When one spends a lot of time on Facebook, sifting through the various applications and games, it becomes easy to notice common trends. Perhaps the biggest trend that can be seen is the saturation in the RPG genre. Everywhere you look on Facebook, you see a “different” game that uses the same mechanics as so many others, and they begin to all run together in a blur of mediocrity.
Space Domination is yet another addition to the Facebook RPG collection. Perhaps it isn’t quite an “RPG,” but it is close enough. The point is that it reuses the same game mechanics as about two-dozen other Facebook titles.
In this particular game, the player begins with a small and relatively weak spaceship. However, it’s not just a spaceship, but rather a spaceship from your favorite Sci-Fi following. Essentially, the premise of the game is to pit Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, and Battlestar Galactica against one another to see, once and for all, if that Star Destroyer can truly beat the Enterprise or vis versa.
It’s a compelling premise for sure if you grew up on any of these shows or movies, which is a shame since the game is basically an exact duplicate of most other RPG’ish Facebook games currently in ciculation. You start out with a small amount of cash that you spend on new ships and ship upgrades, and if you need more, you can always visit the “Space Academy” and take a look at advertisements (not quite the Imperial Academy is it?) in order to earn more.
If that doesn’t excite you, then buckle up, because the next thing you can do is…. battle. You guessed it; players have 25 energy to use until it regenerates and they can battle their friends’ ships (or random people if that is what you like) to see whose franchise is better than the other. Each battle is determined by the stats of whatever ships you are using, the outcome is calculated with a little bit of flavor text describing what happened, and the winner earns some extra cash to put towards that new Jedi Starfighter they’ve been eyeing.
It needs to be clarified, though, that Space Domination is not a “bad” game. In fact, the Sci-Fi concept of finally pitting those old debates against each other is a great idea. The only real problem is it’s just the same thing everyone has seen a dozen times before.
The thing with these RPG/Battle/however you want to classify them games is that they are a lot like Monopoly. But if you’ve played one version of Monopoly, you’ve pretty much played them all. These different “games” are more about fitting a player’s personality rather than bringing anything new to the table, and many developers adopt “best practices” at the cost of originality.
Cloning games can often be a great business, but if nobody takes the chance to try something different, then the space becomes stagnant. If the space becomes stagnant, then players will stop using it.