Dominos, the tippy kind

Posted: July 1, 2009 in Uncategorized
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It seems to me that the version of dominos where you spend the whole afternoon standing these little blocks on end only to watch them topple over at the end of the day is a much overlooked game when trying to study game design. The multiplayer varient of matching dots is more likely to be looked at given the more sophisticated rule set. But dominos, the tippy kind, has a genius simplicity.

It is first a game of skill, then a game of thought, and finally a game of creativity or expression. The core rules are simple. Use all your dominos to create the most interesting fall, but if you accidentally tip them before finishing you lose(but are still rewarded with clacking and chaos), if your set up only partially falls when intentionally tipped, you lose. If you successful set up the dominos and initiate a full fall, you win. The next level is an escalation of difficulty and spectacle as you improve or attempt more interesting falls.

The reward at the end is two fold. First there is the visual and aural spectacle, but then there is the achievers fix of a completed job. This remarkably simple game is quite satisfying IMHO, so now I’m off to buy a bucket of dominos and cover my house in little black tiles.

Be seeing you.

  1. Ludovic says:

    …waiting for a video of the result.

  2. Newliner says:

    The magical power of giving people dominos to set-up and knock down was experimented with in Skate 3. Many physics objects are available with the same properties, but it is far more common to create physics chains with dominos than any other object. Search for Skate 3 dominos videos to check it out.

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