Boardgame Twitter was all abuzz this morning with the final announcement that the classic deck-building game Dominion, the game that started it all, will be coming out later this year as a digital app!
The card game was designed by Donald X. Vaccarino and published by Rio Grande Games.
Noted app company Temple Gates Games is behind this beautiful production and, given their track record (app versions of Shards of Infinity, Roll for the Galaxy and Race for the Galaxy), could Dominion finally be done right after a history of terrible apps from other companies?
I have every faith that it will be.
For a number of reasons.
First, it’s Temple Gates.
That should be enough right there.
Secondly, they appear to be approaching the whole thing with a love of the game and the genre that didn’t seem to be there in previous versions.
Typically, Temple Gates has said that they don’t do expansions (which is why sadly Shards of Infinity will probably never be as good as it could be and Race for the Galaxy only has the first three).
(Edit: Temple Gates contacted me to clarify this. They do have plans to revisit older titles and do the expansions at some point. Any time you hear a blanket “Temple Gates doesn’t do expansions,” that’s not necessarily the truth and it’s certainly not the truth as a general statement at all)
However, for Dominion, everything is going to be available right out of the box (so to speak).
The base game will be free.
Then each of the 13 (!) expansions will be available right from the start, with each one costing between $5-10. So you can pick and choose what you want to get.
This sounds like it could get expensive! Even more so if you like to get the game for more than one platform (so you can play on your phone but also on your PC).
They’ve got you covered, though.
Not only will the game have cross-platform play for online gaming (asynchronous as well…woo!), but it will also have cross-platform purchasing!
So you buy it once, you have it everywhere.
Not sure what Apple thinks of that, but I’ve been told that this will be a thing.
So yeah, you could be spending over $100 if you want the whole thing (depending on how many of the expansions hit the $10 mark). But at least that buys it for you everywhere.
This is amazing.
Thirdly, the AI is being designed by the famous Keldon who did the AI for Race for the Galaxy and Roll for the Galaxy. It’s a neural net AI that learns (there’s a great description of how the AI learns and how they teach it in the Polygon article about this).
No word yet on exactly when in 2021 this will be out.
If you want to get in on the beta for this app, you can sign up here.
Some of you may be looking at this post and saying “Dave, this all looks pretty, but what the hell are you talking about?”
Let me quote the description from the Temple Gates press kit:
“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… dreams! You want a bigger kingdom, more pleasant, with more rivers, and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion! This is a game of building a deck of cards. The deck contains your resources, victory points, and the things you can do. It starts out a small sad collection of Estates and Coppers, but you hope that by the end of the game it will be brimming with Gold, Provinces, and the inhabitants and structures of your kingdom.”
I have to admit that I was not a fan of Dominion when I first played it. I played two games, one of just the base game and then another that had some other expansion cards sprinkled in among the base game cards.
But this news excites me a lot and I can’t wait to dive into it.
What do you think of this news?
Let me know in the comments.