UPDATE: The Kickstarter has relaunched!
Kingdoms of Erden: King of the Mountain is a fantasy card game currently gearing up for its Kickstarter campaign. It’s a simple and portable game that can be learned in around 2 minutes and plays in as little as 15 minutes.
There are two ways to win Kingdoms of Erden.
- Faction Dominance - Reaching an agreed upon value of any single faction in your hand.
- Staying Alive - Being the last player who can make a play on their turn.
Setup is easy. Shuffle the deck and deal seven cards to each player. A card from the top of the deck is then flipped over and placed in the discard pile. This is the first card the first player needs to defeat. The rest of the cards are placed face down as the reward pile.
Each turn a player must play a card or be knocked out of the game. The game contains two types of cards, Faction Cards and Wild Cards. Cards, with a few exceptions, are played to the discard pile. A card can be placed onto the discard pile if it’s, in most cases, a higher number and different color Faction. Wild Cards can be played on anything except a Wild Card. Some cards also have special abilities that are triggered when played. A few cards can actually beat a higher numbered card.
Once a card is played the player three cards are drawn from the deck and keeps one, placing the other two back. Play then passes to the next player. Play continues until one of the two victory conditions are met.
The cards in Kingdoms of Erden are a thick, glossy stock. They feel really nice. The artwork is pretty standard medieval fantasy with each faction having its own distinct visual design. I can’t really comment on much more since this is a prototype, but the way things are looking now the game components should be top notch.
Overall Kingdoms of Erden: King of the Mountain is a simple, yet entertaining card game. It’s small footprint and simple ruleset makes it very accessible and portable. The two paths to victory help provide enough variety in players’ turns to keep the game interesting, without feeling like there are no meaningful choices to make.
My only concern with the game is its $15 pledge level to get a print copy of the game without a box. $20 if you want a box with the game. While the game is enjoyable, a $10 tag seems a bit more reasonable for a boxed game with 36 cards.
UPDATE: I’ve been informed that the Kickstarter campaign has been updated. You can now get Kingdoms of Erden, and all stretch goals, for $10. At this price point you’d be crazy to pass it up.
That being said, Kingdoms of Erden is a light and quick filler that’s playable up to 4 players in a reasonable amount of time. While the game comes with a 10+ age rating, it’s certainly playable with younger kids.
A prototype copy of Kingdoms of Erden was provided free for preview.