Are you a Euro gamer? Are you a player who hates randomness, deplores direct conflict and wants your victory to be based solely on your strategy and how you best used the resources available to you?
If any of these things applies to you stop reading now, because Ominoes isn't for you. Seriously, come back in a few weeks when Andy has written his Ava Roma review because that's going to be your game, Ominoes is not.
Have they gone?
If you're still here, then you are don't mind randomness, love player conflict and have no qualms about backstabbing your friends and quite frankly losing them all over a board game. If that is you go back Ominoes on Kickstarter. I could leave the review simply at that but no doubt you want a bit more justification in that purchase and since all the boring people have stopped reading we get start talking about fun.
Ominoes is a really simple concept, roll some dice and place those dice on the board. The aim of the game is to match up your dice symbols, get fourof a kind and the dice are removed scoring you points, the first player to 15 points wins. Four sides of the dice represent the four player icons the other two are wild cards, that also allow you to move dice and reroll dice already in play.
The observant amongst you will have already (Egyptian) cottoned onto the concept that you will be placing your opponent’s icons onto the board. Therefore, every turn you are potentially helping your opponent, and there comes the switch and the very heart of what Ominoes is;
Ominoes is not a game where you attempt the optimum move for yourself but is instead a game where you are attempting the worst possible move for your opponents.
It's all about being a complete git. Of course, it's not all about messing with your opponents, occasionally the dice do actually come up with your symbols and then you can produce a move that actually gains you points.
However, the majority of your game will be spent trying not to set up combos for your opponents. You'll place their pieces at opposite corners of the boards, try and create road blocks to separate dangerous looking groups of symbols while also sneakily moving your pieces closer together and hoping no-one has noticed.
This description makes the game sound incredibly frustrating but I can assure you the complete opposite is true. It may seem that scoring is rare as everyone attempts to block each other at every opportunity but what actually happens is the board fills up quickly and players start taking advantage of the current board state.
It's also for that reason that I think the game works best at its full complement of four players, and with the advanced rules that don't use the centre of the board. This creates the restriction of space to make the game truly interesting and keeps everyone on their toes.
If you're still not convinced, go back and listen to Episode 5 of our podcast, where we had all just played Ominoes for the first time. Everyone here at Polyhedron Collider genuinely had a lot of fun with the game.
It's not often that all three hosts of the Polyhedron Collider Cast can find agreement on a game but Andy, Jon and myself all agree that Ominoes is a light quick and fun game of being a complete bastard to your friends, which is why we enjoyed it so much.
Ominoes is on Kickstarter now
This review is based on a full retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.