It’s really cool to be involved with something that not everybody else has access to.
Hell, that’s why I started this blog!
So far, the beta has been pretty interesting and I can already see that there is a lot of polish with the game.
Sure, there are a bunch of bugs, but this is a beta so of course there’s going to be.
You know what this beta has mostly taught me?
That I suck at Dominion.
However, the app itself seems very cool.
(Note that, as I said, this is the beta version, so all screenshots and other descriptions may change before the app comes out)
Temple Gates Games has done a phenomenal job, at least so far, with the app version.
As I said, there are bugs aplenty (though me not being a big Dominion player, I haven’t noticed many of them), but this is a beta so of course that’s to be expected.
I am in the Steam beta, so everything I say is in regards to that. I don’t really know how the iOS and Android version compare.
As mentioned in the announcement article, all of the expansions are going to be available to purchase when the game comes out. The base game is going to be free, though.
The user interface is interesting, though there could be some improvements.
You can choose any (or all) of the available expansions to randomly determine the cards that will be available.
If you want to see what’s available to buy, you can right-click on a stack (or any card, really) and zoom it up so you can see it.
This is pretty handy on the computer, since you’re not right-clicking for anything else. It’s not like you can mistakenly play the card that way or something.
You can also page through the various cards (either the available to buy cards or your hand) by right-clicking on one of them and then clicking through the arrows.
The game is pretty intuitive as far as what’s in your hand and if you can do anything.
As a non-Dominion player, I completely forgot that you have to play an Action (and then, if that Action gave you more Actions, the rest of your Actions) before you put your money out there to buy cards.
If you don’t have any Actions in your hand, it automatically goes to the “Play Treasures” phase.
If you have Actions in your deck, though, all of them light up and you can right-click to see what they are and maybe they’ll give you more Actions!
Of course, there’s a button that will let you end your Actions if you don’t want to play something, as well as ending your Buys if the only thing you can buy is a Copper that you don’t need.
One weird thing which I’m sure will be rectified before release, is that even while the AI is taking its turn, you have a button that says “Play Actions” and your Actions are highlighted.
I haven’t actually tried playing one of them while the AI is going, mainly because I fear that the game will spontaneously combust and I just bought this computer!
It would be nice if the “log” button was on the main screen rather than you having to go to the menu to see it. It does tell you pretty much everything that happened on the previous turn and you can even “scroll back” and replay the game from a certain point, which is nice.
The AI is pretty neat, though I don’t know if it’s really that good or if I just suck that bad.
As mentioned in the previous article, the AI is kind of a “neural network” that learns by playing, so it will be interesting to see how it develops during this beta test.
The graphics are already crisp and clean, a Temple Gates hallmark. It will be interesting to see if any other changes are made.
The backgrounds vary each game, which is also kind of cool. The screenshot above has a nice hilly landscape next to the ocean. I just loaded the game again and got a nice picture of a pirate ship in the background! I’m not sure how many different backdrops there will be, but it’s nice that there’s more than one.
Right now the multiplayer isn’t there, but it will be interesting to see how it ends up working. Hopefully the beta will include the cross-platform play, since I have friends on both Android and iOS and it would be cool to play with them!
I’ve played five games with the app so far and while I have come close to beating the AI, it really hasn’t been much of a contest. Again, that could be because I suck.
It’s very cool to be playing Dominion again, though, because it’s the classic deckbuilder and I never got to play the game on the table more than once or twice.
This is a great way to learn the game!
And to be able to buy all of the expansions at some point?
That’s just gravy.
If you want to sign up for the beta for the app, go here and put in your particulars.
It’s a hell of a lot of fun!
All of this being said, while the game is still rough around the edges (you know, being a beta and all), it already looks really great and I foresee the game being a top notch app when it’s finally released into the wild.
The fact that you can buy whatever expansions you like, and even play the base game for free if that’s all you care about, is just icing on the cake.
The app looks like it will have the typical Temple Gates icing on it, and the AI should be pretty wicked too.
I can’t wait until we can actually try multiplayer!
As the beta continues and more features (like the multiplayer) are added, I may be back with more.
Until then, I encourage you to get into the beta and see what you think!