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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Deep Slumbers In The Well

It's that time of the year again when we gather our games of terror and mystery to reveal their darkness for the October segments.  For this week’s review we venture to a new coffee shop in Fishers that just recently opened known as The Well. Some of their breakfast food consists of bagels, muffins, waffles, bacon, and eggs. They also serve lunch and dinner options such as turkey wraps, hummus wraps, grilled cheese, house salads, quesadillas, and much more. Claire had the 'Here It Is' latte which had a pumpkin spice flavor that she says was pleasantly spicy, but not overly sweet.  I had the carmel apple cider which carried a rich flavor of apples that overpowered the carmel a little, but still very delicious and we both highly recommend these seasonal beverages.  Their layout is open with a clean, modern decor and multiple seating options. The service and food was also very good.  We look forward to returning to The Well again!  Now, follow us into a lucid dream world where we are trying to escape from labyrinths and nightmares in this 2 player cooperative card game.
In Onirim, you are a Dreamwalker, lost in a labyrinth, and your goal is to find the 8 oneiric doors to escape out of the nightmare world.  These doors are the object of your quest and between you and your confidant will work cooperatively together to attain these 8 doors and if you can, you will be able to escape and fulfill the victory condition of the game.  Locations are the magical places of the labyrinth you will explore in your search for the eight doors.  Location cards are the cards you will allocate into your hand.  You want to discard and play them as skillfully as possible, but this is sometimes easier said than done.  You have colors of red, green, blue, and brown.  Each of these cards have a symbol of either a sun, a moon, or a key.  These cards are to be played out in front of you in matching colors, but without duplicating the symbols side by side.  If you do this or lay down a non-matching color, you destroy your path and must start over.  During this time, you are hoping to not draw the dream cards, coincidentally these are understood as the nightmare cards which you want to avoid as much as possible, as they come with there own set of penalties.

On your turn you will either play a labyrinth card or discard a card from the game, and draw back another card. If you play a labyrinth card the only rule is that the symbol must be different each time you play a card regardless of color. When you have played three cards of the same color you then can search the deck for a door card of that color and place it in front of you. It is important to note that this is only each time you play three cards, i.e. if you play a fourth card of the same color you are back to square 1 again, you do not draw another door card. If you discard a card, the only special effect is that a discarded key card allows you to look at the top 5 deck cards, discard one and then place these back on the deck. This is a good way to eliminate nightmare cards, but bear in mind that keys in your hand can allow you to pick up doors during the draw phase so be careful.
You then draw a card from the deck to replenish the card you have just played or discarded. Then, you consider the following conditions:
1) If this is a door card and you have a key of the same color, you get that door to place in front of you! If not, set the door in the limbo pile and re-draw. If you get the door you must also re-draw.
2) If this is a labyrinth card, you add this to your hand. You then move to shuffle.
3) If this is a nightmare card, you either have to discard your entire hand, discard a door to the limbo pile, or draw the top five cards and discard any labyrinth cards (doors and dreams into Limbo). Once complete you will then draw another card to being yourself to five. You then shuffle any limbo cards back into the deck and repeat. You win if you get all doors into play in front of you, you lose if the deck runs out and you cannot re-draw to 5.

Not as easy as it seems right?  It will all depend on how the deck is shuffled and how many nightmare cards turn up.  The basic game is just good fun, but meeting the conditions for winning is not always so easily consistent.  A great example today was when we had two red cards and were waiting for that last one, but then 5 more red cards had to be discarded.  Like many co-op games, Onirim can be quite difficult, but also like many co-ops, the main concept of the game is basic.  When both players have this game down, Onirim can be played in about 15 minutes.  The game is quite fast, it's very well packaged, it's portable, the artwork is very unique and kind of trippy.  I'm not exactly sure who all this type of game would be targeted toward.  It's different, and I think in a good way.  Let's just say it won't be near the top of some of our other games, and we need to get more of the included expansions under our belts, but the base game is quite good and if you like small co-op games made by Z-Man that can be played as a quick opener to a game night, you might check this one out!

Overall Pumpkin Rating: 6.5/10

Game Mechanics:
1) Cooperative
2) Hand Management
3) Set Collection

Have any thoughts or questions?  Leave a comment below.

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