Casual gamers at airport terminals, waiting in line at the DMV, sitting in doctor’s offices, and even those on the toilet should take note. Onirim was a moderately successful card game which has been ported to iOS. It’s the kind of game that demands just enough attention and can pass minutes quickly. This reviewer is eager to see the results.
In Onirim, players are “Dreamwalkers” in a labyrinth. In order to escape, they must discover “oneiric” doors. There are 4 colors of doors and 2 of each color. As players play consecutive cards of the appropriate color and symbol, they unlock the doors. If a player manages to unlock all 8 doors, they win the game.
For a full reading of the rules to understand how complex the card manipulation can get, check out the rules on Z-Man Games’ website.
In short, Asmodee Digital’s implementation is spot on. There’s not a tremendous amount to ask for from a digital translation of a small solitaire card game.
Being a solo card game, they chose a locked portrait orientation which makes it easy to play with one hand. Sliding cards up from your virtual hand puts them into play. The music and sound effects add to the experience, but are unnecessary to hear to play.
In addition, the app switches context seamlessly, making it easy to understand when players have a choice to make. If an object requires tapping to confirm, it highlights appropriately.
Probably the most obvious thing that the digital version makes easy is the card management and shuffling, of which there is A LOT. Nearly every five card draws requires a reshuffle and this is the biggest reason to only play Onirim on the app.
Onirim is not an easy game. The challenge presented demands that careful use of cards is taken into account from beginning to end. Keeping track of keys and other symbol cards is mandatory to make the best decisions. The app, thankfully, handles this by allowing players to see a grid view of the discard pile with cards categorized by symbol.
On that note, what makes for a great solitaire game is the depth of the challenge with a seemingly straightforward task. The collection of cards in a player’s hand will change rapidly. Knowing when to discard a card that has been sitting in hand is a difficult decision. Onirim does not disappoint in forcing those choices, especially when you draw two or more Nightmares in a row.
The other nice thing about Onirim is the tutorial, which does a fantastic job of helping players understand the game. Unlike a rules-only tutorial, this heavily involves the user taking actions so the motion memory takes hold. Contrast this to the rules which dump many concepts on the player at once.
What gamers will noticeably miss from Onirim depends on how much they desire two-player only cooperative games. The original card game offered a two player experience which is absent in the iOS version. This is annoying, but unlikely to make an appearance in a future update.
What is missed are the expansions that were included in the second edition release of Onirim. This greatly expands the replay value. Onirim is nice, but with only one play style, it struggles to keep pace with other games.
Onirim is a straightforward, well made implementation of a solitaire game. For only a buck (in the USA), it hearkens back to what games were when the iPhone first came out. That’s not a bad thing. Onirim delivers the expected gameplay smoothly and with everything to expect from this type of game. What it’s missing is not missed very much and could easily be added later.
If you’d like to download a copy of Onirim, you can get it in the app store for about $0.99.
Final Score: 4.5 Stars – There’s not much more to ask of the digital version of Onirim. There aren’t any play options, but for the first release, it’s an easy purchase for a new solitaire game.
• Needs more content or play options
• No cooperative play