Strategy games have lived through a period when they were hardly anything to be bothered about. Its inception can be traced back to the release of Invasion for the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972. Computer Bismarck, released in 1980 was the first proper strategy game to have been developed. At this stage, strategy games were still in the process of evolving into multi-million dollar giants that they are now, a dream which would not be accomplished until the final decade of the 1900s. In the consequent years of 1992(and onwards) with the release of Dune II which will expeditiously change the shape of the genre and popularise it, so much so that in the span of just 13 years, Microsoft Studios with their highly ambitious RTS title, Age of Empires would capture the hearts and minds of the people and begin dominating the global market thereby, pushing the genre to new heights. In the contemporary era, strategy games have become somewhat of a mainstream thing, with them being outlined into two distinct sub-genres, namely, Real Time Strategy(RTS) and Turn Based Strategy(TBS). Dominari Tournament belongs to the former and falls in the category of fast-paced RTS games(somewhat like StarCraft); a 1v1 combat between planets controlled by two players, is a battle of sheer numbers.
Dominari Tournament is a 4X fast-paced indie Real Time Strategy game developed and published by Tiny RTS, released on 8th March 2018 for PC.
Gameplay & Mechanics:
Gameplay: Dominari Tournament is a pretty simple RTS game. It is a game of numbers between two players that commences on a randomly generated map. The void forms the background and the planets become the centre of the conflict. The one who controls the most planets has an edge over their adversary, although that might not necessarily be the case. Executing superior tactics and invading enemy planets by surprise is a part of the game and is also a way which can take you to victory. The final objective is to destroy the enemy’s home planet.
Mechanics: The players start on their home planet with a decent amount of fighters that they have to utilize to bring other planets into their dominion. As mentioned earlier, it is a game of numbers and hence mathematics has a big role to play. One can only win with sheer numbers, so the production of more fighters must be the primary area of focus.
To do that, one needs a thriving economy and an abundance of resources at their disposal. There are two categories of planets. One, that burgeons resources to supplement the economy. Two, that proliferates fighters exponentially to support the ensuing war in the forefront.
The players have also conferred abilities that could consecutively be upgraded. Depending on the economic approach or the military approach, planets can be upgraded following a three-tier system via. these abilities. So while the Utopia(militaristic third-tier) produces fighters the fastest the Moon(economic third-tier) produces resources the fastest.
Considerable liberty is bestowed on the context that as many planets could be upgraded and degraded as desired, given that they strictly do not bypass the three-tier system, i.e, no planet can be upgraded above a Utopia for militaristic expansion or a Moon for economic prosperity.
Abilities like the ODS can be applied on a planet (only once; before moving it, it has to be salvaged and can only be reinstalled in a planet after the cooldown timer has expired) to unlock the ability to construct fighter factories.
The LOCs, on the other hand, are used to open up an economy and unlock the construction of resource extractors, thereby increasing the production of resources and the output of the all planets contributing to the economy within its radius.
GPAs can be installed to create a shield around a planet to protect it from enemy fighters. Each level 1 GPA has the capability of destroying exactly 5 fighters belonging to the enemy faction upon impact.
In addition, it also enables the construction of turrets which can be stacked and multiplied. Each turret has the capability of destroying 10 enemy fighters. Not to mention the QDLs which unlock the ability to arm planets or starbases with a lethal trap called the Doomsday Device which destroys 50 fighters in the first level.
It also grants the ability to shoot out EPIMs to destroy turrets within its range. There are many more abilities which, if I sit down to elaborate would take up probably a few pages. In short, what I want to convey is: Dominari Tournament does not come short of content.
Graphics, Performance & Sound:
Performance: The game was run in a PC possessing the following specifications:
- Processor: Intel Core i5 4440 3.10 Ghz
- GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 750Ti 2GB
- RAM: 8 Gigs DDR4
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Service Pack 1
Dominari Tournament is very well optimised and ran flawlessly even in the highest setting at stagnant 60 FPS. Inspite of that, it does not come devoid of faults. Sometimes the game crashes and lands the player on an empty desktop when the ‘Options’ button on the menu is pressed. Other than that, its fluidity does not instill even the tiniest bit of doubt, not atleast from me at any rate.
Graphics: This is something I would specifically want the developers to turn their attention to. The visuals are really substandard and there is nothing special about them. The particle effects are decent but to a large degree, prosaic. I would also like to stress that the sheer lack of animations makes the game appear quite bare-bones and stodgy in contrast to other fast-paced RTS games.
Sound: The ambience employed are fairly decent and suit the atmosphere but require more work.
Dominari Tournament is a highly skill based, click per second RTS game like StarCraft. It is extremely fast-paced and cerebral, to begin with, and with the amount of content administered into it, I can, in all seriousness, confirm that it does not fall short of content. Add any more and it would be a chaotic overflow of abilities that would confuse the living daylight out of the player. Indubitably, it balances on that aspect rather remarkably. What is really off-putting however is the dull appearance. But in the end, it comes out right, because the gameplay is fun and strategies you can execute vary greatly from map to map. It is surely your go-to game if you are into competitive, fast-paced RTS game.