Dominant Species for iPad
By GMT Games LLC
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From all of us here at GMT Games, welcome to our first iPad app, a digital conversion of our popular strategy boardgame, Dominant Species.
For you players who already play the Dominant Species boardgame, this app will allow you to have fun and practice your skills anytime, against a mix of human and computer AI opponents.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the boardgame, we have included a tutorial and complete context-sensitive rules to help you learn the game and get started quickly. You can also get help from us directly, via our Facebook page, at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dominant-Species-for-iPad/320893411343198.
Here's a feature list. Note that we do intend to provide regular updates to enhance gameplay and add new AI and multi-player features.
- Play against a mix of up to 5 human and/or AI opponents via Solo Play, Pass 'N Play, or on a Local Network players on a local network.
- The game currently offers two levels of AI - one Easy level for your learning games, and another Intermediate level for competitive play. Both levels provide very quick responses from the AI players. We are working on a 3rd (Hard) level, and plan to release that in a future update.
- Autosave (play a few turns, continue your game later on)
- Pinch to zoom on map and action pane
- Online and context-sensitive help
- Interactive tutorial
- Automatic real-time dominance updates
- The User Interface features simple one-touch interactions (no complex drag-n-drop, double/triple touches, etc.)
- Advanced options to configure the game:
- pick your animal or get one at random
- pick your color, get one at random or use the default animal color
- standard initial Earth setup or random setup
- use 2 or 3 players alternate rules
- shorten the game by removing 1 action pawn from each player or by removing up to 10 Dominance Cards
90,000 B.C - A great Ice Age is fast approaching. Another titanic struggle for global supremacy has unwittingly commenced between the varying animal species.
Dominant Species is a game for 2 to 6 players that abstractly recreates a tiny portion of ancient history: the ponderous encroachment of an Ice Age and what that entails for the living creatures trying to adapt to the slowly-changing Earth.
Each player will assume the role of one of six major Animal groups-Mammal, Reptile, Bird, Amphibian, Arachnid or Insect. Each begins the game in a state of natural balance with regards to one another. But that won’t last: It is indeed “survival of the fittest.”
Through wily Action Pawn placement, players will strive to become Dominant on as many different Terrain tiles as possible in order to draw beneficial Dominance Cards. Players will also want to propagate their individual Species in order to earn Victory Points for his particular Animal. Players will be aided in these endeavors via Growth, Migration and Domination actions, among others.
All of this eventually leads to the end game - the final ascent of the Ice Age - where the player with the most Victory Points will have his Animal crowned the Dominant Species.
But somebody better become dominant quickly, because it’s getting mighty cold!
What's New in Version 1.0.1
We want to thank all of you for your terrific feedback, suggestions, and constructive criticisms aimed at helping us make this app even better. We are committed to the support and improvement of this app, so we have a longer-term plan for a series of game play enhancements over the coming weeks and months, but we wanted to get a new update out to you sooner that deals with bug fixes. We managed to work a few smaller enhancements into this version, as well, and hope that they add to your enjoyment of Dominant Species!
Here's what's included in this update:
- bug fix: corrected the Resume Game bug that was freezing the game when you tried to resume a game that had been saved in the middle of an action.
- bug fix: fixed the situation where when adding a wanderlust tile in the middle of 6 other tiles, with all edges containing elements, the application was still asking for adding a wanderlust element and then waiting forever since there was no empty location.
- bug fix: fixed some weird characters that appeared in the "Game Overview" documentation page.
- enhancement: links are now duplicated at the bottom of the documentation pages for easier navigation.
- enhancement: added a round button in the top right corner of the dialogs. When you push this button, the dialog gets out of the way, no longer hiding the board. This is a short-term fix to make sure you can move the pop-up dialogs out of the way to see the map. We'll be implementing something more elegant in a future update.
- enhancement: improved the graphics of the species cubes, dominance cones, and action pawns. Also, adjusted the color shades to be friendlier to colorblind players.
- bug fix/enhancement: taught the AI to only rarely choose Dominance hexes that would allow the human player(s) to choose a card.
Please add network play
I am a strategy game lover, and DS is one of my favorite board games ever. I don't even mind all the set up time, as it is such a deep, replayable game. Like all board games, the problem is finding other people who don't mind the set up and play time. I was so excited when I heard about the app.
GMT did a great job translating this into the virtual world, though I can't speak for the tutorial (didn't need it) or the artwork (something I don't really care about). This has every detail that the board game has.
Sadly, what it lacks is replayability. This is because the AI is second rate, offering no challenge at all. I think newbs will be far more challenged by the rules than the competition. Even this I didn't mind, as I assumed that there would be online play, and that even if there weren't a lot of people there, I could talk some friends into getting the app and playing them. This isn't the case; pass and play and local network are the only options.
Too bad, because that is all it would take to make me love the game. As it stands now, unless GMT adds a viable way to play other people or better AI, I won't be buying any other products from them.
Love Love Love
I have been wanting to practice this game more often but it gets a bit tricky trying to convince my friends to play the table top version with me. The app has eliminated the need for practice companions. I can now hone my strategy and show it off when playing with friends. (The Agricola app helped me do the same thing!)
Oh and it's ONLY $4.99. Look up the cost of the table top version (and other iPad table-top-inspired games) and you'll realize this game is a steal.
It's only missing remote group play. I'd love to challenge my gaming buddies when we are not in the same room (I mean, we may as well pull out the box and set up the whole game if we're together).
Fascinating but flawed.
Not sure I'm crazy about the original board game - there's a lot to think about but is the game ultimately a swingy luck fest due to the nature of the dominance cards…?
Anyway, it's a pretty good port, although… NO UNDO?! There should be a law for iOS board games - they need an undo button. Accidentally clicking something can ruin a game. Kingdom Builder (another area majority game) also makes this dumb mistake. Also, where's the async multiplayer? I'm rating this four stars instead of three because I support porting high quality board games.