Board Game Review: Dominion

Played a new game (to TRC, not to Denisa and me) yesterday evening: Dominion. This is actually a game Denisa and I have played quite a bit, and since TRC likes Magic: The Gathering, I thought he might be up for another card-based game. DC played with us, on Denisa’s team.

Dominion, for those of you who don’t know, is a deck building game. You all start with the same amount of resources, and then you spend those resources to “buy” other cards, that then let you get more resources, buy more cards, penalize other players–a whole variety of things. By the end of the game, everyone can end up with drastically different decks, depending on the strategy you choose to employ.

I enjoy the game a lot because it gives you the sense of a collectible card game like Magic, without the need to actually shell out money for the cards. The popular cards are gobbled up pretty quickly as players all buy their favorites, but there are less popular cards that can be exploited, if you can just figure out the right way to “break” them. Better yet, the game has a ton of replay value. The base game comes with 25 different kinds of cards, and you only use 10 of those card types each game. You can either choose the 10 yourself to try and make the game dynamic, or randomize selection to make the game unique. In addition to that, there are multiple expansions that give even more deck options.

How did it run with an 8 year old?

Very well. At the end of the game, Denisa came in first, TRC came in second, and I finished a distant third. TRC loved it, and he told us he wants us to play again as soon as possible.

In summary, Dominion is a great game for 2-4 players. One game lasts around 30 minutes once everyone knows what they’re doing, so it doesn’t take forever to play, either. The artwork could use some help (I still think it’s kind of rinky-dink), but if you look past that, you’ll find a game that can offer a lot of entertainment for a wide variety of ages.

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