ODIN'S RAVENS Osprey Games

Odin’s Ravens: The Review

Each morning at dawn, two ravens take flight from atop Odin’s shoulders.  Their names are Huginn and Muninn.  Before the day is through, Huginn and Muninn will have flown all around the world, returning to Odin’s shoulders just as evening’s shadows begin to fall, and informing the All-Father of news that they’ve accumulated during their journeys.

Welcome to a card game in which the tales of these traveling ravens unfold.

Intended for two players, this winner of the 2016 UK Games Expo award for Best Strategic Card Game is plenty of fun for onlookers too (who can marvel at the hypnotic art and/or wait their turn to try their luck against the winner.)  This game’s strengths include fast gameplay (usually between 20 and 30 minutes for new players, or between 15 and 20 minutes for experienced players,) unique elongated card shapes (of superior quality,) easy-to-learn rules (with no crunch to speak of,) no more cards to buy (as opposed to the CCG situation,) game balance (some chance is involved, but the game will favor those who play strategically,) sleek packaging (with easy-on-the-eyes minimalist aesthetics,) only just two wooden playing pieces (one to represent each raven,) easy set-up and easy clean-up.

 

Gameplay begins with sixteen cards laid face up on the table, as a dividing line between the game’s two players.  These are the land cards, and they’ll be the track along which each raven must race…until Loki (the wily trickster god) meddles in the affairs of Huginn and Muninn for reasons known only to him.

Using cards from an inexhaustible Flight deck (and a finite Loki deck) each player will propel Huginn or Muninn forward or backwards through the lands, whilst adding, altering, or subtracting land cards along the way (decreasing or increasing each player’s chances for success accordingly.) Have a care to conserve the aforementioned (finite, mind you) Loki cards. Each player is only allowed eight of those, and you’ll want to use them sparingly. Remember to save at least three Loki cards for the back-end home stretch of the race.

Finish the race first and win. That seems straightforward enough, yes? Therein lies the game’s master stroke. If it was your turn to go first (and if you arrive at the finish line first,) your opponent gets one last turn; one final chance to catch you. If the race ends in a tie as a result of this occurrence, the number of cards remaining in each player’s hand breaks the tie.

Odin’s Ravens is manufactured by Osprey Games.

Highly recommended for 2 players aged 8 and up.

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