The King of Frontier arrived in the post this morning. I’ve been keen to acquire a copy of this ever since Tony Boydell started making frequent references to it in his BGG blog, but — despite scouring amazon.jp + other Japanese stores for a copy that they were willing to ship internationally — my efforts were fruitless. Fruitless, that is, until copies showed up out of the blue on the Board Game Geek store last week 🙂
It’s a *really* nice filler-length game, for 1 to 4 people… and could perhaps be best described as Carcassonne-style kingdom building mashed up with the “leader decides” expand/produce/consume mechanism from Puerto Rico, with some cute/distinctive stick-man graphic design in the mix. It feels like a “proper” euro, yet plays really briskly; I can imagine the 2-player game taking about 15 minutes with a bit more practice. (We’ve already played three times this afternoon … it’s proven to be quite a hit with Mrs S).
There’s a tiny bit of language dependancy on the handful of Agricola:ACBAS-style “special building” tiles that you use to spice up each game, but not enough to be a chore, and there’s a useful set of downloadable translation cards on BGG which make this aspect play smoothly for ignorant gaijin 😉
All in all, I’m really impressed. If you didn’t have to pay such a premium to import it, I’d be recommending it unreservedly; it’s a smashing game in a little box. As it stands, expect me to be twisting people’s arms to play this at Newcastle Gamers in the non-too-distant.