In this 2-player reimplementation of It’s a Wonderful World, each player takes the role of a duke who wants to prove that he’s the sole and rightful heir to the throne of the kingdom. Display your potential by producing raw materials and building structures, and develop your duchy faster and better than your opponent!
1-2 players, ages 14+
Playing time: 45 minutes
Designer: Frédéric Guérard
Artwork: Anthony Wolff
Publisher: Geronimo (originally published by La Boîte de Jeu)
It’s a Wonderful Kingdom takes the ingenious core mechanism of It’s a Wonderful World, in which players build an engine and produce resources in order to construct their cards, who on their turn give them new resources or endgame points.
Whereas in IaWW the players draft cards at the beginning of each round, this has now been replaced by an ‘I split, you choose’ mechanism, which adds a little more direct player interaction.
Players take turns placing two of their cards face-up on one or both sides of the central board, after which the other player chooses a side and takes all cards there, including any that may have been left over from previous turns. Among the 8 cards a player starts the round with, there’s also a trap card that gives a 4 point penalty. Trying to get your opponent to take these cards adds a certain bluffing aspect to the game, as players are given two traps allowing them to put cards face down.
Once all the cards are dealt, the game continues as in IaWW by recycling cards for resources or keeping the cards to build, and using the resources from already built structures to build new ones.
After four rounds the game ends and the players count the victory points their duchy scores
The game comes with 3 modules to alter the core gameplay, each adding a slight twist: a menace module adds an extra threat and a combat phase, an advisors module gives an ability to the players and a quest module with the ability to pay resources and receive bonuses.
We feel this is more than a slimmed down two player-version than the original game, thanks to the interaction this feels bigger and the modules are a nice extra offering variation. If you play a lot with 2 and love playing mind games with your opponent, you should definitely give this one a try!