Is Dominant Species: Marine fun to play?
Players: 2 – 4 players | Game Duration 90 – 150 mins | Min. Age 14+ | Game complexity: EASY
Solo game mode: No | Co-op: No | Online Version: Yes
What is Dominant Species: Marine about?
‘Dominant Species: Marine’ abstractly recreates a small part of ancient history: the end of an ice age and what that entails for the creatures trying to adapt.
Players take on the roles of four major aquatic animal classes – reptiles, fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans. Everybody starts the game in a state of natural balance. This won’t last: It’s survival of the fittest.
You’ll be placing action pawns in as many different habitats as possible in order to claim powerful effects. You’ll also need to propagate your species to earn victory points. You’ll get help with speciation, migration, and adaptation, among other things.
This leads to the end game – the final ascent of a vast tropical ocean and its shorelines – where the player with the most victory points will have their animal crowned the Dominant Species.
There’s a big asteroid coming this way, so somebody better get in there fast…
Throughout the game, large hexagonal tiles are used to create an ever-expanding interpretation of the main ocean as it might have appeared millions of years ago. As the game progresses, hydrothermal vent tiles will be placed on top of some of the larger tiles, converting them into Vents.
Action pawns determine the outcome. Each pawn represents one of the various actions that can be taken, such as speciation, environmental change, migration or evolution. Placing a pawn on the action display will immediately initiate that particular action for its owner. There is a new “special” pawn that can be acquired during play in “Dominant Species: Marine.”. Special pawns have enhanced placement capabilities over the “basic” pawns that each player starts with.
Generally, players will aim to enhance their own animal’s survivability while hindering that of their opponents-hopefully collecting victory points along the way. These various cards will aid players in their efforts, giving them one-time abilities, ongoing benefits, or opportunities for recurring VP gains.
Throughout the game, species cubes will be added to, moved about, and removed from the tiles in play (“Earth”). Earth and animals will have element disks added and removed.
The players will conduct a final scoring of each tile and score their controlled special pawns-after which the player controlling the animal with the highest VP total will win the game.
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