It was the end of January, when four brave men embarked on an epic gaming adventure. We eased into the day with a couple of hour long games. Before we settled into our main event we indulged in in delicious falafels and banana shakes. To suppress our hunger pangs while playing we descended upon a local market to gather sweet and savory treats. We returned to begin the eveloutionary/adaptation game of Dominant Species.
Dominant Species allows players to control one of six classes of animals: insects, arachnids, amphibians, reptiles, aves (birds) and mammals. The goal is to evolve your class of animals to ever changing conditions called Elements which can be broken up into living conditions (sun and water) and fuel resources (grass, grub, meat and seed). In addition to changing Elements there is also an impending ice age with glaciers engulfing the world.
I would normally break down the rules, but the rule book is about 28 pages and couldn’t do it justice in a post. In your spare time please have a look at the Rule book or check out the Nerd Blogger post.
To see this game in action checkout these Domiant Species Videos.
This game reminds me of chess. There are countless number of strategies but just like the animal class the players control your strategy must evolve. There is no way to escape interacting with your fellow players and every placement requires you to speculate what your opponents can do to hurt or help you.
A nuance of this game is the ability to understand the difference between dominance and abundance. A player can be dominant on any one of the hex titles by being the best adapted to the Elements present on that title regardless of the number of individuals are on that title. Understanding this has proven to be key to end game strategy.
Overall, this game has everything you could ask for. There are constant interactions, a high level of strategy and good fun. Having only played this game twice I still haven’t figured out all the subtleties to game, but that is half the fun. This is a game that shouldn’t be started casually and requires gamer’s devoted to the 4-5 hour session.