Published by: Artana Games
# of Players: 2 to 6
Corrupted Kingdoms has a variety of components that each fit in with various aspects of the game. Each player will have a corporation board to help sort the various cards and tokens that you will be gaining and using during the game. The center of the table will have boards for various species' kingdoms and also a traveling council that will always vote on bills. Corrupted Kingdom's art is a mix generic fantasy and humor that helps engage the players into the game. There are lots of icons that you will be keeping track of and that can be difficult for newer players. The rule book keeps the same art and fully explains the game in illustrated detail. The game comes with cubes to show your influence on a government person. There are upgraded wooden components for some of the resources that you spend during the game.
Corrupted Kingdoms has players trying to pass bills to obtain guilty pleasures and favor tokens. Depending on player count, a certain number of kingdoms, favors and guilty pleasures will be available during the game. When either the guilty pleasures deck or favor tokens runs out, you will vote on each bill currently out and end the game. On a player's turn they will take 2 actions from the 3 types of actions.
The first action type is to take a favor token. Favor tokens have a favor type icon and also 2 icons on the side of minions. When you take a favor token, you can either take one of each minion icon, or place the favor token under a kingdoms bill, thus adding a new part to the bill. You will also put a cube of your color to denote that is your favor token.
The second action you can take is to influence a leader (the people in the kingdom who vote on bills). This is done by discarding minions that match the icons next to the leader. You can reduce that cost if you have a guilty pleasure of the type displayed next to the leader. You will put a cube of your color to show that you have influence over that leader. You can steal a leader by paying the minion cost plus one addition minion. The top leader on each kingdom board is called the monarch. The only way to gain influence over them is by having majority influence over the leaders in that kingdom.
The last action is to vote on a bill. This can happen has an action or if you place a favor token on a bill that already has 4 or more tokens on it. Players will vote if they have influence on the traveling senate or a leader in the kingdom the bill is being voted on. Each of those players will have 2 tokens with thumbs up or arms crossed. At this time players can play chaos cards to alter events and also may negotiate to try to convince players to vote yes or no. Once everyone places their chosen token face down, they will all be revealed. Players will count up the yes and no votes from player controlled leaders and also votes from leaders who are not controlled by players. Those leaders will vote yes if a favor icon matches their icon, otherwise they will vote no. Senate leaders that are not controlled by players will always vote no. If the final tally has more yes votes than no, the bill passes. Each player with a favor token on that bill takes their favor token and adds it to their board and also picks a guilty pleasure card. Each player can only receive a max of 1 guilty pleasure per bill, even if they have more than one favor token on the bill. If the vote is a tie, the bill will remain on the kingdom board and will be voted on again at a later time. If the majority of the vote was no, the bill fails and all favor tokens get removed from the game.
Once either the favor tokens or guilty pleasures deck has run out, the remaining bills will be voted on. Points are tallied in 3 ways. First you will get a point for each favor token on your corporation board. Then you will also get a point for each favor token on your opponent's boards that matches the icon on your shareholder card. (The shareholder card is randomly given at the start of the game) Finally each guilty pleasure card is worth a point per favor token matching the icon the guilty pleasure card. For example if you have 2 guilty pleasure cards with shields on them and 5 favor tokens with shields on them, you will get 10 points total for those two guilty pleasure cards. The player with the highest points after everything is added up is proclaimed the winner and their corporation has the most influence in all the lands.
Corrupted Kingdoms was one of the first games I have seen go from prototype to finished product. The evolution of the game has simplified the gameplay and made it a lighter style game. I think this helped and hurt Corrupted Kingdoms. The previous version had a lot more fiddly parts to it and that caused the gameplay to feel choppy. I am happy how the changes have made the game smoother and more available to different types of players. The area control aspect works well and can go back and forth a lot in higher count games. The voting is only okay to me. I feel it is highly dependent on the group that plays. If you have a group that wont negotiate or trust each other, then votes will go down to simple does it benefit me, yes or no. Otherwise if your group is creative and possibly willing to trust each other, you can come up with some pretty unique ways to try and get a vote your way. The whole game reminds me of the senate of the popular video game series Disgaea. I wish there were more ways to influence votes like getting favor tokens if a bill fails or something to benefit a bill not passing. There were times I felt that a person may feel like they have fallen behind and may be a step behind the other players. If you focus on trying to gain influence on leaders and forget about favor tokens, you will fall behind very fast. The theme was enjoyable to me, but I can see some having issues due to the current political climate. I enjoy the game and would play it again if someone asked to play it, but I do not see myself suggesting it to play. I would recommend it to gamers who are still learning different types of games and mechanics or those who enjoy fantasy humor and have creative game groups.
+Easy to learn area control and negotiation
+Fantasy art with some humor
-Voting can be bland depending on group
-A lot of icons
-Player's can feel a step behind at times