Onirim - Board Game Box Shot

Onirim

| Published: 2010

You are a Dreamwalker, lost in a mysterious labyrinth, and must discover the Oneiric doors before your dreamtime runs out - or you will remain trapped forever!

A solo or cooperative game where you try to find the doors to escape from the labyrinthine nightmare.

The game also includes three expansions: The Book Of Steps Lost And Found, The Towers, and Dark Premonitions and Happy Dreams.

Onirim
images © Z-Man Games

User Reviews (7)

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61 of 68 gamers found this helpful
“Fun Solitaire Game”

This review is based on approximately 20 solo plays, I have not tried the cooperative 2 player version of this game.

The game:

“You are a Dreamwalker, lost in a mysterious labyrinth, and must discover the oneiric doors before your dreamtime runs out – or you will remain trapped forever!”

Onirim is a card game which comes with the “base” cards and 3 “expansions”. I personally began playing with the base cards alone and would recommend the same for new players.

The goal (for the base game) is to collect the 8 door cards before the deck runs out. It is at its base a set matching game, although it contains some interesting choices. The expansions add different levels of difficulty by:
a) changing the conditions of the win (by either specifying the order in which the door must be obtained or by throwing in the towers which must be matched)
b) adding “negative” consequences as the game progresses and as door cards are obtained.

It takes approximately 15 minutes to play a game, it requires relatively minimal space to play and is overall very portable.

With the expansion and the “luck” factor inherent to most card games, I think the replay factor is very high. The components are good to me, although I am not an expert on card quality. For a $10 game, this is an amazing investment, and I would recommend it to anyone.

 
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59 of 66 gamers found this helpful
“Whose Turn Review: I'll only play with the expansions”

You are caught in a dream, trying to get out before you succumb to the nightmares. That is the basic premise of Onirim and as simple as the premise is, so is the game. The basic game consists of 76 cards consisting of 58 labyrinth cards, 8 doors and 10 dream cards. The original edition includes 3 expansions and the 2nd edition includes an additional 4. Onirim can play 1 or 2 players, but it seems to be a pretty standard introduction to solitaire gaming so that is what will be addressed here.

Goal

To unlock all of the 8 doors using keys or 3 cards (alternating symbols) in the same color. IMG_4586

Set-up

To start the game the solitaire option players draw cards until they get 5 non-dream or door cards. Once they have 5 they reshuffle the drawn door and dream cards back into the deck and that is all that is required for set-up.

Gameplay

There are two options to start the game, either play a card or discard one. If you play a colored card with a moon or sun symbol in the corner, you then draw a new card to replace the one you played.

If you discard a card (with a sun or moon symbol), it will never be shuffled back in, but it will allow you to draw a new card.

If you discard a card (with a key symbol) you get to preview the next five cards. You can put the next five in any order, but you must discard one of the labyrinth cards.

In order to unlock doors you can do one of two things. If you draw a door and have a card with a key on it in the same color, you discard the key and unlock the door. The other option is to play three cards in a row (1 per turn) with alternating moon and sun symbols then you get to search the deck for the door and then reshuffle the deck.

When you draw a door but do not have the key you set it to the side until you have 5 cards in your hand again and then you reshuffle.

When you draw a dream card, you have a couple of options. Your first option is to discard your whole hand (including the dream card). The second option is to discard a key card in your hand with the dream card. The last option is to discard the next 5 cards from the deck (except for any other door or dream cards which are reshuffled into the deck)

Winning and Losing the Game

You win the game if you can successfully unlock all 8 doors.
You lose the game if you run out of the deck before you have unlocked the doors.

My Thoughts on the Game

I had seen this game recommended as a solid introduction to solitaire gaming many times so even though I have been playing solitaire games for a while, I jumped on a deal to get this game. The first time I played this game I thought it was much harder than it actually was. It isn’t that hard, but it’s also not that easy either. After quite a few plays I am winning around 25% of the time, which probably isn’t a very good percentage, but it is mine, so I will own it.

Overall I like the game as a portable, quick, limited space needed game. Beyond that though, I don’t think I will be playing the base game much more than in situations that call for those kinds of games. I have been told that the expansions add quite a good amount to the depth of the game so maybe I will change my mind once I play a few of them, but the base game, doesn’t do a whole lot for me.

I do like that Onirim can be played relatively quickly and without a huge amount of thinking. Some games make you think about so many options that your brain gets stretched to the brink of breaking on almost every turn. Onirim is not that kind of game. Sometimes you are playing a series of cards turn after turn without having to think about it at all. Then a dream card comes up or you need to decide about discarding a key. That is where some depth comes in. The depth is a kind of break from the monotony of playing labyrinth cards.

