Sunday, November 13, 2011

Review: Dominion

Those long Winter nights are here. Perhaps cash is a little tight, or maybe you're just not buying video games so that Santa has something to get you come December, either way, I'd like to introduce you to some of my favorite board games. That's right board games. No batteries or electricity required, and you actually touch the game. Let's start with Dominion.

Dominion is published by Rio Grande Games and is a card game. During the game you work towards gaining the most "victory points." Each turn contains three phases: draw, action, buy. These allow you to use and buy cards which do one or more of the following:

  • Gain more money
  • Gain more actions in a turn
  • Gain more draws in a turn
  • Attack other players
  • Deflect an attack
  • Gain the ability to buy more than one thing a turn
  • Alter your deck or discard piles.
The game was a little tricky the first few turns, but once you get the hang of it, the turn goes quite smoothly and potentially quickly. This is a strategy game, but you don't have to be a mastermind strategist to play, enjoy, or win the game. It can be fast-paced, but is easily played at a slower speed for new or younger players.

There are some pre made sets of cards to use in the game (you choose ten action cards for the game out of the set), but you can also make up your own sets. Compare this to player's evolving strategies and the unique combination of strategy possibilities and the game has endless possibilities.

The cards are a bit smaller than normal playing cards (at least I think they're thinner) which makes them easier to handle. The text and pictures are also family-friendly making this a great game for older children. Young children may struggle to understand the order of the turn or to be able to fully understand the strategy of the game.

The game also comes with a tray to hold the cards so that they stay separated by type so you don't have to sort them out again each time you get the game out. I'd also recommend getting card sleeves for the cards to keep them clean.

Overall, I love this game. A dear friend from college introduced us to the game and now I can't get enough.

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