DOMINION Gets its Feathers Plucked

MB Updated
There Will Be Games

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Here we have an illustration of a Eurogamer pulling a feather off a peacock. Of course, anybody that knows anything about peacocks would know that the organs that generate theme, meaning, and narrative are located in a peacock's feathers. You'd think that with all the peacocks strutting around between the ice sculptures, champagne fountains, and Alan Moon's solid gold throne those Gathering of Friends folks would know that already. But apparently they don't.

DOMINION is a pretty great game, actually. I think it's original, innovative, and a lot of fun. However, it also has pretty much the most uninspired theme in the history of all gaming and what theme is there is just an excuse to put pictures on the cards so the Eurogamers can at least pretend that what they're doing means something. It sucks, because with a solid theme that would appeal to people outside of the Eurogamer clique this is a game that anyone could play and enjoy. If this game were in the hands of a publisher that actively appealed to a more youthful market that favors direct conflict and competition, this could have been a hit outside of the hobby market.

But it won't be. It'll sell like gangbusters through christmas based on the hype, shilling, and other social engineering that's gone on around it and then it'll fade away. An expansion in the springtime will add a handful of new buildings and maybe a new mechanic. By Essen 2009, we'll see at least five other games that use its deck building mechanics. Then it will be completely forgotten when GAME Z will come out and blow minds, OMG. I can't say any more than that right now.  
Next week I'm talking to Cynthia Michaelson, Jinteki Corporation's Public Relations lady. 


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Sometime in the early 1980s, MichaelBarnes’ parents thought it would be a good idea to buy him a board game to keep him busy with some friends during one of those high-pressure, “free” timeshare vacations. It turned out to be a terrible idea, because the game was TSR’s Dungeon! - and the rest, as they say, is history. Michael has been involved with writing professionally about games since 2002, when he busked for store credit writing for Boulder Games’ newsletter. He has written for a number of international hobby gaming periodicals and popular Web sites. From 2004-2008, he was the co-owner of Atlanta Game Factory, a brick-and-mortar retail store. He is currently the co-founder of and as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Miniature Market’s Review Corner feature. He is married with two childen and when he’s not playing some kind of game he enjoys stockpiling trivial information about music, comics and film.

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