Domina - Indie Game Reviews 2017 Steam Game Screenshot

Genre: Management / Action
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes

Disclaimer: the game is in early access.

Domina is the game you’re probably not going to complete. You can still enjoy it though. In Domina, you play as a wealthy woman who inherited her failing estate from the dying father. Having nothing to lose, she goes into “gladiator fighting business”. You have 365 days to prepare your gladiators for major tournament, all while training and participating in other fights (and also trying not to go broke).

Pros

  • Gladiator fights. With lots of gore.
  • You have a choice to control your gladiator directly or to watch how ai fights. Total chill. Exciting in both cases. Compare it to playing football or watching a match on tv. Both fun, but in different ways. Gladiator controls are smooth and responsive, but the hits / movement speed depend on how well-trained your gladiator is.
  • A lot of gladiator management opportunities: you need to train gladiators, buy equipment, upgrade your villa, and appease government officials.
  • Epic sounds and music
  • Nice pixel-art graphics that fit the violent atmosphere of the game perfectly.

Cons

  • No save games. The game does not save progress on exit. It’s a management game where you have to go through the year (2+ hours of gameplay) without being able to quit and return to this again later.

Essentially, the game is a black box. You have the description of stats that you train, but there are 3 gladiator classes available. To add to that, each gladiator has 3 parameters (aggro / turtle / evasion – which give an idea what they mean, but no way to understand what works best when picking the class without lots of experimentation). In my eyes, it’s not a con. If you want the game that leads you by hand – it’s not one of those.

Summary

Well guys, there’s no going around it: lack of save feature seriously takes away enjoyment from the game. Honestly, the lack of save-games is a huge let-down. I’ve completed it once in a loss, took me 2 hours and I did not participate in any extra combats (pit fights) + did not spend much time going into gladiator stats in detail. I’m not judging the developer, just saying my view from the third-person perspective: it’s like he made a most precious jewel and then choose to drown it in dirt. Everything in the game is great, but the lack of save system spoils it. For a lot of people – that’s a huge decisive factor and I understand.

Having that in mind, I cannot say that the game is bad. I really feel like the game does a top-notch job to simulating the gladiator fights. “Mixed” reviews show the essence very well. To me, the game was fun to start every time (about 6-7 that I’ve played, but I lost quite fast). The losing was pretty fun too: you just look how gladiators fight and then yours die off. If you want to complete the game and don’t have 2+ free hours when you can concentrate – don’t even think about it. If you just want to see cool gladiator combat – train your gladiators OR have extra time – A+, absolutely worth it.

Have something to add? Make sure to join our Steam group, http://steamcommunity.com/groups/coldwild