Onirim - A game made for one
#Onirim is a card game designed exclusively to be played by one person. I have never played it with actual cards, only on the online app that I believe is free (they make money as there are unlockable game modes).
The game is fairly simple, you have a deck of 76 cards, you have to find and colelct the 8 door cards before your deck runs out. The deck contains four suits (denoted by colour) and within each suit there are three kinds of card:
- Location cards - The 'normal card', split into sun and moon (with sun cards being substanitally more common)
- Key cards - Incredibly powerful cards that can do a number of useful things
- Door cards - What you are trying to collect.
There is a fourth type of card, Dream cards, which are the main 'antagonist' of the game.
The game proceeds as follows: All the cards are shuffled up and you draw a hand of 5. (I'm not sure what happens if your starting hand contains either dream or door cards but it hasn't happened in the app). You then proceed to either play a card in front of you or discard a card and then immediately draw a new card. Your general aim is to play three cards of the same colour consecutively. However, identical cards cannot be played directly after each other, so you would have to play a red sun, then a red moon, then a red sun for example. You can also play key cards in order to get these sets if needed. When you achieve this you immediately search the deck for a door card of the appropriate colour and collect it (put it to one side). The other way to collect a door is to have a key of the appropriate colour in you hand when you draw it, at which point you can discard the key and claim the door. Otherwise, when you draw a door it is immediately shuffled back into the deck and you draw again.
So far, so simple. However, the Dream cards are where it all goes sideways. When you draw a dream card you have a choice, either:
- Discard a key card from your hand.
- Discard your entire hand (four cards at the time)
- Discard the top 5 cards of the deck (any dream and door cards are not discarded and shuffled back in, and another card discarded instead)
- Return one door you have collected and return it to the deck.
All of these options are a pain.
The final thing you can do on your turn is discard a key card to look at the top 5 cards of the deck. You then put four of these back in any order and discard one (which can be a dream card).
And that's it, you keep going until you have all eight doors or your deck is empty. Most of the I lose. There is a fairly sizable element of luck in this game and often the card don't go your way
For example: you can get two of the same colour down and then just not have another one of that colour come up, or only get sun cards of a certain colour which forces you to either discard or start on a new colour which wastes a bunch of cards. You can also just get hit with dream cards right when you are about to get a door forcing you to discard your hand (discarding 5 from the deck is very risky as not only is it more cards, you could end up losing key cards).
Overall though I have quite enjoyed this game, I haven't played it a tonne but it has kept me entertained for parts of various journeys. It is straightforward enough that it doesn't tax your brain too much, because there is such an unknown element of card draw you can't stress over strategy too much, you just kind of have to follow where the game leads you.
Have any of you played a game specifically designed for one player (i.e. can't be played anything other than solo)? I remember seeing adverts for a few games designed this way, #Friday and #Unbroken come to mind, would be interested to know what you thought of them...