Dominion, a futuristic Risk-type game by Dot Matrix and published by Chillingo, is now available from the app store. A collection of different maps and efficient push-notification online multiplayer make it an amazing world domination game.
- 8 maps of various world areas to play on
- 3 game modes with complete customization
- Brilliant online multiplayer with anyone in the world
- Very cool graphics
- Invasion rewards
- No option to skip AI turns
There are many Risk-based games available on the iPhone platform, but not many of them come close to the depth of gameplay that Dominion offers. To start out, there are 8 maps to play on, including the world, the arctic circle, and 6 different continents. Each map is divided up into many different countries and states that you can conquer. Dominion has 3 game modes, 2 of which are objective and another one that you can customize. In Modern Warfare mode, you play against AI players, protecting your capital while trying to capture that of the other players. The game ends after a player owns 3 capital territories, regardless of whether there are still enemy units present. In a sense, it’s like a combination of chess and Risk, where you have to do your best to protect one territory while capturing other ones. Classic Warfare takes on the rules of the classic Risk game, where you try to capture all enemy territories. Advanced Warfare gives you the option to customize your game and play it however you want. There is also an online mode that we were very impressed with. After creating an account, you can search lobbies for games on various maps and join them at any time. Each player has 4 hours to make a move every time, and push notifications let you know when it’s your turn again. If a player doesn’t make a move within 4 hours, the next player starts their turn without any real loss to the previous player. You can have up to 10 games going at one time, and you rank up as you win and play more games.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that Dot Matrix included an extensive and interactive tutorial in Dominion to teach you how to play the game. The tutorial is very helpful and basically walks you through your first game. Every turn is composed of 3 stages: reinforce, attack, and fortify. You will receive a number of armies at the start of each turn that you can reinforce your existing territories with. In the attack stage, you can use any owned territory with 2 or more armies on it to invade neighboring enemy forces. When attacking, you can choose whether to use 1, 2, 3, or all available armies located in the your selected country or state. The game automatically rolls a certain number of dice depending on the number of forces you choose to use, as well as the number of defending armies in the enemy territory. The higher number wins, and you can then choose how you want to distribute your army among the newly conquered areas. In the fortify stage, you can move your troops from one selected area to another. At the end of each turn, you will receive bonuses for how successful your turn was. These bonuses include stars for additional armies, airfields, defense bunkers, and other boosts that you can use to your advantage.
Each map in Dominion contains many divisions and states, and Dot Matrix does a nice job in showing the names of each of them. Whereas you only have a general idea of where you forces are located in many similar games, Dominion allows you to attack, for example, California from Oregon or Portugal from Spain. The graphics looks really cool, to say the least, and the technological military effects fit well with the game. The only thing that could register as a problem in the game is that there isn’t a button to skip opponent turns. Although most turns in the game made by the AI players end rather quickly, there isn’t an option to skip them. Most AI turns end in 15-20 seconds max, and it’s pretty cool watching what they do anyways.
There is no doubt that Dominion provides a better and more enjoyable experience than many similar games in the app store, including Electronic Arts’ Offical Risk Game. The option of playing against anyone in the world at a casual pace is a big bonus and adds a lot of replay value. If you’re shopping for a fun world domination game in the app store, be sure to pick up this 4.5-Dimple game for $1.99.