When the Roman Empire was at its height, one of the most common things were bloody gladiatorial matches to satisfy the population’s thirst of blood. The gladiators were trained in special places called “Ludus”. Get in the shoes of the female owner of such a place and become the best Domina Rome has ever seen!
Domina was developed by the Canadian developer DolphinBarn, mainly by its programmer/musician/animator, Bignic. It is the company’s second game.
The story is fairly minimal. You are the daughter of a rather bad Dominus of a Ludus. When your father becomes ill, you inherit the Ludus and dream of showing your skills in the announced games in Rome that will take place in a year’s time. In the meantime you have to train your Gladiators and win in all the regional championships, in order to acquire a place in the main event.
You will be able to train three different classes of gladiators, upgrade their equipment and hire up to three different types of employees to help you (from a pool of characters ranging from a farmer who generates food and a medicae who heals your gladiators, to a philosopher who provides passive bonuses.
The matches can either be resolved automatically by the AI, or you can actively play as your gladiator (if you’ve researched it in-game). This provides a more hands-on action RPG approach to an otherwise management game.
If you finish the story mode, which will not take you more than a couple of hours, there is an endless mode you can play, though it seems to not be in final form as of yet. Finally, it would be wrong not to mention the awesome music this game features. It seems as a mixture of periodic instrumental music with heavy metal guitars and sounds. It is really catchy and fitting with the bloody atmosphere.
Have you played this game? Which was your favourite gladiator class?