Planning to dominate: Major update for Dominant Species arrives

By Dave Neumann 26 Jun 2015 0
Confused? Me too. Confused? Me too.

Dominant Species was released back in 2012 and was GMT Games' first foray into the digital realm. It showed. It was a bit clunky and the AI was, well, it was kind of like playing DS against me. It sucked. Now, the clunky part is understandable. Dominant Species is a big, heavy euro game that's more complex than just about anything else I can think of on the App Store. This game is so complex that I've owned it twice (don't ask) and still have yet to bring it to the table with my game group. Not because it's bad, but the thought of teaching it humbles me.

GMT has been working, with multiple developers, over the past few years to correct Dominant Species' mistakes and that work has finally paid off today with the release of Dominant Species 2.0. We've got some new art, a new UI, and completely overhauled AI opponents. I've loaded it up, and it does look pretty great, but I have noticed a couple issues. It would be great if there was a random setup, so instead of picking a species for every player to control they could be randomly assigned. Also, save games don't appear to work at this point. They appear to be fine if you exit the app and enter back into it, but if you leave a game via the Main Menu or force quit the app, then the save game appears corrupted.

I'm guessing that issue is going to be fixed in the update that GMT is currently working on which will also bring online multiplayer to the app. There's a button for it now, but it's just a tease.

The biggest downside to the app is the lack of a tutorial. There are rules accessible within the game, but if any board game on the App Store could use a tutorial, this is the one. Having not played in years, I spent the first five minutes feeling completely overwhelmed. Well, we always have play through vids on BGG to help us along, I guess.

The update is free to existing owners of Dominant Species, but for those you you who haven't picked it up and want to try it out, it's $7 and for iPad only.

One of those play through videos after the break. This one from Richard Ham.

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