What I don’t like about it though, is that the depth is too few and far in between. Even when the depth comes in it is only a limited amount of depth too. When I pull a dream I have to figure out is I should discard my hand, a key, or 5 unseen cards? Most of the time that is an easy decision, and even when it isn’t, it is still not that difficult of a decision. It’s not a game that will make you think much at all.

Expansions

The original edition came with 3 expansions so I would be remiss if I did not talk about them as well. You can play with each of them separately or combine 2 or all of them.

Expansion #1 – The Book of Steps

This expansion adds only 9 cards (10 for 2-player), but a whole lot of complexity. Before the beginning of the game you take 8 of those 9 cards and shuffle them. Those 8 cards have doors very similar to the doors in the deck, but as you lay them out one at a time in a row it dictates what order you must follow in unlocking the doors. That means the first door you flip over is the first door you must attempt to unlock.

The 9th card is a reminder of 3 spells that you can cast using cards in your discard pile. For 5 cards (removed from the discard pile) you can take the last 5 cards of the deck, pick 1 to put on top and arrange the other 4. For 7 cards you can move one of the doors, from the row of doors, one spot. For 10 cards you can get rid of a nightmare card.

This expansion was tough, but I liked it much more than the base game. Out of all of the expansions I would say it was my 2nd favorite. It definitely added to the complexity of the game by telling you the order in which you must try to unlock the doors which was nice, but it also gave you some choices to help combat that difficulty.

Expansion #2 – The Towers

This expansion added 3 towers in 4 different colors. IMG_4588Those towers were shuffled into the rest of the deck and nothing else was added. The towers add a new goal in addition to unlocking all 8 doors. Each color had a 3, 4, and 5 tower card and on each tower it had 0, 1, or 2 symbols on the left and right. The new goal is to lay down 4 towers (one of each color) in a row without aligning the same symbols from one tower card to the next.

The easiest towers to fit next to another are the 5 towers, but they also provide you the best bonus when discarded. If a tower is discarded you are able to look and arrange the number of cards in the deck equal to the number on the bottom of the card. The easiest tower to fit next to the others therefore also allows you to look at the most cards. The towers are in their own row so they are not played alongside the labyrinth cards. There is only one other difference in this expansion. If you have any towers played and you pull a nightmare card, you must destroy one of the towers or otherwise put the nightmare card back into the deck and reshuffle.

This is my favorite expansion. It adds more cards to the deck, which helps make the game a little easier, and provides two goals that you can work on simultaneously. Also, once you have your towers laid out it provides a different way to peek at the top cards and put them in the order you would like them to be. This would be my go to expansion and in fact it might just stay shuffled into the regular deck.

Expansion #3 – Dark Premonitions and Happy Dreams

This expansion adds some good and some bad. I don’t mean to say good parts to the game and bad parts to the game, but as the title suggests, there are dark premonitions which add negative effects whenever you obtain certain things (like unlocking 2 red doors, 3 total doors, etc). Then it also adds 4 happy dreams which give you special powers. IMG_4590The dark premonitions can be pretty nasty. You start the game by randomly selecting 4 out of the 8 dark premonition cards so you get a different game each time. Each premonition has a trigger, like 2 red doors unlocked, 2 of any one color unlocked and so on. Then the results can be anything from discarding your current hand to putting one of the doors back into limbo. I had a particularly nasty combination once where after you got both red doors unlocked you removed all of the rest of the red cards from the deck. If they would have been my first pair of doors unlocked then I would have also had to put one of the red doors back, making it impossible for me to win the game.

The happy dreams, on the other hand, are exactly what they sound like. They allow you to either remove one of the premonition cards for good, look at the top 7 cards of the deck and arrange them or search for one card out of the whole deck and put it on top. There are only four in the whole deck but if they come up at the right time then they are great!

This was my least favorite because it seemed like a harder version of the original base game without adding too much choice. Granted, the happy dreams are good things and can be powerful, but there are only four in the whole deck. Also, seeing as you can get a combination of dark premonitions that could make the game unwinnable (unless you use the happy dream to remove one) it relies too much on luck and not on skill or logic.

Like I said earlier, the base game isn’t super exciting, but it’s a decent game and probably good for an introduction to solitaire games. The expansions add enough for me to come back for more and make it a regular to take on trips since it is so small. In the 2nd edition there are even more expansions which would probably be worth a look too. If you are looking for a cheap, intro to lightweight challenge in a solitaire game that is easily taken on trips or squeezed into a short amount of time, then I recommend Onirim as a good buy.

 
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8
58 of 65 gamers found this helpful
“Where your nightmares look like Batman”

Intro:

Welcome to the Oniverse where you are a dreamwalker lost in a labyrinth of dreams looking for 8 oneiric doors before you run out of dreamtime causing you to be trapped forever.

