4.938 backers contributed a total of $2021 in August 293.542 to enable production of strategy board game Oros by indie publisher Aesc Games. Almost a year and a half later, Oros is slowly arriving at his supporters. In Germany, the retail version of the game is published by Board Game Circus. In this review, you can find out how good the strategic tile placement game with the vibe of a "crazy labyrinth" actually is.
In Oros, 1-4 players take on powerful demigods who are human counterparts of the four elements of water, earth, light and fire. The job of these demigods is to share their experience and knowledge with those who follow them. To do this, they must give their followers tasks. They are to shape the land, create mountains, cause volcanoes to erupt to open up new lands and erect temples so that they can study there and receive the enlightenment of the great sages.
We change the world
Oros is a strategic tile placement game with a spatial puzzle element, because the game board represents the whole earth. This is known to be a sphere, which is why the edges of the game board are all connected. Means the borders connect opposite sides of the game board. For example, if a land tile is moved so that it leaves the playing area, it is pushed back in on the opposite side. The corners of the game board are also connected. The path of the land tiles is represented here by connecting arrows.
Land tiles have a value of 1 - 4 depending on the number of land edges they have. An exception are the islands, which have a value of 1 even though they have no land edges. Another special form of land tiles are mountains, as they have no value. All land tiles, with the exception of mountains, can be shifted in the row, moved in groups, and created by volcanic eruptions.
The mountain calls
If two land tiles meet through the move action, the value of both tiles is added and a new tile is created on the spot where both land tiles met. If, for example, land tiles with a value of 1 and 3 collide, a 4-level land tile is created. If tiles with a value higher than 4 collide, a 4 tile with a volcano is created.
Mountains are created when two 4-land tiles meet. These are the main goals of shifting, moving and erupting volcanoes in Oros, since only here temples can be built, which bring us valuable experience points, as well as victory points on the pyramid, on which our demigods move up. Temples are divided into three tiers. Depending on whether you are the first, second or third to build a temple on the same mountain tile, you receive more experience points.
Study in the temple
Experience points are important to improve our actions. Besides building temples, we get them by sending our followers to study in the temples. If we get them back with another study action, they generate more experience points for us.
For example, while in the beginning we can only move a group of three adjacent landscape tiles horizontally or vertically, after a few improvements to our movement action we can move a single landscape tile in all directions on the game board. This gives us more opportunities to create new mountains on the map. Once we have unlocked all the improvements for an action, additional victory points are waiting for us, which are counted once at the end of the game. In addition, we receive victory points for climbing the pyramid whenever we perform this action.
In addition, by studying, we can also improve the number of victory points per temple built. While these do not bring in any points at the beginning, they already bring in 2 victory points per temple of the respective level from the first improvement.
the end of the game
The game ends when the first demigod reaches the top step of the pyramid. All gods receive the number of points they have reached on the pyramid and any points from the upgrades on their player mats. The person who was able to gain the most victory points wins the game and has thus shared the most knowledge with his followers.
The duration of a game can be lengthened at will as the pyramid has two sides. One side allows for short games of around 45-60 minutes, while the other allows for slightly longer games of around 60-90 minutes. The length of a game also depends on whether you use the small or the large side of the game board. Personally, we preferred the small side of the board because exciting changes happened faster here.
A great automaton
Solo games must be played with at least two automata or games with two players with at least one automata. This sounds quite negative at first, especially since many games simply do not offer optimal solutions for games in which automata are absolutely necessary for smaller numbers of players. In Oros, however, the automatas create excellent variety. They add a lot of momentum to the games, as they change the game board more or less step by step, so that you are always faced with new challenges. Empty tiles that would have enabled the path to a mountain sometimes disappear, or the automata builds a temple before we can build a temple.
In contrast to a standard game with three or four players, the automatas bring so much more variety into the game that we actually don't want to be without them anymore. Therefore we see the optimal number of players for Oros with 2 or 3 game ends. The missing people for a game of four are then replaced by the automatas.
Oros always looks and feels great on the table. All figures are made of wood or cardboard and are beautifully illustrated. There is little to complain about here. Only the player panels could be a little higher quality, since they are quite thin.
What can be a bit annoying is moving or shifting landscape tiles. Especially if they are equipped with temples and followers. As the game progresses, this becomes more and more cumbersome, as more and more tiles are well equipped. However, this did not affect our gaming fun.
Info about Oros
|Number of players: 1 to 4
Age: from 12 years
Playing time: 30 – 120 minutes / 30 minutes per person
Long-term motivation: medium
Classification: KennerspielAuthor: Brandt Brinkerhoff
Illustrations: Brandt Brinkerhoff
Publisher: Board Game Circus, Aesc Games
Official Website: Link
Year of publication: 2022
Cost: 59 Euro
Oros is a fast-paced, tactical tile-laying game that, despite all its actions and upgrades, is easy to explain and can be played within an hour. The nice thing is that there are no luck components in the game and therefore everything is in the hands of the players. However, Oros can seem a bit uneventful over time, as not much happens in non-automata games.
With the automatas there is a small element of luck that makes the game much more eventful. Your own moves remain tactical and invite you to do a puzzle. In addition, the automata increase the replay value enormously, since they can be used in any combination. The advanced variants, which offer different starting conditions, also give the game additional replay value. In general it can be said that Oros unfolds its full potential with the Automatas and becomes a really fun game.
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Last updated on 7.03.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API