Some of you will be aware of this release last month. It is an unofficial release of. Despite being a free app, there was a bit of controversy around its release by no means because it was without notice and without formal endorsement of the rights holders of the property. Because it was unofficial I was not going to review the game. For reference, Donald X. Vaccarino is the physical game’s creator’s name.
At first there was some confusion because the unofficial free app that used the art and the IP of an existing game. There were a number of concerns that this was simply a rip off of a legitimate game. However, according to this post by Jay Tummelson from Rio Grande Games (the property holders):
Just to clarify things on this issue if I can at this point. Over the past two years, RGG has been approached by a number of people asking to do a “casual” and free app for Dominion. In such cases, we have usually said yes with the stipulation that once the “official” Dominion app became available that the free app would be removed. Cory is one of those who asked and, as with others, we gave him permission to develop a free Dominion app, which I understand he has finished. I admit some surprise as it has been months since we last spoke and I had assumed he had decided not to complete the app. In any case, as long as it is free, it is allowed, at least for a few weeks until the licensed app becomes available.
So for the sake of this website, I’m happy to make a quick review about this game but not list it as an official review. Clearly that honour should be reserved for the actual official release and I’d hate to have two versions of Dominion trying to compete for the top 20 spots.
It’s very clear from this game that it’s a no-frills option. This is Dominion pared down to its absolute basics. It’s only the base game (which is fair enough) and it doesn’t really have many good features that support and intelligent and engaging user interface. That being said, for an independent app it is great. It’s whetted my appetite for a real Dominion game, one that helps immerse me into the experience rather than skims the surface.
Now considering that we have a promise of Dominion in several weeks time, this might be the perfect opportunity to ground yourself in the game before the real deal hits. If you’ve never played before you may be hampered by a sufficient tutorial and in depth explanatory rulesets.
One of the advantages of this is that a number of people have already been offering some reasonably intelligent methods of bettering the design. Indeed, one of my favourite variables is the fact that you can affect the colour of the treasure cards to reflect their actual colour (copper is copper coloured, silver is silver coloured, and gold is gold coloured); it always puzzled me why they didn’t just pursue this option from the very beginning.
I won’t give a scored verdict for the reasons I already specified.