Odin’s Ravens is a two player hand managment game designed by Thorsten Gimmler. Players will take control of one of two Ravens, Huginn and Muninn. They will race across the mythical landscapes of Asgard, and home to their master, Odin. Odin’s Ravens is not only easy to play and teach, but also plays in under thirty minutes and requires minimal set- up. For this review, we’ll only be focusing on the revised 2016 edition of the game.
Odin’s Ravens features three different types of cards. First are the landscape cards. These cards will be used to make up the Ravens’ flight path. Players will lay sixteen land cards from a deck of forty. Each card features two different landscapes. After the cards are layed out, each player will place their Raven on either the top or bottom landscape of the first card on the route. This represents the start position for each Raven. So even though both players will race the same route, they will be racing in opposing directions.
The players each recieve two different decks of cards. One deck comprises of flight cards. These cards feature matching landscapes to those on the flight path. Players will use these to move across the landscapes. The other deck is known as the loki deck. These cards will grant the players special abilities. They can either be used to disrupt your opponent, or instead, used to gain an advantage for yourself. The loki cards inject some great flavour and strategy into the game. Players can use them to rotate land cards, or even remove them all together. You can also use them to add additional landscape cards to the flight path, making your opponents journey more difficult! Players start with a hand of five cards, drawn, in any combination, from their two decks. On each players turn they will play as many cards as they wish, or are able, before drawing three cards at the end of their turn. For a better look at how the game plays, check out my time lapse video below.
Odin’s Ravens features some simple, but elegant gameplay. Everything moves along at a nice pace as you fly across the landscapes, trying to keep ahead of your opponent. The loki cards add some much needed trickery to the game. Their dual useage offers some great fun but also provides players with plenty of opportunities for strategic decision making. Players will constantly be drawing cards from one of their two available decks, enabling them to efficiently balance their hand. Smart hand managment will lead to greater success, in this deceptively simple game.
The component quality and overall presentation of the game is just about as perfect as you could ask for. The box is compact and stylish, the cards are of a high quality and their unique shape just adds to the flavour and style of the game. Johan Egerkrans has done a wonderful job with the art work. The colour tones and overall style of the game feels very natural and clean. Everything feels like it’s been created with a loving touch.
Odin’s Ravens is an impressive game and well worth its modest price tag. The quick playtime will often have you setting back up for a second race, right away. It’s a great game to play with none gamers, as the gameplay is simple and intuative. Seasoned gamers will also find it makes for a nice filler to pull out during longer sessions. And if that isn’t reason enough to grab yourself a copy, it’s also one of the few games I don’t have to twist my fiances arm to play, and that is high praise, indeed! So check it out if you get chance… you won’t be disappointed!