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Build an empire out of dominoes in unconventional civ game DomiNations

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A new game wants to put a fresh spin on the classic strategy game setup of civilisation-building – using dominoes.

DomiNations is more than a quirky idea and a clever pun, though. Created by Olivier Melison and Eric Dubus, the designer pair behind recent Kickstarter success Museum, the game combines the tropes of building an empire over centuries with triangular dominoes that players place to expand their population and acquire new knowledge and technology.

Each turn in split into grow, build and develop phases. Players first place dominoes to gain the core resource of knowledge points in society, craft, art, religion, trade or science – matching dominoes gain extra points, as you could probably guess.

Then it’s a case of constructing cities and monuments – the former allow players to collect extra knowledge from adjacent dominoes, while great monuments can be contributed to by all players, with the player that puts the most towards completing the objective grabbing special powers and points.

Finally, players can use knowledge to master skills or increase their influence, gaining mastery cards for bonuses to advance their civilisation. The most knowledgeable nation in each of the six categories can be helped by special characters in the following round.

The most points at the end of three rounds (3,000 years of in-game time) wins – unlike many civilisation games, there’s no direct conflict, leaving the focus on cultural advancement.

DomiNations plays with two to four people and has been illustrated by Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder roleplaying artist Florian Stitz. It’s set to launch on Kickstarter this June, with no announcement of a release date yet.

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