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Total Domination - Reborn

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

First, second, and third impressions

Product: Total Domination - Reborn | Developer: Plarium | Publisher: Plarium | Format: iPhone | Genre: Strategy | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 2.2.1
Total Domination - Reborn iPhone, thumbnail 1
This is a freemium game review, in which we give our impressions immediately after booting a game up, again after three days, and finally after seven days. That's what the strange sub-headings are all about. Click on the links to jump straight to day three or day seven.

Total Domination has reportedly been a phenomenal success for its maker, Plarium, attracting millions upon millions of players. Not bad for a Facebook game that you've probably never heard of.

Now it's looking to "totally dominate" mobiles too, with Total Domination - Reborn.

Will it take over my life completely over the next week of play? Or is it possible that millions of happy customers can be wrong?

First impressions

If you're a player of Total Domination on the web, then know this: Reborn does not tie into the version you're already playing. So if you're looking for a mobile version of the thing you're already invested in, this isn't for you.

Players new to the franchise don't have much to catch up on: this is a freemium-builder with a slight emphasis on social gaming, and if first impressions are any guide it's very similar to the other freemium-builders you might have played in the past.

You collect Titanium, Uranium, Credits, and Crystals, the last of which is the premium currency.

IAPs explained
The name for the premium currency is Crystals, and they're £1.49 / $1.99 for 300.

Useful extras for your base are a bit pricey - the second additional Engineer is 3,000 Crystals alone - but you can skip time fairly cheaply.
To acquire these you simply build mines to pull the resources out of the ground, and warehouses to store them. All of this takes time, which you have to either wait out or cut short with Crystals. You have a set amount of space that you can build within, and you're set tasks by a bullish soldier.

The soldier is fully voiced, which is a nice touch, and he's voice-acted well enough that I don't mind hearing what he has to say.

One other thing that makes the game stand out is the inclusion of Cyber Dogs.

I thought that this would be a code name for a special type of elite infantry man, but, no, they're dogs that are cybernetically enhanced.

And that's awesome.

Day 3: Total Annihilation

I'm ever-so-slowly beginning to understand the appeal of Total Domination - Reborn, though I must admit that it's not clicking with me on a personal level.

Remaining on a positive note for a moment, the tech behind this freemium-builder is top drawer. The many layers of menus are a breeze to navigate, the UI uses the available screen space to its full potential, and the game loads up quickly.

Talking of tech, there's loads to research and build throughout your time with Total Domination - Reborn. You need to "rediscover" technological advances to make your way through the very large, very expansive tech tree. Each of these advances can also be upgraded, and your movement through it is more or less up to you.

The focus on resource-gathering buildings, the large tech tree, the multitude of menus, the isometric perspective, and the apocalyptic presentation make the whole thing endearingly reminiscent of the '90s.

Which is no bad thing at all.

Day 7: Total commitment

I've now got into the stage of Total Domination - Reborn that its fans probably find most appealing: the social stuff.

I'm regularly attacking enemies out in the wastelands, attempting to forge alliances with other players, and I'll soon be defending my base from intruders. In preparation for this last activity I'm building walls, gates, and other defences to increase my chances of surviving an attack. Sadly, I haven't yet been able to try out this element for myself.

This is perhaps one of the downsides of the release: it takes a comparatively large investment of time and energy before you really start to penetrate past the more commonplace elements of building, gathering, and creating an army.

That said, it's not a slow game by any means, and I really am impressed by the menus. Small details, such as a slider to increase the number of troops you want to send out, make engaging in battles a very slick and straightforward process.

I still don't fully understand how the web-based game has proven to be so popular, but that's not to detract from it. Total Domination - Reborn is well worth your time as long as you've got plenty of time to spare.

How are you getting on with the game? You can tell us and the rest of the PG community about your experiences by leaving a comment in the box below.
Total Domination - Reborn
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 20 June 2013
Looking for a game to really sink your teeth into? If you've got the patience, like being sociable in your builders, and are willing to put the time in, then Total Domination - Reborn is for you
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