- Developer: Tik Games
- Publisher: Microsoft
- Cost: 800 Microsoft Points
- In Real Money: GBP 6.80 / EUR 9.60
Between this and Gin Rummy, it would seem that Live Arcade is aggressively pursuing the elderly gamer these days. I think it's safe to assume that if you mentioned dominos to most 360 owners, they'd be more likely to order a large deep pan American Hot with a side order of those awesome little chicken things.
So, dominos. Much like XBLA's card games, Domino Master offers the basic game that you're probably aware of, along with All 3s, All 5s, Bergen and Mexican Train rules. In the core game, you try to use up all your dominos by matching the spots with the ones already in play. It's fun, in a rudimentary way, but unlike card games there's just not the same tactical depth and success seems to rely on the luck of the draw as much as any forward planning.
All 3s and All 5s change things around by only scoring for matches that are multiples of 3 or 5, while Bergen sees you trying to match numbers at each end of the layout. Mexican Train sounds like an internet video that could get you arrested, but actually proves to be the most interesting play mode. It splits play into different tracks, with each player having their own line of dominos that only they can add to as well as a communal one. This lets you plan and enact some long-term strategy, but that isn't enough to compensate for the fact you can be left nursing a crushing defeat through no fault of your own.
The presentation is as functional as you'd expect, you get a selection of domino sets and customisable rules and there's online multiplayer for up to four. It's all acceptable enough, and I certainly see the importance of having these types of traditional games on Live Arcade. It's just that dominos on a console doesn't have the same allure as card games, and there's very little here to justify an 800-Point purchase.