To see a full playthrough of Onirim, click here.
What is this game about?
Onirim is a card game designed by Shadi Torbey and set in the "Oniverse." There are several games in this series, but Onirim is probably the best known. In this game, you are asleep and lost in a labyrinth of dreams. Your goal is to find all eight doors (two of each color) that will enable you to escape the labyrinth and return to wakefulness. However, as you draw cards from the deck, you will encounter nightmare cards that work to trap you forever by forcing you to get rid of your cards or your hard-earned doors. If you run out of cards in the draw pile before you discover all of the doors, you lose the game.
How does it play solo?
Onirim, like all games in the Oniverse series, is designed for solo play. There is a co-op variant as well, but Shadi Torbey definitely caters to solo players.
Onirim is a compact, quick-to-play game that nevertheless offers interesting choices. To win—and you will not always win this game—you need to pay attention to whether the draw deck is getting low and whether you are sacrificing cards of a color that you need to win. As you play, you will encounter versatile cards with a key symbol that be played normally, but that can also be used to defuse a nightmare card or to trigger a "prophecy" that lets you manipulate the draw deck. How you choose to play your cards can make a big difference to how the game progresses.
The joy of playing Onirim is not its complexity, but its meditativeness. The card art truly is dreamlike, and there is just enough decision making involved to keep you focused on the game. Onirim is ideal for travel or for busy nights when you want to unwind with a quick card game.
If you need a further challenge, the current printing of Onirim includes several expansions in the box, some of which are very challenging. There is also a delightful app version of Onirim available for Android and iOS, which is great for people who don't like to repeatedly shuffle cards. (Onirim involves a lot of shuffling.)
Do I recommend this game?
If you like short, quick card games that require a combination of luck and strategic decision making, then yes. Onirim is definitely a good choice for you.
Overall Rating: 4 stars
5 - I love it!
4- I really like it.
3 - I like it.
2 - It's okay.
1 - Meh.