Onirim Review

So Tabletop Day is approaching us, which means I should get around to doing some solo board gaming. Now, it may be cheating to use a Steam game for this, as it’s pretty cheap to just launch a game, play against computers and say “hey, I’m solo playing!”, which is why I never talk about Roguelikes despite having a collection of them.

But this game in particular is very notable and I just can’t let it pass by me. Onirim is a game that is explicitly solitaire. Its Steam version is free to play and the expansions are dirt cheap. But what is this game about? How do you play?

Well, it’s a card game where you must unlock eight to thirteen doors by matching three colored Location Cards. Now, this isn’t as easy as it sounds, as there are many complications to this, ranging from playing the cards in a way where the symbols on the upper left corner don’t match, the occasional Nightmare Card that you draw that forces you to hamper yourself in some way if you don’t have a Key Card, and drawing cards that all have the same symbol.

You do get some help with this in the form of the Key Card. On top of being a Get Out Of Nightmare Free Card and being able to automatically unlock a door provided you draw it and it’s the same color as the key, you can also discard the card to get a peek at the top five cards, rearrange them in any order you wish, and discard one of them… But that’s all the help you can get. Personally, the expansions add to the gameplay experience, since they give you more variety in play options. The Glyphs expansion add a new kind of card called Glyphs which, not only adds one more symbol so that you have a little more breathing room, but like the Key, draws the top five cards, but puts them at the bottom and if there’s a door, automatically opens it. Another expansion adds two new kinds of cards: Crossroads give you multicolored cards that you can use for any row of cards while Dead Ends are just that: dead cards that you can’t discard on their own and need something else to discard it, namely a Nightmare Card to discard your entire hand. Lastly there’s the Door To The Omniverse expansion which adds a multi-colored door to the mix while also adding Denizen Cards which, at the cost of discarding a card, will be added to your arsenal and will help you do things you wouldn’t normally do, such as being able to play the another symbol in a row, trading one location card for another, or being a Get Out Of Nightmare Free Card.

Overall, the game is engaging, and I recommend playing it at least once. I will say that this game definitely requires some card counting if you want to be really good at the game, but thankfully the game does help you somewhat by counting how many cards are in the discard and how many Nightmares and Dead Ends are still in the deck. It is very hard to master and win, I will admit, but once you win for the first time, it will feel satisfying. Go ahead and check it out.

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