Dominion Online


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Rating: 4.8/5 (42 votes)
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MikeDominionIf you aren't at all into real-world strategy board and card games, you probably haven't heard of Dominion. You're probably looking at the screenshot to the right, perhaps intrigued, maybe a little wary, but wondering nonetheless what in tarnation is going on. If you are a hobby gamer, though, then let me say just this: It's Dominion (yes, that Dominion), online! With multiplayer, and cards from all the official expansions! It's brought to you by developer isotropic, and really, if you just want to go check it out now, I understand. We'll still be here.

For the uninitiated, Dominion is a real-live, award-winning card game with a devoted following. I like to say it's a collectible card game without the card collection: It has all the deck building and combos of a classic CCG, but without the game-breaking, bank-busting, "gotta-catch-em-all" problems of the genre. Instead, everyone builds their deck from the same set of cards, so the game is more about strategically acquiring the cards available in the most effective way. Everyone starts with a few green Victory cards and some yellow Money cards. Money cards let you buy other cards, Victory cards give you crucial Victory Points but are otherwise useless, and Action cards let you do all kinds of things, like gaining additional cards or actions on your turn, or getting rid of useless cards, or penalizing other players. Every time you play through your deck, you reshuffle your discard pile and start over, so you can continue to replay cards as your deck gets bigger. The player with the most Victory Points at the end of the game wins.

There is more to the rules than what I've outlined here, and you will want to be pretty familiar with how the game is played before starting, as isotropic's port of the game doesn't offer much hand-holding. Luckily, once you've grasped the fundamentals, online Dominion is easy to jump into. Finding a game is as simple as picking a username (you can sign in with a Google or Yahoo! account, but you don't have to), selecting the number of players you want (I like the 2 player game), and waiting for a match to accept. Once you are in a game, you just click on a card to use it, or click on the "+$" to spend your coins and select a card on the left to buy. The game keeps track of how many actions and buys you have and when you need to discard, and you can hover the cursor over a card to see what it does. Some more esoteric features of Dominion online can be found in isotropic's FAQ, but a basic understanding of the rules is all you need to play most games. So give Dominion online a try! If you're already a Dominion fan, you know why you should, and if you aren't yet a fan, you just might become one.

Play Dominion online

Thanks to Dubdubdubdub for sending this one in!

6 Comments

Nice find!

It's remarkable how few modern board games get mentioned on JiG. Most of the big board games like TTR, Carc and so on are available online for free or free registration, but go unnoticed. And it's remarkable how many 'gamers' have no idea that modern eurogames even exist. They only known Monopoly, Scrabble or Cluedo as if games somehow stopped being invented 60 years ago.

[I am a HUGE fan of European board games and I've tried to feature as many as I'm aware of here at JIG over the years. If you know of any recommendable board games available to play for free, please feel free to submit them to us using our online form so we can feature them here. -Jay]

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what do they mean by "initial status?" what are we supposed to type there?

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Initial Status is something like "looking for a game" or "away". Your status shows up next to your name in the lobby, it basically allows other people to know what sort of game you are looking for.

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Yay, Dominion! It's an utterly classic game. I run a board games evening every week, and it's definitely one of the standout modern games, along with Agricola, Caylus, and of course Magic: the Gathering.

I probably won't wander over to isotropic, because I'm already playing Dominion online at this site: Free-Dom. It's got a rather different feel: where the games on isotropic take 15 minutes and solid concentration during that time, the games on Free-Dom take a day or two but it's completely fine for your to spend a few hours away from the game. I'd recommend anyone who likes Dominion but would like to have a gradual drip of fun rather than a burst that's over quickly to check out Free-Dom.

(If you want to start a game, which you can do once you've created an account, it may be best to specify the time zone in the game name if it's not British/western European. Otherwise progress will be very slow - although several of the regulars won't mind that either if you're up for it.)

I hope this doesn't count as advertising. I don't run the site, I'm just one of the regular users of it.

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OMG yes! I love this game.

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Wow. Ya know, I used to play MTG for years. I loved it. But it just got too... I don't know... intricate...? micromanagerial...? complex? In any event, I've been looking for a good replacement card game, but most everything out there that's popular is too kiddish (Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, etc...). But then I found this. And I really, really, REALLY wanted to like it, but after a few games I just couldn't make heads or tails about how to play. I read the wiki. I browsed the forums. I checked the FAQs. NOTHING about this game makes sense to me. I can't understand it! I *KNOW* this has to be a good game, but I just don't freakin' GET IT! Maybe I need to pick up the actual physical game and play it that way to really understand how the stacks and decks and discard piles really work, because looking at it on a computer screen just doesn't make any sense...

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