It continues with the presentation of the current building games - this time with Kensington, which was published by Piatnik Verlag. Kensington is a district in west London in which predominantly English aristocrats build their magnificent houses, mostly in the Victorian style. The houses can therefore be built massive, imposing and as high as possible. Since you build in height and width, you should make sure that there is enough space on the gaming table.
The rules of architecture are simple and straightforward
Each player receives a front door and a warehouse. The window, roof and special parts (individual, square wall parts and 3 red doors) are placed in the middle of the table in a confused heap. The players' warehouses are placed on the table so that they enclose the pile in the middle of the table. Depending on the number of players, bonus chips are laid out and off you go.
When it is a player's turn, he takes a piece from the pile in the middle of the table. Parts with a beige back are free of charge. A player has to pay a bonus chip for parts with a brown back. When taking the part, it is important not to rummage around in a pile. So you can only take parts that are visible. The part touched first must be taken. The part taken is then installed immediately. Neither parts nor overhangs may float in the air and illuminated windows may not be built directly on unlit windows.
Illuminated windows can therefore be built on illuminated windows, on a door, on a part of the wall without a window or on a part of the roof. If a player cannot or does not want to block a part he has taken, he has the option of storing up to two parts in his warehouse. If you take a window part from the supply that has a diamond symbol on the back, you receive a bonus chip from the supply as soon as you install this part in your house.
Instead of taking a part from the supply, you also have the option of taking a part from another player's warehouse, but you have to give them one of their bonus chips. The parts from your own warehouse can be built into your train at any time.
No player may collect more than four bonus chips. From the fourth chip onwards, the player has to take an action that involves paying a bonus chip. So either take a brown part or take a part from another player's warehouse.
Rapid construction progress in every round
Round by round, bigger and more splendid buildings are being built. The easy and straightforward rules make it easy to play and the waiting times of the other players are short. There are birds on the roof parts. If a player pulls the seventh part of the roof with a bird from the supply, the end of the game is initiated. All parts with birds in the players count, regardless of whether they are installed or in the warehouse.
Now only the remaining parts from your own warehouse can be installed and then the scoring follows. The game also ends if no player can add a part anymore. This can happen if there are no more suitable parts in the supply or in the warehouses or if the players no longer have bonus chips to buy parts.
At the end of the building inspection follows - distribution of victory points
Points are awarded for the following: One point for every window that is covered with a roof part. Two points for every door that is covered with a roof part. There are points for levels of different heights that are covered with a roof part. One point for the first level, two points for the second level, three points for the third level, and so on.
You get one point for every cat that is printed on a component, it does not matter whether the corresponding part is covered with a roof. Finally, you get one point per vertical row if the entire house is covered with roof parts. The player with the most points is the winner. A tie is resolved by looking at which of the participants has the most birds on the roof.
Number of players: 5 players
Age: from 10 years
Playing time: 30 minutes
Long-term motivation: good
Author: Cielo d'Oro
Year of publication: 2019
Language: German, English, French, Italian, Czech, Slovak, Polish
Cost: 20 euros
The game scores with its simplicity and the great buildings that are created during construction. With two players, huge structures appear on the table, with 3-4 players these are a little smaller. The mechanism with the concealed pulling of the parts out of the middle of the table is fun and always provides surprises.
You can never know the orientation of the part before drawing and you often have to rearrange it again after drawing because the part does not fit in the desired location. The shape of the part is also not always apparent, as the part is often partially covered by other parts. Kensington has a playing time of 30 minutes and is therefore ideal as a nightcap or as a game in between on game evenings. The game is also suitable for families with children aged ten and over.
The little annoyance factor, where you can take game parts from another player's warehouse, keeps the game up and running. Until the end, it will be exciting to see who has got the most victory points with building his house. The game material from Kensington is valuable and of very good quality. Unfortunately there is no evaluation block with the game, this would have been very nice.