Onirim – App review

Onirim is a card game that apparently can be played with two players but is essentially a solo player game.

I had never heard of it until Asmodee Digital announced that it was coming to mobile devices and that it was going to be a purely solo effort.

When it was first announced, and when I first bought and downloaded it, I was a bit concerned that it was going to get a bit samey. None of the expansions for the card game are included, and there were rumblings that they never would be.

I started around 20% win rate, so I’ve improved!

This screenshot seems to indicate that the fear was groundless. Those are my current stats on my iPad.

I just find this game so addictive!

The premise of the game is that you are stuck in a dreamworld, trying desperately to get out. To do so, you have to find and unlock eight doors, two each of four different colours (red, blue, green, white).

You do so by playing cards, but you have to play them a certain way. Each card has a symbol, either a Sun, a Moon, or a Key. You cannot play the same symbol twice in a row. You must play three cards of the same colour together in order to unlock one of the doors.

Onirim 4
Nice artwork on the cards

But everything is not hunky dory in this dream world. There are nightmare spirits that are attempting to keep you here. A key will block them, but otherwise they force you to discard your hand or discard five cards from your deck. There are ten of these nightmares and only 70 cards in total.

Yikes!

Onirim 1
Evil nightmare! Let go of my cards!

But thankfully, you do have some weapons.

Onirim 2
Get that nightmare to the right-hand side to get rid of him.

If you have a key in your hand and discard it, you get to see the next five cards, and then discard one of them. If one happens to be a nightmare, awesome! You’ll never see that one again.

Keys come in very handy. They defend against a nightmare and they can let you look at the cards as mentioned above. However, they have one further use.

If you have one in your hand when a door of the same colour is drawn, you will get that door immediately.

Onirim 3
Door!!!!

It’s like the pizza delivery guy just showed up at your house right when you were going to call! No need to go through the hassle of putting in the order and waiting the 30 minutes.

That’s pretty much it.

Again, it all sounds like it may start to get boring after a while. It’s the same basic gameplay each time and it just depends on how the cards are shuffled to determine how you do.

Or so it seems.

There is a nice bit of strategy in here, though you are of course at the whim of the deck. One thing you can do is try to minimize how much the deck is shuffled, or make sure it’s shuffled at the right time.

It will shuffle every time you string three cards of the same colour together to get a door. It will shuffle when a door is drawn (it goes off to the side and you draw again until you get a card you can keep, or a nightmare).

So if you’ve used a key to see the next cards and there are multiple nightmares, can you make it so that the deck will shuffle before you get to the one you left?

I have found this game very addictive, playing time and time again to see if I can better my win percentage.

I won’t say that it doesn’t need the expansions, though I don’t know what those expansions do. It could really use some new stuff added into it.

But my fear that the game would get boring after 10-20 plays was clearly unfounded.

The app is gorgeous, as you can tell from the screen shots. Also, the screen shots of all but my statistics were taken on my phone. I play exclusively on my iPad but I wanted to get some pics for writing this review.

Thus, I discovered that the game scales beautifully between tablet and phone. It’s in portrait mode on the phone and really easy to use. The screen real estate is used to remarkable effect, with the tablet having it be in landscape mode giving you a lot more room to do stuff.

I really can’t say anything bad about this app, except that it won’t let me get to sleep.

And given the subject of the game, maybe that’s intentional?

I see what you did there, Asmodee!!!

This app is currently 99 cents on iTunes and Android. I had heard that was the launch price, but it’s been over a month and it’s still there. I don’t know how long that will last, but you should jump on it as soon as you can.

You will be glad you did.

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