Many games in the App Store fall into one of two categories: those that have a really great idea, and those that copy a really great idea. Battle of Gundabad falls solidly into the second category. It is a re-skinning of the wildly popular deck-building card game named Dominion. In the absence of an official iOS port of the game, Battle of Gundabad has stepped in to fill the void and manages to capture a lot of its appeal despite some missing some features we’d like to see in a comprehensive version of the game.
Feel my tyrany.
Deck building games try to recreate the allure of a collectible card game without the collecting. Each player gradually builds a deck from the 10-15 types of cards available to everyone each game. To win, you must properly balance your deck and exploit combinations between cards so that you can draft more victory points than your opponent. It is a very addictive formula, particularly to people who have played games like Magic: The Gathering in the past.
Unfortunately, Battle of Gundabad does not have any sort of multiplayer mode. It includes decent AI opponents, although they are not customizable. The most interesting part of the game, especially to Dominion fans, is the campaign mode. It is a series of 14 challenges that each alter the starting or victory conditions slightly. These play almost like puzzles that force you to change your strategy and try new card combinations that might not normally make sense.
A battle of numbers.
The art in the game is quite good. Though it may be disorienting for Dominon players to see all of the cards re-themed, each piece of art is distinctive enough to help you remember which card does what. The game also includes a serviceable tutorial. This will help depress the learning curve for new players. We should note that the campaign and AI is on the tougher side for newcomers, so impatient gamers may not put in the time to fully appreciate the strategy of the game.
Overall, Battle of Gundabad is a pretty solid implantation of Dominion, but it does not include all the cards available or a multiplayer mode. If you haven’t tried a deck building card game, this is an easy way to jump in and see if it is for you. If you are a veteran Dominion player, playing the campaign mode is fun and worth the few bucks for admission. Battle of Gundabad is in no way a replacement for an official version of Dominion but will have to serve as an appetizer until the main course (hopefully) arrives.