Dominant Species board game
Dominant Species board game

Dominant Species

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Overall Rank: #174 | Trending Rank: #396

2nd Edition, 3rd Printing

90,000 B.C. - A great Ice Age is fast approaching. Another titanic struggle for global supremacy has unwittingly commenced between the varying animal species.

Dominant Species is a game for 2 to 6 players that abstractly recreates a tiny portion of ancient history: the ponderous encroachment of an Ice Age and what that entails for the living creatures trying to adapt to the slowly-changing Earth.
Each player will assume the role of one of six major Animal groups-Mammal, Reptile, Bird, Amphibian, Arachnid or Insect. Each begins the game in a state of natural balance with regards to one another. But that won't last: It is indeed ''survival of the fittest.''

Through wily Action Pawn placement, players will strive to become Dominant on as many different Terrain tiles as possible in order to draw beneficial Dominance Cards. Players will also want to propagate their individual Species in order to earn Victory Points for his particular Animal. Players will be aided in these endeavors via Growth, Migration and Domination actions, among others.

All of this eventually leads to the end game - the final ascent of the Ice Age - where the player with the most Victory Points will have his Animal crowned the Dominant Species.

But somebody better become dominant quickly, because it's getting mighty cold....

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User Ratings & Reviews

  • One of the best "brain damage" games that i own!!
  • Not a big fan of pre-programming all the actions before executing them, and tracking domination is frustrating because some of the critical information is on individual player boards. Why not put all data on the game board? I have other problems with the graphic design as well, and the game is really screaming for better components and art. The biggest problem, however, is the playtime: Four hours with five players. Combine the length with a relatively high random factor and I'd rather play El Grande twice in that time instead.
  • One of my top 3 favs. Except to invest a good chunk of time in this one though. It can take around 3 hours, and that's once you know the rules pretty well.
  • I generally like heavier games. However this one just has way too much "stuff" going on (half of the time, you're paying attention to the elements surrounding the tiles, the other half of the time, you're minding the majority of cubes on a tile). I should count up all the different actions one can take on a given turn (rough estimate is near 30!). It encourages AP, and I find myself just not caring much and just going with my gut when making decisions in the game (but, that's not the way to win). It's tedious to constantly have to calculate dominance on each tile throughout the game. The game has too much chaos in that the game state can change so rapidly and dramatically that it's difficult to plan anything. On top of that, it's fiddly with cheap components. Specifically, the tiles are very thin--almost prototype quality (which I could easily overlook if the game were great). It's a game that I respect the designer for, but is just too much for me. As for area majority, I'd rather play 2 or 3 games of El Grande in that duration. Or with 5 players and 4 hours, give me Die Macher.
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Probably the favourite Sci-Fi game that I own is #Cry Havoc, it's got all the classics: Human Marines, Sentient Machines, Advanced alien races and Primitive alien creatures.

I think a theme that I would like is a more animal based game, something like #Evolution: Climate or #Dominant Species would be a bunch of fun but haven't had the chance to play. I doubt I will pick anything up for a while but I'd certainly like to give them a go.


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