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June 18, 2015 / Jett

Give it to the King Review

Give it to the King is a very fitting, if overly literal name for this board game. In it, you and your fellow players are messengers racing to the throne in order to give your message to the king. This is done by rolling a die and moving characters along path until one person reaches the throne. The game isn’t as simple and dull as it sounds, but not by much.

Play takes place along a linear track. On one end is the starting spaces, and on the opposite end is the throne. Stretching six spaces from the throne is the red carpet. Players take turns rolling the dice to move. The trick is that movement rules aren’t as straightforward as you’d expect. In order to move forward, you must jump over someone else in the process. If you can’t, then you can move someone else the appropriate number of spaces. Doing this may move someone else forward, but gives you the chance to meet the movement requirements.

Give it to the KingYou may also get lucky if you’re last in line. If you roll a one, you’ll jump towards the front of the line. However, if you roll a one and you’re not last in line, you will have unintentionally moved someone else into that prestigious spot. Players who touch the red carpet first get two coins. Most importantly, the player who reaches the throne first gets to deliver their message or messages.

At the start of each round, players start with two messages that serve two purposes. For one, if you reach the throne, the messages you still have on-hand will net you coins based on the value listed on the message. Along the way though, you may want to use your message’s benefit, which may allow you to keep the die after your turn ends, stop another player from moving, add more spaces to your turn or re-roll. You lose the opportunity to score points with that message, but it may ultimately help you reach the throne in a situation where you wouldn’t have made it otherwise. After five rounds, the messenger with the most money wins.

Give it to the KingI like the concept of the game, and the movement mechanic is sort of interesting. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make for much of a game, as the brunt of this is still roll-and-move. Yes, you can play the cards, but the ways in which they impact the game aren’t very creative and the penalty for using them is steep. Also, due to the quirks of the mechanics, you can run into issues where your rolls will simply push all of your opponents so far ahead of you that your only recourse is to hope you can roll a one.

Give it to the King feels like a game that was pushed out the door prematurely. It has a decent theme and one potentially good mechanic, but there really isn’t much for players to do, and what little you do isn’t very fun. Certainly not the worst game out there, but it falls well short of its potential.

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