Much like Card Crawl before it, Onirim aims to put its own stamp on the classic card game Solitaire.
You’re still playing solo against the deck, but the idea isn’t to get rid of all of the cards – it’s the direct opposite.
Instead, you’re trying to unlock each of the eight coloured doors before you run out of cards.
There are multiple ways to achieve this, but none of them are easy.
You play with a deck of 76 cards, five of which are always playable in your hand. These aren’t your typical face and number cards though. Instead the deck contains a collection of coloured moons, suns, keys, and doors.
To win, you have to unlock each of the eight coloured doors, and there are two ways to achieve this. You can either play three coloured cards in a row or draw a door while you have the corresponding coloured key in your hand.
It sounds simple, but Onirim doesn’t make it that easy for you. For starters, you can’t play a card with the same symbol as the one you played previously. So matching three green suns won’t work.
Dotted among the deck are 10 nightmare cards, which are as frightening as they read. Draw one of these and you’ll have to discard a key, your entire hand, the next five cards in the deck, or pull a door card back into your deck.
And by discarded, we mean it. You will not be seeing those cards again for the remainder of that game. It forces you to really consider which is the lesser punishment of all.
However, you can also spin the deck in your favour. At any moment, you can discard a key in your hand to peek at the next five cards that will appear in the deck.
This is handy, because you can then discard one of those cards and re-order the next few that will appear. It’s quite feasible to unlock a couple of doors by doing this, but you’re also in danger of discarding the very key which will have unlocked door card you were about to pull. It’s risk and reward.
A solid hand
Overall, Onirim is a lot of fun to play. It might not be quite as accessible as Card Crawl, but there’s a greater depth to it which may lead to increased longevity for those who really dig it.
While minimal, the hand drawn visuals are pleasing to the eye. They do clash with the rather ominous music. Together they combine well to make it feel just unsettling enough to create tension, while remaining a relaxing way to switch off.
It’s not a perfect experience though. Due to the nature of the game, the balance feels a little off at times. You’ll occasionally cruise to victory, while other times it feels impossible.
Those moments do somewhat let down the experience, but it’s a bit of an unsolvable issue. The nature of the game requires it to be random, and most of the time you feel in control of your destiny just enough to make it through to the bitter end.
If you’re a fan of Solitaire – and Card Crawl in particular – we can safely recommend grabbing Onirim from Google Play.
A solid spin on Solitaire
Onirim is a solid adaptation of Solitaire in a similar vein to Card Crawl. It's less accessible, but may offer more longevity as a result of the added depth.