Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Odin's Ravens (Osprey Games)

In Norse mythology, Odin has two pet ravens named Huginn and Muinn. Their task to travel through Midgard (Earth) and bring Odin back news on what life is like in other places. Having been assigned to this task for millennia, they have grown competitive with each other. Therefore, they've decided to make a race of it. Travelling in opposite directions, they want to be the first one to return to Odin and report their news. But what would Norse mythology be without a little "help" from Loki? This is
Odin's RavensOdin's Ravens plays two players, ages 8+. It takes approximately 20 minutes to play and retails for $25.

Setup
1. Shuffle the Land Cards and place a line of 16 cards between the two players. Each Land Card contains two spaces that will form two routes to fly down. (Note: When laying out the cards, make sure no two spaces in a row are the same.)
2. Have each player place their Raven at one end of the Land Cards in front of one route.
3. Give each player their 25 Flight Cards and 8 Loki Cards. Have them shuffle the two decks separately and place them face down.
4. Each player then draws five cards (any combination from the two decks) to form their starting hand.
Game Play
The game is a race. Once your Raven reaches one end of the Land Cards, it switches to the other side and flies back on the other route. On your turn you may take as many actions as you have the card to accomplish. The actions are as follows:
1. Flight - Play a card that shows the same Land type as the next path space in front of your Raven. If there is a path of the same Land spaces in a row, your Raven will move to the end of this path. (Note: If you have no Flight Cards that match the next space, you can play any two Flight Cards of the same type to substitute for the Flight Card you need.)
2. Trickery - Play a Loki Card. There are two of each of the four types of Loki Cards. Each card provides you two options, which the player must choose, such as moving your Raven forward one space or your opponent's Raven back one space.

The game ends when one Raven makes a complete cycle of the Land Cards.

Review
Odin's Ravens is a simple two-player racing game that boils down to hand management. How many cards will you play this turn? How will you balance your hand with Flight and Loki Cards? Do I go for speed or do I play more Loki Cards? Should I use the Loki Cards to benefit me or hinder my opponent? The game is very easy to teach and plays so quickly that you will want to play it again immediately, win or lose. What I like best about this game is the presentation and art. The game box opens up like a book, which is a nice touch. The Raven tokens are made of laser-cut wood, but the best part is the art on the cards. They are simple scenes/backgrounds, but they are beautiful and inspired by Norse mythology. This is a worthy title to add to your two-player game collection.

This game was provided to me for free by Osprey Publishing in exchange for an honest review.