Rio Grande Games and Temple Gates Games, the developer/publisher behind the fantastic, feature-rich digital board game adaptations of Race For The Galaxy, Roll for the Galaxy and Shards of Infinity is bringing Donald X Vaccarino’s genre-creating, deck-building card game classic, Dominion to Steam, iOS and Android devices.
It’s hard to believe that it has been over a decade year since a proper digital app version of Dominion has been available for the iPhone. An app version of the game was briefly available back in 2013, but it sadly disappeared into the ether. As the years passed with no replacement app in sight, many fans’ hopes (mine included) for a mobile release started to feel like they would forever go unfulfilled.
Fortunately, the talented folks at Temple Gates Games have picked up the reigns and is prepared to launch a brand-new, content-packed digital port that will be free to play!
What is Dominion?
If somehow you have never heard of this modern classic card game, I’m a little surprised. This award-winning juggernaut was designed by Donald X Vaccarino and published by Rio Grande Games in 2008, Dominion is often credited with being the game that first introduced the concept of deck-building (or at the very least popularized it). In the game, players are attempting to “expand a small kingdom to a mighty Dominion!”. Players start the game with a deck of card containing a small set of ‘Estates’ and ‘Coppers’. Estates are worth victory points, while Coppers allow the player to purchase additional cards for their deck. Each turn plays draw five cards from their deck, using the treasures to purchase new cards from a common pool of face up cards. These are added to their discard and shuffled into their deck which gets bigger and (hopefully) stronger as the game progresses.
Newly purchased cards fall into several categories: Kingdom, Treasure, Curses and Victory Points. The Kingdom cards allow players to perform special actions like taking additional actions, drawing cards, upgrading treasures and more. Treasure cards consist of Copper, Silver and Gold (each of which having increasing purchasing power). Curses are worth negative Victory points.
Players are trying to balance their need for more/better Treasures to increase their purchasing power, Kingdoms (for their actions) and Victory Points (which help win the game, but will clog up their decks in the short term). The player with the most victory points when one of the end game conditions is triggered is the winner.
The base game (which contains a whopping 250 cards) is FREE, fun and approachable and offers plenty of replayability as you only use 10 of the 25 Kingdom card types in any given game. Over the years since its release, Dominion has spawned an impressive 15+ expansions as well as various promo packs bumping the card total to 500+. Temple Gate Games’ officially licensed implementation gives players digital access to ALL 15 of these existing expansions as well three promo packs.
Save A Bundle On Expansions…
For those who want to experience even more of what Dominion has to offer, the expansions not only add new cards, but introduce interesting new game mechanics which help to further vary play.
All fifteen expansions will be available to buy together as a bundle at a discount (which also includes 5 and 6 player game support and ranked matchmaking). From Intrigue through Plunder, this bundle has everything a completionist needs for their Dominion collection. Purchase the digital bundle in the in-game-store in your Dominion app on iOS or Android, on the Steam store.
GOOD NEWS! Once you purchase any of the expansions on one platform, you immediately have access to these expansions on any of the other platforms as well, you just need to log into the game app with the same Profile/email as the one you used to purchase the content with.
You Are In For A Real Treat
I’ve had the opportunity to play an early release of the app (on both iOS and my Steam Deck) and Dominion fans both new and longtime are going to LOVE this game. The free download, tutorials and multiple levels of AI players welcome new players to the game and teach you all you need to get started.
Access to the complete set of expansions and some promos (in a discounted bundle), customizable game options and the ability to play online asynchronously or in real-time in ranked or unranked matches will most definitely appeal to Dominion veterans.
Full List of Features
- 1-6 player support
- 500 plus cards
- Solo play against four AI difficulties
- Async & real-time multiplayer
- Ranked & unranked matchmaking
- Lobby & Private game tables
- Cross platform multiplayer
- Cross platform purchases
- Daily challenge
- Challenging AI that learns through self-play
- Recommended Sets
- Customize, save & share Kingdoms
- Achievements, Stats & Leaderboards
- Pass & Play mode
- Automated score-keeping & hints
- Smart-play options to streamline gameplay
- Jumbo mode for readability on phones
- Turbo mode to zoom through games quickly
- Tutorial & Rules
- 4 languages: English, Japanese, German, French
- 15 expansions plus three promo packs