The game of Dominos has been passed up through the generations since its conception in the early eleven hundreds. Many of us have played the ivory and ebony block game at one point or another, so reviving the classic game for the "gaming generation" seems like a great idea. Besides the PC platform, the Xbox 360 is the most logical choice for smaller companies to publish their creations, so here we are with TikGames Domino Master. Bringing the down home classic game of Dominos to fresh faces around the globe Domino Master includes five variations on the dotted blocks that you can enjoy in single player or multiplayer modes. Here’s a look at the first Domino game for the Xbox Live Arcade.
TikGames is looking to follow up the success of their first Xbox Live Arcade title Texas Hold ‘em Poker with a new classic game in Domino Master. Texas Hold ‘em debuted in August of 2006 and two years later we have another entry from TikGames. Tik's 20 years experience in the software market must have pointed them in new directions looking for game ideas. Well, Mr. Tikhman and his company dug up another classic game that has been untouched on the Xbox Live Arcade and brought it to life. Domino’s might not be everyone’s first choice in a classic revival, but really did anyone think Uno would be such a hit ?
Domino Master borrows their look from Tik’s last project and carries a similar vibe to Texas Hold ‘em and the above mentioned Uno. In Domino Master you can go head-to-head with the difficult computer intelligence or try your domino skills online. Like other games developed with a multiplayer mind you can plug in your vision camera and get a real life look at your opponents, or keep the anonymous of your icon as you go online. Rightfully, the concept is simple as can be so any gamer can enjoy dropping blocks.
In the single player mode in Domino Master there are five variants offered; Mexican Train, All 3s, All 5s, Bergen and straight Dominos. All the domino spices are fairly easily to learn. Standard dominos has a winner when one player gets rid of all their dominos which is similar to the Bergen mode. All 5’s and all 3’s scores points when you place the pieces with the according number. Mexican Train is the most colourful mode out of the bunch which has the players trying to keep their dominos and make the longest run of dominos. I’m sure Tik could have spiced things up a bit, but it seems they wanted to keep things close to the original game without too many tricks.
The difficulty in Domino Master can be a bugger. Since Dominos is a game that combines chance, luck, and a little bit of skills, it’s tough to become the master of the board. Like Poker, the luck of the draw will likely push you into the win column. It’s nice to have a challenge and Domino Master surprised me and taught me not to take domino’s lightly. This game has more strategy then most non-domino players realise. The A.I. in the game can easily take you to town and once you start winning you can boost the difficulty up through 3 levels until you find a suitable challenge.
The presentation of Domino Master has cartoon flair and does a good job slapping the dominos down on the playing field with a natural feel. There isn’t too much to go on about this title concerning the graphics and audio, but Domino Master gets by with what is painted on the outside. The only criticism comes in the form of the music tracks which are generically horrible, but the type of music you hear over all these types of games on Live. My suggest, plug in your iPod and blast some gangster as you take on CoolCat, Thieving Vermin and all the other A.I. domino masters.
When you download Domino Master you should already know what you are in store for. Domino Master is nothing more than dominos in five flavours with the ability to go online. If this excites you then you should download Domino Master right away, for now this is the one-and-only domino game on Live. If you’re not sure about how much fun dominos can be then try out the demo. The productions values are good enough and the game modes are fun making Domino Master a worthy download. Like Uno and Poker, Dominos is a limited market, but a fun game that the whole family can enjoy. For 800 Microsoft Points if you like the game of Dominos then Domino Master is worth the download.
Final Score: 7.5
Reviewed by Tinnanski | 09.26.08
- Five different game modes
- Online multiplayer
- Accessible gameplay
- Background music is dull
- A.I. is tough even on beginner difficulty