It's a double feature this time with a short exploration title and a mystical solitaire card game!
The PlanFirst up is a short yet surprising exploration title called The Plan. You play as a flying insect (I assume a common fly, but I'm not sure) out in a 2D wilderness.
The game boasts a decent atmosphere with a handful of sights and sounds that range from cheerful to downright ominous. Included are a few surprise events and an ending that... well, you should really just play it for yourself. Let's just say if you were a fan of Can Your Pet?, you may enjoy The Plan as well.
OnirimThe main title for this double feature is Onirim, a solitaire card game with a dreamlike theme and some customization options.
In Onirim, your objective is to unlock all of the dream doors before the deck runs out, trapping you in the labyrinth. Typically, you'll discover and open these doors by playing three location cards of the same color in sequence, though other methods exist.
Every time you play a card, you'll draw another to replace it. Drawing anything but a location card triggers an event, which can sometimes allow you to unlock a door immediately or force you to deal with a nightmare. This mechanic adds a layer of variance (and sometimes a bit of tension) that makes for some unexpected surprises each time you play, whether good or ill.
Instead of playing a card, you can choose to discard a card. Normally this is done when your options aren't ideal, with the hope that your next draw gives you something better. However, discarding a card with the key symbol triggers a prophecy that allows you to manipulate the top cards of the deck (and if you're lucky, eliminate a nightmare in the process). While keys have some other abilities, prophecies keep you from feeling like you're entirely at the mercy of the deck and can really help smooth out a bad start or a close finish.
It took me a bit to understand exactly how cards entered Limbo and when they would return to the deck, which initially led to a lot of poor decisions on my part. After a little trial and error, I had a better grasp on how things worked. It's important to note that Onirim is also available as a physical card game, and in this instance I'm glad to have been introduced to its digital counterpart first. I'm fairly certain I would've been playing the Limbo portion of the game entirely wrong having only a rulebook and my own failed understandings to guide me. Thanks, technology!
Except for some initial misconceptions about Limbo, Onirim is fairly easy to learn and plays relatively fast once you have the hang of it. At the very least, I prefer it over standard solitaire card games (using a traditional deck of playing cards) any time.
Additionally, Onirim has a number of expansions that add new card types and change the game significantly. The Glyphs expansion is available for free, provided you make an account at Asmodee Digital, with other expansions being modestly priced should you want more variety.
The Glyphs set adds a new type of location card (glyphs) that can be played as normal or discarded to trigger an incantation. This effect allows you to unlock a door immediately if found while even pushing unwanted cards (like nightmares) to the bottom of the deck, and feels more powerful than even prophecies. This is offset by increasing the number of doors you must discover, but glyphs (and their incantations) seem like they make the game a little easier overall.
While available on PC via Steam, Onirim is far more suited as a mobile game. Thankfully, it can be found for both Android and iOS devices, so go check it out!