Dominoes GC: Mass multiplayer classic gaming with real online tournaments!
When I was in junior school I always remember having a heap of classic games: Chess, Othello, playing cards and Dominoes. Whenever I got to the ivory rectangular pieces, all I did was balance them on their edge to create a chain which I could topple… no kidding. For some reason, from then and up until now I’ve never met anyone who’s known how to play dominoes properly! But that’s all changed now that I’ve played GameColony’s Dominoes… not only have I learnt how to play a classic game, but I’ve also been pleasantly surprised that you can compete in tournaments for real money prizes!
Gameplay: I’m not going to go into the full nitty gritty, but I will cover the basics. In this version of the game, there are three different sub-types which are 5 Up, Draw and Block. The core game mechanic in each game type is generally the same. You start with about 7 pieces (which can be changed in the game settings) and whoever has the largest double goes first. Then you can place a piece with a matching number at the end of the chain. If you place a double then you will generally create a spinner (i.e. you will have more branches). If you are the first player to use all your pieces then you tend to win the game. However, this isn’t necessarily true with 5 Up (which is the default game) where you get points for getting the ends of the branches to add up to multiples of 5. This game can be quite technical and involves a few core strategies (and is not to be taken lightly!). As well as being more involved, generally 5 Up is more fun. There are some more intricacies so if you do decide to play you should read the help pages within the game. Otherwise there are also more rules here: http://www.gamecolony.com/
Good Stuff: The special aspect of this version of Dominoes is the mass multiplayer presence. Whenever you logon, you’ll see quite a few tables of players with people trying to accumulate high scores. The feeling of playing a real living being will beat playing a pre-programmed AI anyday. To take this real multiplayer gaming further, you can enter money-prize competitions to turn your gaming ability into a profitable skill! I’m sure there are plenty of gamblers out there who would be interested in this… (especially the ones who’ve been so disappointed with the money cheating AIs in Live Holdem Poker Pro.)
Further info from the GameColony: “Multi-player Tournaments that start at a specific time and are managed by live Tournament Director are coming to the app in early November & enrollment is going to be in the app. This type of tournaments will require Ticket purchase.“
This is quite a classic game, so there aren’t many thrills because they’re not really necessary. The key sound effects are in place, and the animations are smooth enough. As a general gamer I think the only thing I might wish for would be some slightly better graphics to give a better game stylisation. But I think a real gambler would ignore most of this. Otherwise all the menus and interfaces seem quite intuitive… much like an online Yahoo gaming session.
Some downers: As this is a multiplayer game, you must be connected to a network to play. Unfortunately there isn’t a one player option which will let you practise, so you’ll be left searching for other games if you have no internet connection. (Having discussed this with the developers it appears that they’ve assumed you’ll always in range of a Wifi signal… I’m not sure if they realised that there are also a great deal of people who play games whilst travelling in places with no Wifi signal.) The added reason for having no offline content is because the developers want players to know that they’re only playing real people – they reassure me that there is no robot AI involved. This is to confirm that the $tickets will enable you to play only with real players.
To start playing in the first place you have to setup an account which asks for a quite a few details. It’s quite rigorous and off-putting for most, but do bear in mind that these accounts can eventually be used for true money gambling!
Finally, it seems like there are sometimes ghost tables where you sit down to start but the owner never initiates the game. From discussions with the developers this happens because the players choose not to play against newbies. They suggest the following:
The key to getting your first games is to do one of the following:
- select at first the game tables with lower rated players (with rating less than 1450)
- create your own game table and keep inviting either everybody or players with lower ratings
Interestingly, I was already instinctively doing the above hints to avoid being totally owned, and with a rating of 1300, I was still somehow unable to join some games.
Rating: 3/5 Dominoes GC is an excellent no thrills classic multiplayer game. Anyone keen to win some money in the global arena should try this out (… and for them this is a 4.5 star game!) No doubt, as the graphics and stylisation improves, the popularity will increase too.
Dominoes GC Promotional Video
Dominoes GC Tips from Android Games Review:
- None of the games are really pick up and play in my opinion. So leave yourself a decent amount of time to play each sitting.
- Be sure to read the game rules within the menus. You can only really win when you understand these.
- Don’t just stop with the game rules if you’re considering going pro. There are blocking strategies out there whereby you can effectively force your opponent out of moves. So understand the number of pieces and the limit of how many tiles there are.
- The tournaments don’t seem to be advertised within the game, but there should be about a tournament a month and details can definitely be found on GameColony’s website.