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Go to the Dominion: Prosperity page
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Go to the Dominion: Prosperity page
78 out of 91 gamers thought this was helpful

Dominion is a fantastic medieval-themed deckbuilding game in which players compete for territory (victory points). By playing cards from their hands, players earn gold and take actions, and then purchase additional cards from a predetermined, randomly-selected market to add to their decks for future use.

This is an extremely fun, well-designed game that usually plays pretty quickly and is infinitely replayable. All of the different cards allow for an amazing amount of variety from game to game. For example, first you might have a really cut-throat game with lots of attack cards available for purchase, but next you might have a game where the cards are all about getting gold and territory really, really quickly.

Dominion sets up really fast. It includes a set of “randomizer” decks (which just includes 1 copy of every kind of card available in the expansion, of which there are around 30) to set up the 10-card market. Just shuffle and deal 10 cards out to determine what your market will be comprised of. Then deal each player their starting decks, have everyone draw their hand of five cards, and it’s time to get started!

There’s a lot of fast decision making involved in Dominion, but once you get a handle on the cards available in the market, the rules are really pretty straight forward. You start with the rule of “Play one action card, then spend gold from your hand to buy 1 card,” but that rule gets modified by the cards you play. Once you start building your deck up and drawing hands of better, more powerful cards, you’ll be able to spend more gold, perform more actions, and buy more cards on each of your turns.

I estimate an average game of Dominion lasts somewhere around 30 minutes. There’s some flexibility there, as you can choose how many territory cards you want to play with in order to make the game run shorter or longer.

Prosperity is one of many expansions for the original Dominion. It specializes in cards which allow you to accumulate wealth really quickly. It also includes new Platinum cards(worth more than the previous highest denomination: gold) and new Colony cards (worth more points than the previous highest-scoring territory: Provinces). Also new to this game are cards which allow you to accumulate victory points in the form of physical tokens, rather than cards (which usually just take up valuable space in your deck). The tokens are really high quality too! They’re really satisfying to hold and pick up.

You need to have a copy of the original Dominion or the set of base cards in order to play Prosperity. Personally, I do not own the original Dominion, only this and Hinterlands. I bought the set of base cards and I recommend doing this- the set has cool alternate art for all of the currency and territory cards, even the Platinum and Colonies! I like the combination of these two expansions a lot, but there’s sure a lot of expansions to try and mix and match.

My whole gaming group really loves this game, and it’s one of my all-time favorites. It’s up there somewhere with Ticket to Ride and Machi Koro in terms of universal love within my usual group. My close friend loves it, her mother and grandmother love it, and the younger sisters and husband all love it. There’s quite a bit of reading involved and I don’t know how young of a child could really have fun with this game, especially against adults, but I’d guess about 11 or 12. Pretty much every adult I’ve shown this game to hasn’t had an issue learning how to play competently after a couple rounds.

In summary, this is just one of the best card games I’ve ever played. If you like fast, competitive, strategic, highly variable games (with a strong element of luck), it’s hard to do better than a round of Dominion.

Go to the Forbidden Desert page

Forbidden Desert

62 out of 73 gamers thought this was helpful

Forbidden Desert is a fantastic game in which two to four players need to work together in order to find and recover four different artifacts from desert ruins in the midst of a turbulent sand storm.

The mechanics of the game are pretty unique and fun. Each player takes on the role of a different explorer who’s crash landed in the middle of the desert. While moving around the landscape and trying to uncover artifacts and oasis(es?), he or she is constantly trying to avoid both death by thirst and being buried by the sandstorm, which is constantly moving around the board (which is made up of tiles).

The game can be difficult, but there’s some leeway in how easy or hard you can make the game by adjusting the number of sand storm cards you start out the game having to draw every turn. I remember it taking several attempts before I beat the game for the first time, but luckily the game plays fairly short (a long game might take 30-45 minutes), and once you really get the hang of the different abilities of the different explorers you’ll probably find yourself wanting to take more of a challenge.

The components of the game feel nice and sturdy. The tiles and sand pieces are nice and thick and don’t feel like they’d damage to easily, and the artifacts that you have to collect are well-made and fun to look at.

If you’ve played Forbidden Island, this game is very similar, although it has a little bit more complexity in the rules and it’s a fair amount more difficult. Both are extremely fun games and are of a very similar quality. Between the two, I think I probably prefer Forbidden Desert a little bit more due to the increased challenge. I play this game with my friend and her mother, and sometimes her younger sisters. The youngest player in my group is 16, but I could probably imagine someone as young as 8 or 9 being able to grasp the rules enough, especially since it’s a cooperative game and communication and help is totally necessary and encourages.

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