Nov 14, 2010


It was initially billed as 'Secret Game X'. We can't tell you anything other than "it's great!" they'd say. I got my first taste of the game later to be called Dominion at Gen Con in 2008. It featured a novel deck-building mechanic and I enjoyed the game that later became the giant hit that it was and still is today. Dominion now since added four expansions and many copycat games that all great, new ideas "inspire". Androminion brings this and two of its expansions to your Android phone. Ah, a good day to be an Android owner...

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?

qrcodeThis is a dream come true for Dominion fans. If you enjoy Dominion then this won't let you down. It's probably not going to replace human competition, but it's nice to be able to practice and try out new stuff against competent AI. Likewise, if you like turn based, strategy games you really ought to check this out. Finally, if you like this game then please buy the original paper version. This is actually a really good family game, too. I've provided a link above that offers Dominion from at a pretty good price with free shipping. And what is there to prevent you from trying this game out on your phone? Nothing as it's free!! 4.5/5 stars.


  1. I bought (and started to love) Dominion just last week, this is a pleasant surprise indeed.
    As for the original images usage - I think there's no way for them to be legally included. However, the game probably could (legal grey warning) provide the option to use custom, user provided images and let the user be the "pirate" (as I'm sure the images can be found somewhere on the Net).

  2. Thanks for the review! I am a complete Dominion junkie, and this scratches my itch. And at ~ 5 minutes a game I can get a good fix of Dominion on my lunch hour. I like the simplicity of the UI - the pictures in Dominion don't add all that much to it, and would clutter up an elegant implementation of the game. Of course, that is from someone who plays lots of the actual card game, so maybe I am seeing the pics in my head while I play anyway. I suppose that someone who started on this platform would think 'Gee, what a drab UI'...

  3. Great game...hopefully we'll see Prosperity, Alchemy, and the Promo cards soon.

  4. There's a lot of information that needs to be presented at one time. I believe card graphics would seriously detract from the UI because you would have to do a lot of scrolling to see all the info you need to play.

  5. Just a comment on the AI; while it plays well, that's largely due to the nature of the game rather than the AI's complexity. The AIs will always play big money, and will only buy particular kingdom cards - caravans, marketplaces, bazaars, festivals, and the like - and a few attack cards - militia, witch, saboteur, t orturer and a few others. It also never buys victory/action or victory/coin hybrid cards.

    After a few games, you can easily tell which attacks you can just ignore, as the AI will never buy them. Likewise, certain card sets are a guaranteed victory after a while - I never lose with Sea Hags as the only curse-givers, for instance, as the AIs never buy them and I swamp their decks.