If there’s any computer game name more generic than “Massive Assault,†which is what this game used to be called, it’s “Domination“. The developers call this upgrade/sequel “think-based strategy.†It’s a telling catch phrase for their turn-based system, which uses no hidden units, no dice, and no under-the-hood calculations.

11Everything in Domination laid bare according to a simple system in which you always know exactly how much damage something will do and exactly how many units the other guy has left. It’s positively chess-like in its presentation. If you remember QQP fondly, you’re going to feel right at home.Of course, with the many hardware generations that have passed since QQP, Domination is rendered in a gratuitous 3D engine, with pointless fancy effects and futuristic unit graphics.

Because of the elaborate 3D terrain, there are only a handful of pre-built maps, although a lot of guess work comes from the “secret allies†rule that lets players choose hidden home territories to reveal during the course of a game. There are several ways to play, including a great new career mode that gradually folds in new gameplay and a not-so-great story-driven campaign mode. Also new are unique units that distinguish the two factions from each other, particularly in longer games where you get a chance to bring out the high-end toys like the hovering transport platforms, the submarines, and a massive mech reminiscent of the O.G.R.E. from Steve Jackson’s tactical board games.

Since this is largely a pure math game, the AI can be brutal. And for a relatively modest game, Domination can be a bit too demanding.

System Requirements: Pentium III 750 MHz, 256 MB RAM, Win98SE

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