Looking like a direct competitor to Clash of Clans and Boom Beach, DomiNations is a mobile MMO strategy game exclusively for iOS and Android. What gave this game a shot to become a heavy hitter is the fact that it featured a single player campaign mode, besides the standard MMO experience these kinds of strategy games all have in common. Developed by Big Huge Games and published by NEXON M back in 2015, DomiNations was to unite the Civilization age progression feature with the modern mobile strategy feel and wrap it all in a nice and fun package.
The Primitive to Space Age progression, with polished artwork that looked better than other similar games, and lots of depth and details, DomiNations sure showed promise, but it received criticism for its slow-paced progress and pay-to-win elements. And, in truth, three years ago when it was released, all publishers still largely exploited the pay-to-win phenomenon, which is noticeably reduced today.
You start off with a small village of your own, and the ultimate goal is to lead your people from the Stone Age to the modern era, but also battle competitively or even cooperatively all across the world, and, naturally, raid other nations for plunder.
Like in other similar games, the name of the game is gathering resources, researching technologies, and waging war against other nations.
In other words, this game features resource management, strategy, planning, and conquering. It is often compared to Game of War and Clash of Clans, but with the Age Progression twist. Now, this Age Progression feature requires players to pick a ‘Wonder’ specific to that age they are currently in, like the Stonehenge, Pyramids, Hanging Gardens, the Acropolis, and so on. This will affect the aesthetics, culture, and architecture of your nation.
Wonders also grant different bonuses, for instance, the Acropolis makes your defending army tougher and speeds up your troop production at garrisons and stables. This is much like in the Age of Empires PC game if some of you remember it.
The other standard features include building and improving your buildings, training troops, researching technologies which improve every aspect of your nation, and plundering other villages, towns, cities, and entire nations.
Now, combat is really a lot like in Clash of Clans, with the difference that your units do not get used up. The combat features taking down enemy walls, destroying buildings and other units, and navigating your armies in a real-time strategy style gameplay.
Out of combat activities include mainly building, which requires villagers and resources. You place your buildings any way you see fit, no surprise there.
The campaign offers various scenarios, which bring you rewards and unique experiences. For instance, there is a campaign called ‘Ruling the Nile’ which has 60 separate missions included in it, each with its own set of rewards, and the completion of the entire campaign brings a special reward as well.
There is also a multiplayer search option, which will find you an opponent to battle for a fee of 100 gold. This also yields PVP rewards.
Research tab is divided into 5 separate branches, which are Treasure, Economy, Defense, Army, and Wonders. For instance, the Economy research tab enables you to increase the number of houses, farms, caravans, and other economic structures you have.
Each house supports two citizens, and the more citizens you have, the more things you can do simultaneously.
The best aspect of this game is that it is not monotonous as these genre type games are usually. For instance, you can hunt animals for food and resources, like bears, foxes, boars, etc… You can assign citizens to be artisans as needed, and so on. Basically, for a strategy game, DomiNations sure does keep you engaged and involved in various different aspects of your empire. In fact, it is one of, if not the most detailed strategy mobile game out there.
The graphics and the models are not flashy and stylish in DomiNations. It is pretty much the standard look everyone is used to in other mentioned titles, like Game of war. This game does, however, feature much more details and mechanics, so it gets immersive regardless of the appearance, which is definitely a plus.
The final verdict
DomiNations is absolutely worth the time, because no other mobile strategy game combines the Age of Empires Wonder feature with the Clash of Clans combat, and the Game of War strategy map feel. The detailing alone is enough for an immersive and rewarding experience, with this game’s features only adding to the final pot. The pay-to-win options are naturally there for the heavy spenders, but the single-player campaigns are there to give everyone an experience of playing the game without being bothered by the big sharks. All in all, one hell of a mobile MMO strategy game.