Friday, December 9, 2011

New Poll Added

I've been playing around with Blogger's options and decided to open up my next review to the masses.  Let me know what you'd like to see me put the spurs to next by checking out the poll in the sidebar.  If you don't like any of the options I've tossed up there, then give me your two cents and let me know what you'd like to see.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

From the Wishlist: Dominant Species

This is a new kind of post that I've been kicking around for a while.  I've got a massive list of games on my wishlist and every now and then I have to go back and refresh myself on what I'm waiting to buy and why.  With that in mind, I thought a series of entries about some games on my wishlist might be enough to entice other people to take an interest as well as foreshadow some of my upcoming reviews.

For the first installment of "From the Wishlist", I'd like to discuss Dominant Species by GMT Games.  GMT is, of course, the company behind Twilight Struggle - a game which sits atop the charts over on Board Game Geek.  I have limited experience with their games, but they generally cater more towards complex themes using simple components.  Dominant Species is no exception.

The box art pretty much says it all.

The game chronicles an encroaching ice age and the struggles of various types of animals as they try and adapt and compete over resources that are becoming more and more finite.  Now, I'm a huge fan of biology and evolution so the theme for this game has got me hook line and sinker.  The mechanics focus on worker placement, tile placement and area control, but I haven't been able to see it in action yet.  The rulebook is posted online, but I generally get a better idea for a game when I have the components on hand to reference.  Speaking of the components, I've found a few images/videos of them online and...well...they're definitely the weakest selling point of the game for me.

Photo credit - Penteado,

I don't want to go too nuts posting other people's pictures of the game, but I feel that this one best encompasses the overall package that is Dominant Species.  For me, what you see here does not match what you see on the box.  The colors are muted and the components are all abstract representations.  If this were a Fantasy Flight game, you can bet that there would be about 250 little plastic insects, reptiles and mammals.  With that being said, I'm a sucker for wooden components and these little blocks and cones remind me a lot of Pandemic which is a game where the abstraction of the theme works perfectly.  Obviously, all I can do without playing the game is judge the pieces aesthetically.  While they might not be as grandiose as I'd like them to be, they do look well made and functional which is really all a gamer can ask for - everything else is gravy.

Dominant Species carries a hefty $79 price tag.  Obviously, online retailers can offer it for a considerable discount, so it's up to each gamer to decide whether they want to save some cash or throw a lot of support behind their friendly local game store (expect a post about that debate soon).  For my money, I could definitely see myself paying retail for this game.  While the components might be lackluster, the theme has me salivating.  Coupled with a strong position on the BGG charts and a number of favorable reviews, I find myself helpless to resist the call of nature to change, adapt and thrive.

Since this is a new "feature" on the blog, I'm anxious for your feedback.  Let me know what you guys like and dislike about From the Wishlist and the blog in general.  As always, thanks for reading!