Great iPhone Games: Dominion

Dominion by Rio Grande Games

For those of you out there that love board games, but might not have access to them (or people to play them with) I found a game out there for you.  And if you’re a cheapskate that won’t throw down $2 for a game, you’re in luck: this one’s free!

(For the record, I don’t mean cheapskate as an insult–as anyone who knows me will attest).

The game is called Dominion, and is a remake of a popular board game.  It was apparently done up with the permission of Rio Grande by a guy named Donald Vaccarino (who, upon further inspection is the actual creator of the game).  You can download it from the iTunes store here:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dominion-by-donald-x.-vaccarino/id447395574?mt=8

For those that aren’t familiar with Dominion, according to Board Game Geek, it’s the 11th best board game of all time, and it’s won various awards including the 2009 Mensa game of the year.  It’s a deck building game with relatively simple rules and options, but the vast complexity in the way the interactions between the cards and the way it actually plays out.

The description from BGG reads:

In Dominion, each player starts with an identical, very small deck of cards.  In the center of the table is a selection of other cards the players can “buy” as they can afford them.  Through their selection of cards to buy, and how they play their hands as they draw them, the players construct their deck on the fly, striving for the most efficient path to the precious victory points by game end.

From the back of the box: “You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents, however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion! In all directions lie fiefs, freeholds, and feodums. All are small bits of land, controlled by petty lords and verging on anarchy. You will bring civilization to these people, uniting them under your banner.

“But wait! It must be something in the air; several other monarchs have had the exact same idea. You must race to get as much of the unclaimed land as possible, fending them off along the way. To do this you will hire minions, construct buildings, spruce up your castle, and fill the coffers of your treasury. Your parents wouldn’t be proud, but your grandparents, on your mother’s side, would be delighted.”

I downloaded it and played a couple of games myself, and it has some good things going for it.  The play is logical, quite quick, and smooth.  It has all of the standard deck packages listed in the basic rules, and allows you to create any combination you want.  It allows you to play with up to three computer opponents, or a single human player via wifi.  In fact, the only down side I can see to the game is that it doesn’t include any of the expansions (but how much do you want for a free app?)

After two games, I’ve yet to win one (2nd place both times) so the AI seems pretty solid.  I can foresee quite a few games of this in my future….

The base game is normally $44.95 (or $31.99 from the war store!), so the amount of savings are insane.  I highly encourage you to check it out.

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