Nov 14, 2010
Dominion in a nutshell is played as follows: There are 3 basic types of cards... money cards that let you buy other cards, point cards the dilute your deck as they don't do anything until scoring at the game's end, and other cards that you play in order to do more or better things during your turn. You start with 7 copper cards which are worth 1 money unit and 3 point cards. You shuffle your deck and on every turn you draw 5 cards. Can't draw? Shuffle your discards and continue. Your first hand will therefore have some money and some points in it. Once again... points are worthless until the game is over when they become the only thing that matters. So you'll use your money to buy a card. On your turn you get 1 action and 1 buy. Other cards can give you more actions, money, and buys (among other things) so you might buy a card that gives you an extra action and 2 more coppers. Purchased cards go into your discard pile as does your current hand and you draw for the next turn. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. If you want more detail than that click on the title to go to Andromion's website and you will find links to the full rules.
Androminion isn't going to win any beauty contests. The screen is plain with available cards listed in rectangles along the top of the screen. It does include help and you can touch and hold on any of the cards to see what they do. Still, I would prefer to play the real card game not only for the social element, but also so I can quickly scan what my cards say. I guess advanced players have many of these cards memorized, but I do not. Androminion randomly chooses the set of cards you'll be playing with and forces a 3 player game upon you with two AI players. AI? Yes, this free game has AI that is actually pretty good. The rules seem to be solidly implemented and the touch interface of tapping on cards works and is done well enough to avoid any accidental plays. In other words, when choosing a card you have to select and then click select once the card is 'highlighted'.
Androminion has plenty of opportunity for improvement as all of the hard work in terms of getting all of those pesky rules functioning is done. It would be nice to be able to play with 2 or 4 players, network play, the ability to choose which cards I'm going to play with, and, I'm obligated to say, a UI upgrade with pretty cards. I don't know the legality of this game, but I see the publisher (Rio Grande Games) is given full credit. Is it possible they'd allow for the actual card graphics to be used?
by Alster at 5:50 PM