Sunday, December 25, 2011

First play: Dominant Species...

I finally got a chance to play Dominant Species, a game that seems to be at the top of a lot of 'Best Of' lists this year.  And I think I can see why.  It's a rather complex worker placement game with an interesting majority placement/war gamey kind of feel.  It wasn't half as complicated to learn as people make it out to be and it's actually quite enjoyable to watch your class of animals grow and adapt.

However, for an almost 3 hour game, it's rather chaotic and in our game the winner seemed to be completely determined in the final round.  As well, the worker placement choices seem a tad clunky.  Every single round started with players filling up first the limited spaces on the Dominance (scoring) row, allowing them to choose which tile to score and which special power card to use.  It seemed pretty much programmed and in a 5 or 6-player game I imagine it would be rather frustrating.  Still, for a strategy game this long to hold my attention so completely despite the randomness, there's definitely something working.  I won't be buying it but I'll definitely play it again.


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  2. P.S. Happy holidays! Hope you get lots of time to spend gaming with family and friends...

  3. I played it 2-3 times.. the first time I loved it.. but we played wrong.. then we played properly and I wasn't feeling it....

  4. There is way more to this game than simply taking the dominance action and going into auto pilot. Every other action must be executed prior to the dominance one, so the tile you thought you were dominated at the beginning of the round may not be so at the end.

    This games requires several plays before you can begin to foresee how round swill unfold and better "predict" the chaos to minimize it's effect on you. There is very little preprogrammed in this game.

    That being said, this simply may not be a game for you.