Having very much enjoyed Onirim (second edition) and Sylvion previously I was pleased to try out Urbion the other evening. Unfortunately this trip into the dream world wasn’t as rewarding as my others….
In Urbion you are trying to achieve balance in each of the cities. These four (of twelve total) cards in the middle must have equilibrium (the sum of the cards on either side of it must combine to make zero) in order for it to be claimed and scored. There may not be more than 3 cards on either side of a city. You must score all twelve to win, if you exhaust the deck then it’s a defeat.
Half of the cards are dark and have negative values (-1 to -3) and half are light with positive values (+1 to +4). Like the other Oniverse games there are also a number of “oh shit” cards which are +/-5 and when drawn must be placed onto the side of a city that has the biggest imbalance. You could also not play these cards but you will have to either lose all cards of a currently balanced city or the top 4 cards of the deck, and if you draw anymore nightmare cards you will still have to resolve them the same! All cards also have icons on that must be matched to the relevant city card be placed.
The gameplay is probably the least fiddly of the 3 that was played so far, there wasn’t a need to keep referring to the rules for what certain cards did, or what the options were for nightmare cards. You simply draw a card and then place a card, or discard one to claim balanced cities (may also shed some cards on cities that sum to zero, a fresh city card is then placed out), or discard one to swap any two cards on the light or dark sides.
Even with it being straightforward I didn’t get on with it at all. The icons seemed to get lost in the artwork, which I found to be much less appealing than the bright colours of Sylvion and the simple and clear style of Onirim.
The game works well and is challenging (I lost 3 straight times) but it just wasn’t really as much fun for me as Onirim (which is a fantastic 10-15 minute solo game) or as intersting as Sylvion (an intruiging tower defence solo game with clever gameplay options).
Overall it strikes me as a game that could really do with a Second Edition, a few more cards to make some variation to the standard gameplay (there is a mini expansion included, which I didn’t play) and the artwork, whilst not needing changing wholesale, could do with being made brighter (I have used a filter on the photo to enhance the colours) and the icons more distinct so that it “pops”