Domina, the management/roguelite gladiator management simulator with a cute pixel art style but still holding the gruesome atmosphere of the Roman traditions.
Domina starts you off with a couple of gladiators to use in battle to earn you the starting cash you need in order to get them better gear, or otherwise use on training and other services that later become available. There is heavy emphasis on showing you how disposable gladiators are in this game you go through them so fast for the benefit of keeping your blood-soaked sport in business. And it isn’t like when you manage to keep one alive they will be a god in the arena as they will sooner or later be begging to be released from your captivity.
The pixel art that Domina displays suits it very well. It even looks quite cute, your little fighters have their own name, happiness meter and if it wasn’t a gladiator management you’d actually care about them. But no. Blood for the blood god!
Even though Domina is mainly a management game the rougelite style is there but is very basic, the numbers just add up on the side either through combat or clicking one of the many training buttons on a pretty big training tree. Yet most of the focus is on the gear, which all in all the whole thing fits with it’s Roman empire theme.
One thing that Domina allows the player to do is specify what aptitude and training focus your gladiators follow, making them more likely to do certain things when being controlled by AI (you can control them yourself with a bunch of clicking and dodging once you’ve researched it as well) This way though you can send out your gladiators that combat the enemies weakness.
Also in the mix is keeping a couple of opposing officials happy through the use of a combination of wine-based bribery and occasional text pop-ups that require you to make a certain choice, in order that they might cover some of your costs or sell you new gladiator or two. Domina compare that of XCOM with the way that if you lose your best guys your kinda screwed cause your left with a bunch of rookies with nothing more then a leather cock-sheath.
Although it may seem like i’m describing a game that will seem to get representative and boring, it isn’t that. The Binding Of Isaac feel of just starting up a campaign and going at it for a couple hours is enjoyable and quite entertaining, yet the only downfall of Domina is yet it is quite a short campaign there is a lack of save and quit functionality therefore a power cut or some form of crash will result in all progress being wiped. Other then that Domina is a fun enjoyable experience with a killer soundtrack to listen to as you watch gladiators get slaughtered.
Gameplay - 8/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Simulation Accuracy - 9/10
Functionality - 6/10
Aiden Botfield27 Posts
I'm a college student, volunteer writer and full time gamer. I have a Xbox One and a mediocre PC that i enjoy modding old RPG games and playing indie games on. I do have a soft spot for punishing games like Dark Souls and XCOM. Add me on Xbox:- CPT Botfield