You’ll be walking through room after room looking for these 8 doors while at the same time some batman lookalike nightmares will be haunting you.

Gameplay:

Onirim is a solo / 2 player coop game played out with a deck of 76 cards. There are cards in 4 different colours, each with a moon, sun or key in the corner (fewer keys), 8 doors (2 in each colour) and 10 batman nightmare cards.

As mentioned, your goal is to find these 8 doors before you run out of cards.

You start of with 5 cards, any drawn doors and nightmares are shuffled back into the deck. On your turn you must either play a card or discard a card, and then draw up to 5. When you’ve played 3 cards in a row in one colour you’re allowed to search the draw deck for a matching door cards and add it to your victory area. Seems easy enough, but there is a very important rule on how to play cards. You may only add a card if it has a different symbol than the previous card. In other words, you can never play a sun on a sun, moon on moon nor key on key. Even if the cards are in different colours.

You really do not want to play keys unless in need of the last card to find a door because these also have other uses:

— It can be discarded to look at the top 5 cards of the draw deck from which you must remove one card and place the remaining 4 cards on top in any order. A great way to get rid of those nightmares.
— If you happen to draw a door when refilling up to 5 and have a matching key in hand you can add that to your victory area. One more door found.

Then there are the nightmare cards. If you happen to draw one when refilling to 5 cards you must perform one of 4 actions:

– Discard a key from hand
– Shuffle one door card back into the deck
– Discard your entire hand and draw 5 new cards
– Discard the top 5 cards of the deck, doors and nightmare cards are shuffled back in.

If you finally get all 8 door cards on the table you’ve won. Simple as that.

Conclusion:

Onirim is a nice little challenging solo game, but as luck would have it. Sometimes it might be a breeze and other times it will be near impossible. In the beginning I always used the keys for protection against nightmares or a lucky drawn door. The more I’ve played the more active my use have become. The advantage of looking at 5 cards and planning accordingly is just too good to ignore.

And if you happen to feel the game is getting too easy there are 7 different expansions in the second edition to add some challenge. So in all aspects there are plenty of hours of gaming in this tiny box.

 
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Canada
I play black
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59 of 67 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“-A labyrinth lost within itself”

The realm of dreams does not become the topic of games too frequently. Board games especially with their focus on the tangible and the tactile seem a strange fit to tackle the amorphous fleeting nature of what our subconscious produces while we sleep. Onirim by Z-Man games gives it a shot and aces the aesthetics – not an easy task by any stretch of imagination. The game stumbles in the mechanics though as the gameplay tends towards simplistic abstraction instead of fully exploring the wonderful world the game creates. Shall we dive deeper? Close your eyes and welcome to Onirim.

How it works:

You are a wanderer lost in a labyrinth of dreams. Your journeys took you too far down the rabbit hole and now you need to find a way out before the nightmares consume you. Onirim is a solo game with a two-player co-op variant where the players work through a deck of cards aiming to collect a certain number of Door cards to leave the labyrinth.

There are a couple of ways to obtain the doors – either by building a sequence of cards of the same colour in the “path” you are laying out or having a specific key card on hand when you randomly draw a card from the deck to replenish your hand. Not all cards are positive – some are Nightmares that daze and confuse, forcing you to lose progress or wasting precious time. If you manage to obtain all the doors – you win and you get to wake up. If the deck runs out before you are able to do that – you lose and you are stuck in the labyrinth forever.

How it plays:

The game is basically a puzzle that forces you to weigh your strategy in pursuing the slow but reliable way of obtaining doors (laying out a pattern of cards) vs. counting on a lucky draw that would score you a door in a much easier way. Another interesting decision point comes when you draw a Nightmare card. It sets you back but the way that happens is up to you – there are a few ways to deal with it and this selection makes you consider your progress and pick the least of several evils.

The mechanics of the game are very simple and reminiscent of traditional card solitaire in their extreme abstraction. While some decisions are interesting – most have an obvious answer. This makes the game go quick and uneventful. On one hand it makes Onirim a solid (if unspectacular) choice for a quick solo option. On another – it fails to produce memorable moments and fully engage you. The games involve lots of shuffling (and it really helps that the cards are glossy – easy to do so) and most are over in 20 min or less.

The two-player variant seems to be more an afterthought and does not provide particularly engaging interaction. The game was clearly meant as a solo offering and works better that way.

