Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
What a shame it is that Dominions IV doesn’t do more to teach you how to play. It’s a turn-based strategy game in which you choose an amateur god and aim to ascend to professional god status by capturing thrones across a region map, and it’s excellent for the diversity it offers in race and units.
On my first attempt to play Dominions 4, my pretender god was a immobile stone obelisk. On my second attempt, it was an immobile fountain of blood. Quoting from the enormous and wordy PDF manual, “Some are giants. Some are flying goddesses. some are weird polyp things that can only live underwater.” You pick one, then you choose its abilities, when it will enter the game, and begin to plan an army from hundreds of possible units.
The result might be a game where you rule the seas – that weird polyp – or one where you roam the land, collecting innocence civilians you can sacrifice to your blood god. It might be one where you present a peaceful front but spent the entire time infiltrating your enemies and silently dispatching their pretender without ever going to war.
Just as likely, it might be a game in which you rub your temple, consult the manual and multiple wikis, and try to work out what the heck you’re supposed to be doing. I have played Dominions IV enough to know that it is great. I have not played it enough to be great at it, or even competent. There is still much I do not understand about the game and it is often a slog to learn via the above linked manual or other online resources.
I will persevere. Adam can explain better why it’s worth doing so.