildings twice and collect the necessary number of gold bars and move to a new board. Some boards will have board challenges that require you to destroy something when you land on select tiles (there are hit points and a mischievous mechanism involved in earning those attacks).

Early on, Board Kings is the most annoying game ever. You don’t have enough moves to do anything meaningful and your earnings per tile traveled is so low that you are grinding a lot. The fun comes when you pass level six or eight and have a ton of friends to annoy/play with. This is the point where it also becomes annoying having many friends playing as they are constantly stealing coins you have set aside for upgrades or repairs – setting you back to zero in a heartbeat. There are handy, and sometimes expensive, In App Purchases that will alleviate that problem though.

Board Kings is far from perfect. It is addictive, annoying, stupid at times, and boring the next, but then can be a rather fun game when you have some rolls to play with.

That is the problem with board games like Board Kings, there is no real strategy involved – you simply tap the roll button and wait to see where you land. You cannot control the dice – only what is upgraded on the board and hope you made the right choices to stop your friends from stealing all your wealth.

If that sounds fun to you, give Board Kings a run around. I am still playing it, like I said twice a day for about 10 minutes at most each time. It will be on my phone for a while as it is an addictive game. That is the best thing I can say about it.

Board Kings by Jelly Button Games
Platform: Android and iPhone
Genre: Social board game
In App Purchases: Yes, more dice, gems, etc (easy to overspend as there is no warning)
Rated: E for Everyone on Google Play and 4+ on iTunes
Available now on Google Play and the iTunes App Store

Carl has been gaming on the go since the days of Tiger Electronics and the original Game Boy. Portability is a big factor in gaming across all ages.