How it feels:

Onirim wins the “components match the theme” award for me, easily beating any other game in that regard. The crude, abstract artwork with the menacing pointy-eared, yellow-eyed Nightmare figure clicks on a very subconscious level and draws you in to the wonderful world these visuals create. Even the interior of the small box is amazing – strange diagonal flaps mimicking the Nightmare form, the rich velvet insert to hold the cards, the inexplicable wooden Nightmare figurine inside (I still have not found a use for it but it is awesome). The artwork on the cards also fits the perfect surreal format – drawn as if by a child but with a vivid feeling and mood behind each card – every physical aspect of the game contributes to the strange world that the creators tried to dream up.

The game amazes you in that it creates this world that you believe you can get lost in – you are now ready to immerse yourself in the game to escape this labyrinth! And that’s when the game lets you down. The mechanics it presents you with are much too abstract and never strengthen the connection to the theme. The decisions are simplistic and it can feel that things are just happening to you as opposed to you driving the narrative. It offers a quick tight solo gaming experience but compared to its competition in this genre (Friday easily comes to mind) it loses out in richness and engagement level.

The second edition of Onirim in stores now comes with seven (!) mini-expansions that you can mix in. Unfortunately these did little to improve the experience for me. Strangely the mechanics for these add new elements to the game and then focus the players’ energies on removing these new elements to basically bring the game back to the original difficulty.

In Conclusion:

Onirim seduces players with its gorgeous presentation and innovative theme but under-delivers on what one expects. It is still a nice light option if you want a quick game, but this dream is more of a snooze than a power nap.

If you enjoyed this review please consider visiting the Altema Games website for more neat board game materials.

 
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6 of 6 gamers found this helpful
“A Playful Alternative to Solitaire”

With a world of distractions these days, it is not often that you find a game so simple to pick up that you can do it instead of picking up a cell phone. At the end of a long day or on a rainy afternoon few games short of a standard deck of cards come close to the casual ease of Onirim. While that in itself is refreshing, it is also one of the few games to truly bring a childlike character and charm to each sitting, if you can get into the theme.

The act of escaping from spirits in your dreams is the basis for Onirim, and you are presented with a deck of beautifully illustrated cards in a compact box with which you will begin your quest. Inside the box with my version of the game was a small miniature of an Incubus spirit and 7 expansions which add complexity and replay variety. Whether you play with the expansion cards or not, I found the spirit figure a cute companion and nice touch for a game that will be largely played solo.

Gameplay is simple and straightforward with a set-making mechanic which sees you drawing and discarding to obtain keys and doors to break out of your dream-state labyrinth. Occasionally spirits arise and ruin your plans, and you must sacrifice cards to move past them. This can make it quite a challenging puzzle to discover all of the needed keys to escape, and there is some, though not too much, strategy to go along with the luck.

The Good Stuff
Quick play, planning is necessary to succeed. Fun little box is packaged well. Lots of replay with all of the expansions.

Quibbles
All 7 expansions come in one big deck, and the symbols used on the cards to differentiate them are not so easy to tell apart. Some sleeves or rubber bands are necessary.

Verdict
This is a light and enjoyable game which picks up easily, and I look forward to trying two-player games. I could see this being a very friendly parent-child game. Even though it is not necessarily a ‘kid’ theme, it can be soothing, meditative, and carefree. Whether you find that boring or it temporarily brings you to another place, I’d give Onirim at least one go.

 
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Cross Hares fan
I play purple
8
59 of 71 gamers found this helpful
“Fun... and Creepy... and Fun”

You are a Dreamwalker lost in a labyrinth filled with ten daunting nightmare’s that are trying to keep you trapped in the dream world forever. The good news… There are eight colorful oneiric doors in which to escape… That is, if you can find them. The trick… You must open all eight doors and escape before times runs out. Time being the actual deck of cards.

It’s a fast-paced game that I would recommend starting off with just the base set until you are familiar with the rules and then adding the expansion packs as desired. The watercolor graphics on the cards are lovely and nicely done. There are lots of colors, and suns, and moons, and keys… And who doesn’t like keys? Keys are the key to help you escape this dream world.

It’s a wonderful little Solitaire game for when you have a few minutes to spare… And if you happen to be alone… and you turn the lights down low… it makes picking those freaky nightmare cards oh so scary!

 
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My First Heart
8
60 of 79 gamers found this helpful
“Fantastic atmospheric abstract dream quest”

You and your dreams… it’s not a battle, not to win, it’s travel, investigation. Everything vague, blurred. It’s not your dreams? OK, but this dream is real and while you’re playing you’re careful traveler.

Play alone, play with friend but not more, this is not Munchkin, silence filling the room. Drawing one mysterious card after another, turning logic on to move through this dream to finally find desired doors.

Is it simple? Not too much.
Is it hard? Not too much.
Do this game has a personality? Absolutely!

 

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