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Dominion

Play OverviewPlay Overview

Dominion (2008) is a medieval theme strategic card game where you collect and refine a hand of cards to build the most powerful kingdom. The goal is to gain the most victory points and to avoid curses. It stands out for the wide variety of strategies and play mechanics on offer with just a small(ish) deck of cards.

After setting out the special Kingdom, Victory and Treasure cards in the middle. You choose which Kingdom cards to use either via a personal preference or by picking a set from the rule book.

You start with 20 basic cards in your deck and 5 in your hand. Each turn you do three things. Use Action cards to do things like drawing more cards, discarding weaker cards or attacking other players. Spend your Treasure cards to gain more Action and Treasure cards to add to your deck. Finally, you discard any remaining cards and draw 5 more from your deck.

To begin with, you can't do very much but as you cycle through your deck the cards you buy start to turn up and you progress your kingdom. This new card enables you to do things like draw more cards into your hand, make multiple actions, make multiple purchases or take attacking actions. The game finishes when three of the action card decks or the provinces deck have been used up. You then count up your points and the player with the most points wins.

The result is a highly strategic card game where you need to balance gaining Victory cards against gaining Action cards. The combination and interactions of the Action cards make the game different each time you play, and deep tactics develop.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Dominion 21 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 12 months ago.
Too complex for your family? There are lots of games similar to Dominion. Here are some easier younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Battle and Sequencing game with Collecting, Push-Your-Luck and Strategy elements. You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room. Best played with 3 players.

 
You can play this game in the following styles:

DurationDuration

Learn to Play: This takes 45 minutes to learn. This is quite a complex game. You not only need to understand how the game proceeds but the interplay between the different action cards. Although it's worth spending some time explaining these aspects of the game, some test run plays are ultimately the best way to see how things play out in practice.

Play Time: This game will take between half an hour and 35 minutes to complete.

BenefitsBenefits

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Level

10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. This is a complex game, however, some younger players can grasp the concepts and tactics with a little support.

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 7+ years-olds.

The game has a medieval setting where magic spells feature. In the expansions, there are also Witch, Curse, Bandit, Harem, Ghost Ship, Possession, Devil's Workshop, and Necromancer cards. These are only depicted in the hand-painted non-realistic style.

CostsCosts

There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.
 
There are a number of expansion packs and versions you can buy that extend the cards and tactics in the game considerably:
  • Dominion: Seaside (2009)
  • Dominion: Prosperity (2010)
  • Dominion: Alchemy (2010)
  • Dominion: Hinterlands (2011)
  • Dominion: Cornucopia (2011)
  • Dominion: Dark Ages (2012)
  • Dominion: Guilds (2013)
  • Dominion: Adventures (2015)
  • Dominion: Empires (2016)
  • Dominion: Nocturne (2017)
  • Dominion: Renaissance (2018)
  • Dominion: Menagerie (2020)
  • Dominion: Allies (2022) 
 

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/2008, updated in 2022

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Players: 2-4

Genres: Battle, Sequencing (Collecting, Push-Your-Luck and Strategy)

Accessibility: 0 features documented

Components: Cards


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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