DomiNations Review

One area that mobile devices fail quite a bit at is the city building or civilization building genre. Sure, lately things have gotten better but we still do not have that Command and Conquer killer or Age of Empires replacement. Some games look promising but are limited by their requirements (I am looking your way War Commander) which hinders their penetration into the mobile market. Especially with the Android platform, considering there are a ton of variations on hardware available. DomiNations by Nexon is one interesting option if you are a fan of those aforementioned titles. 

If you have played other mobile titles like Clash of Clans and such then you have a good idea of what to expect with DomiNations. You begin by building little buildings such as houses and farms. Later you begin building military style buildings like a barracks, command center and more. All along the way you are upgrading your town center, the buildings you have, researching new techniques, and more.

Early on you are pretty much protected from other players (not like how God of War does it either). Once you are comfortable with your abilities, military available and ready to expand, you can begin attacking other civilizations. Even here, things are protected as you are not fighting other players yet.

Instead of beginning your life as a leader fighting other players you are given the opportunity to build your military power up and practice on computer controlled civilizations. If you are able to complete each battle earning all of the stars then you get a bonus for that series. This bonus is the one thing that is tough to come by while playing and will cost real world money to replace in any large quantities. Yep, there are In App Purchases (IAP).

DomiNations does do something I think is quite cool. They have included a bit of history in the game. As you pick things to look at, enemies to attack, etc, there are often little pieces of historical information. This was unexpected but quite cool nonetheless. I wish more developers would do stuff like this when the opportunity arises (looking your way Pokemon GO).

Battles are much like they are in other mobile strategy games. When the battle starts, you simply click in the safe area and your troops are dispatched. Once you dispatch all of one type, touch the icon of the others and repeat. You can direct your troops once every thirty seconds or so using a guide post style item.

DomiNations doesn’t have that urge pulling you back like Age of Empires did but there is still fun to be had.

When building new structures, hiring troops or harvesting anything, you are going to have to wait. Of course, you can speed this up by using the precious item of DomiNations (crones, I think they are called). There are opportunities throughout that will allow you to earn two to five of these valuable items. One way to earn them is to complete quests that your advisor gives you. Another is to watch advertisements that are available randomly throughout the day (I see probably three to five a day at the most) which are worth two crones each. As you can see, you are going to either spend a lot of time just letting the timers run out or spending a lot of money on IAP to speed things up. If you choose the Egyptians then you can save five minutes per level of your civilization when building or training (this can add up quick and speed things up considerably).

The IAP doesn’t stop there either. There are many opportunities to purchase special units FAR above what your current civilization’s level is. These are usually things like one tank, a foot troops and some supplies for $1.99 and up. This can give DomiNations a very “pay to win” feel once you enter player versus player combat later in the game.

I have not spent any money on DomiNations, have my civilization thriving quite well and formidable in battle. I am also at the point where upgrades to buildings and such takes days instead of hours so my playing has slowed QUITE a bit due to that. For a fun little diversion that will last a good couple of weeks there are not many better options than DomiNations. Just be prepared to hit that pay wall hard.

DomiNations by Nexon
Platform: Android (ZTE ZMAX 2 used for review) and iPhone and iPad
Genre: Civilization/city building, Player vs Player battles
In App Purchases: Yes
Rated: Everyone 10+ on Google Play and 12+ on iTunes
Available now on Google Play and the iTunes App Store

Carl Williams

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