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Castellion, My Entry into the Oniverse

The Oniverse is a fascinating series of games by Shadi Torbey. The games are all meant to be played either solo, or 2 player co-operatively, and to me they are the perfect simulation of casual app game...but in a board game.

When I'm bored, I'll often pull out my phone, download some new game, and play it for 10-15 minutes. It's a habit I'm trying to break but one I still engage in for now. The Oniverse series of games (at least the 3 I've played so far), all feel like I'm playing an app...but in a much better and more tactile way. Take Castellion, pictured above. The game is essentially a puzzle, there are a series of goals that need to be accomplished in sequence, and the rest of the game involves grabbing a tile and placing it based on a series of restrictions, abilities and the goals you need to meet. I can play a game in 5-15 minutes with setup and putaway. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose, but I'll either reset and try again, or put away until the next time.

I'm not demeaning the series by the comparison to an app, just the opposite...I find they have a unique place in my collection specifically because of the different feeling they provide. There are few other games that I've played that share this feeling, the only one I can think off offhand would be Palm Island which I can't say I enjoy anywhere near as much (although it does get points for being able to play the whole game in your hand). There's something nice about knowing I can play a game in such a short time by myself....the lack of commitment in both time and people makes it easy to get to the table and just play. 

So far in the series I've played Onirim, Castellion and Sylvion. I'm waiting on a reprint for Urbion before I get it, and have yet to try Aerion or Nautilion although both are in my collection. The Oniverse is fascinating, both in the artwork which is beautiful in a very different way, as well as in how they all mange to feel like part of the same universe...while also being totally different games. I look forward to the continuation of the series.

If you're into solo gaming, I highly recommend giving any of them a try. My personal favorite so far is Castellion as I like the tiles, but they're all worth a shot.


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