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Subject: Sweet Dreams are Made of These: a Monkey238 review rss

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Cherilyn Joy Lee Kirkman
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At least when you win. Which, despite its difficulty in accomplishing, has me repeatedly coming back for more.

“So, the Labyrinth is a piece of cake, is it? Well, let's see how you deal with this little slice... ” – Jareth

In Shadi Torbey's Onirim you play the role of La Sonnambula, making your way through a labyrinth of rooms filled with beautiful dreams, disturbing nightmares, and coveted keys. Your responsibility is to discover all eight doors by collecting sets of cards or discarding the matching keys. Now here's Cool Thing #1 about Onirim: you can do this by yourself or in a cooperative effort with one of your best buds. I've personally found that playing with Chris is a lot more fun due to interactive decision-making, but if you're looking for a game more intriguing and satisfying than the pre-loaded solitaire on your smartphone, Onirimis for you.



The small game box purchased for under ten bucks (this is Cool Thing #2) is chock-full of cards; 109 of them, to be exact, separated into four types - Door, Labyrinth, Dream, and Relic - plus one Spell card. At first glance they are a bit intimidating, but upon realization that you have just received a basic game and three expansions (Cool Thing #3), all doubts are relinquished. (Speaking of variations, this would be a good time to inform you, dear readers, that I have yet to play The Towers and Dark Premonitions and Happy Dreams expansions. I can't be having all the fun without you knowing first, right?). So...The basic game, a.k.a. The Doors of Dreams, and The Book of Steps Lost and Found expansion are comprised of the characteristic deck and discard piles that most card games have, but add to that a Limbo pile that temporarily contain Doors and Dreams, and you are all set to make your way through the labyrinth.



Cool Thing #4 is of a visual nature. The palette of colors that bring to life the art of Élise Plessis and the attention to graphic detail are reason enough to add Onirim to your collection. Most notable are the Door cards, simple and vibrant, symbolic and inviting. Each of the colors - red, blue, green, and brown - represent entrances to the observatory, aquarium, garden, and library, respectively. The corresponding Labyrinth cards beautifully depict the still chaos of what is sheltered behind ajar doors, and  port symbols of suns, moons, or keys on two of their corners. The latter of these symbols, not surprisingly, is...well, key to winning the game; they facilitate the opening of doors, and also provide a method of ridding those pesky Nightmares from entering your dreamworld. Mr. Sandman isn't always so kind. In fact, my guess is that players more often have trouble rather than success in obtaining all the doors before time runs out, but this does nothing but make you wish the dream could last a little bit longer.

Gameplay/Replay
6 With essentially eight ways to play this game (four variations playable both solo and duo) and being at the mercy of the randomness of a deck of cards, this game provides seemingly endless replay. A tactic used in one session may prove to be just an illusion in the next.

Components & Theme
6 Who doesn't want to feel the emotional journey of a dream? The mixed feelings of anxiety, happiness, disappointment, and satisfaction are embodied in this compact package; the linen cards gracefully and solidly host them. And they were made to withstand the repeated shuffling required.

Fun
5 Did I say "repeated shuffling"? That's the main reason why this game can't be 6-out-of-6 fun. Cards are constantly being removed and recycled through the deck, which can break the momentum of play at times. But other than that, it's an escapade you won't want to miss out on.

Overall Score:
566
17 out of 18
Everlasting reveries are worth the less-than-ten-dollar price tag, right? Right..

This review was originally published on my board games blog www.dicehateme.com
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Andy Andersen
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I tried to learn the game with the expansions - bad idea. But a good review.
 
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Cameron Chien
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Great review, and great game!

Andy: Yeah, definitely start w/ the base game, get comfortable with that, then add in one expansion at a time.

Cameron
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Mark Johnson
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“Brothers, oh brothers, my days here are done, the Dornishman’s taken my life, But what does it matter, for all men must die, and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife!”
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"Oak and iron guard me well, or else I'm dead and doomed to hell." - Andal proverb.
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The should make this game an iPhone app.
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Jonan Jello
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♫ As the masters rot on walls ♫ And the angels eat their grapes ♫ I watched Picasso Visit The Planet Of The Apes ♫
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Nice review of a wonderful game.
 
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Cherilyn Joy Lee Kirkman
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Orangemoose wrote:
I tried to learn the game with the expansions - bad idea. But a good review.


Thanks! The one expansion that I have played (as mentioned in the review) really added to the play; I'm looking forward to trying out the others. But I definitely think that a firm grasp of the base game is necessary before trying out the variations. Do you still play the game despite apparent frustrations?
 
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Cherilyn Joy Lee Kirkman
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Zeede wrote:
Great review, and great game!

Andy: Yeah, definitely start w/ the base game, get comfortable with that, then add in one expansion at a time.

Cameron


Thanks, Cameron! And great supplemental advice
 
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Cherilyn Joy Lee Kirkman
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Eeeville wrote:
The should make this game an iPhone app.


Oooh...that could be cool, especially if I had an iPhone Perhaps we can convince some programmers to make an Android one concurrently!
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Cherilyn Joy Lee Kirkman
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Hex_Enduction_Hour wrote:
Nice review of a wonderful game.


Thanks much! It's my first game review; perhaps I will start to do more
 
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mateenyweeny
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Great review of a great game.
Love the art especially!
 
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Cherilyn Joy Lee Kirkman
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slinkydink wrote:
Great review of a great game.
Love the art especially!


Thank you...I had fun writing it and glad you enjoyed it!
 
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Complete & Sufficient Statistician
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First off, good review. This game is a recent discovery of mine, and your review matched my own views.

monkey238 wrote:
(Speaking of variations, this would be a good time to inform you, dear readers, that I have yet to play The Towers and Dark Premonitions and Happy Dreams expansions. I can't be having all the fun without you knowing first, right?)


I'm guessing you've played them by now. Dark Premonitions and Happy Dreams is definitely my favorite (probably because I can actually beat it sometimes).

monkey238 wrote:

With essentially eight ways to play this game (four variations playable both solo and duo)


Don't forget that you can play w/ more than one expansion. So there's really 16 ways to play. Actually, each expansion has a harder variation, so there are...crap, lost count...a LOT of ways to play.
 
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Big Gamer
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Great review! Thanks for all the information!
 
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