BoardKings - Game with Potential that Falls Short

BoardKings is a game of luck that looks very similar to Monopoly for Android an iOS.

Based on screenshots from the Google Play Store (also available on iOS), BoardKings was the first game was in Beta, but available to set a reminders to download once officially released. I was actually looking forward to the game because it was a refreshed version of Monopoly with updated graphics, social, and one that didn't look like required much time to continually play (similar to the Android game Landlord Real Estate Tycoon).

About a week ago, the game was finally released and I was excited to give the game a spin. Unfortunately, this game completely under whelmed. In fact, my first 5-10 minutes of the game was so confusing I contemplated just deleting the game. Unlike the board game Monopoly and most other games with a high element of luck (roll of the dice), there is generally also a decision making step. To my surprised, BoardKings is mostly luck... just a screen tap to roll the dice. You have the option to decide what properties to upgrade, but that's about it. And the upgrades are not customizable, meaning I would not be surprised if all the boards look the same. To make matters worse, you only get 4 dice rolls per hour (hopefully the game developers at Jelly Button Games fix this). Therefore, BoardKings can be played by logging in once for about 15 minutes a day. The main upside is the creative and bubbly graphics that gives the main board life. I sometimes even wonder how "random" the dice rolls are, as the game requires an active internet connection to play, even in Guest mode.

A nice integration is visiting a friend or strangers board via the train station, which is a square on the board. However, your only actions on their board are purely luck (dice roll again). Any money you steal from them becomes yours, but there isn't a way (at least one that I could find) to allow them to visit you back and steal their money back.

Bunnies are around from my understanding just to show your progress in the game. You get bunnies whenever you upgrade a property. There isn't really much more to use that unless you're trying to reach the top of the leaderboard.

Diamonds can be used to supplement your money when upgrading properties or can be used to buy more dice rolls. The diamond cost to number of dice rolls seems a bit pricey, currently set at 10 rolls of 80 diamonds (packages range from 100 diamonds can be purchased for $1.99 to 7000 diamonds for $79.99). In a way, I get it because game development requires time and money that needs to be recouped.

Other than that, there's a vending machine on a square on the board that allows you to get a puzzle piece. Collect enough of them and your themes get upgraded. Again, this can be advanced with diamonds (30 diamonds for an additional puzzle piece), but any gains from the vending machine are purely graphical.

They offer Facebook integration to play with friends (no Google integration to play socially, but your progress can be saved via Google). I believe the social aspect of the game is that when you land on the railroad, instead of visiting and stealing from a stranger, you get to do this to a friend. The game heavily promotes connecting via Facebook, but I did not find connecting to Facebook offered much in return.

Another factor is this game may be more geared towards young kids, who like the bubbly action of the graphics and limited choices. I don't have kids, so I can't theorize on this.

Download BoardKings from Google Play or App Store.

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