Menu

A mystery box filled with miniatures to enhance your RPG campaigns. All official miniatures and for a bargain price!

Buy Miniatures Box »

Not sure what game to buy next? Buy a premium mystery box for two to four great games to add to your collection!

Buy Premium Box »
Subscribe Now »

If you’re only interested in receiving the newest games this is the box for you; guaranteeing only the latest games!

Buy New Releases Box »
Subscribe Now »

Looking for the best bang for your buck? Purchase a mega box to receive at least 4 great games. You won’t find value like this anywhere else!

Buy Mega Box »
Subscribe Now »

Buy 3, get 3% off - use code ZATU3·Buy 5, get 5% off - use code ZATU5

Odin Review

ODIN

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love a tiny box game! Recently I seem to be making it my mission to acquire as many of the Helvetiq titles as I can. Firstly they’ve got some cracking games in their arsenal, like Kariba, Bandido and Kinoko to name but a few. But there also super compact, taking up very little room in your collection… and yes ok I’ll admit it, I was always one of those people who collected things as a kid - rubbers, trolls, badges… So obviously Helvetiq games fit right into that collector’s niche for me. Odin being my latest requisition.

Now I don’t know about your extent of knowledge about the Vikings and Norse mythology but mines sketchy at best. It consists of hazy memories of a school trip, thirty plus years ago to the Viking place in York and whatever I absorbed while the kids were watching horrible histories - to be fair that show taught me more about history than I ever learnt at school anyway. Well fear not, your lack of Nordic knowledge won’t stop your enjoyment of this game!

Norse Code

Odin consists of 54 cards split equally over 6 different colours. Each colour has the numbers 1 to 9 featuring various Norse characters. From the healer at number 1 to the jarl at number 9 and the seidmadr (that’s a wise man to me and you) somewhere in between. The familiar oblong cards as ever don’t disappoint in quality.

This is a game about card shedding, played over several hands and within those hands will be one or more likely more, rounds. At the end of each hand points will be awarded for how many cards are left in a player’s hand, but in this game points don’t mean prizes. Once a player has scored a certain amount of points (this is suggested as 15 in the rules but up to you) the game end triggers and the player with the lowest score wins.

Don’t rune the day

So how do you get rid of all those pesky Vikings? Each player starts with nine cards and every round of Odin starts with one card being played. The following player must play a larger number than that displayed in the centre, but only by using the same number of cards as just played or one more card than just played. Also the cards played must be either all the same colour OR all the same number as each other. Once that player has placed their cards they must also pick up one of the cards previously placed in the centre of the table and take into their hand. If one card was placed before, that’s now yours, if two or more were placed you can take your pick which you want and the others are discarded.

If you cannot play you pass, but you can also pass tactically and play next time the turn comes around to you – sneaky! Once all players bar one have passed, that round is over, and the cards in the centre of the table are discarded. Everyone keeps playing with the remaining cards they have, starting with the player whose cards caused everyone else to pass. Again this player starts this round of Odin with one card, unless all the cards they now hold happen to be the same colour or number, then they can play them all at once.

As soon as one player has got rid of their last card that triggers the end of the hand, make a note of scores and re deal nine cards to everyone to begin a new hand. You keep playing hands of Odin until one player scores the required amount of points to bring the game to an end. In the case of a tie for the lowest score, the victory is shared… which seems quite un-vikinglike.

Can you afjord to miss out?

I really really like Odin, I think it’s probably my favourite Helvetiq game I've played so far. It’s such a simple idea but extremely thinky at the same time. Not only are you constantly having to re jig whatever plans for plays you had in your hand when your forced to pick up a card you might not have ideally wanted, your also questioning why other players picked up the cards they did and should that affect how you play yours. You’ll be second guessing yourself for some time.

Odin plays as well at 2 people as it does at higher numbers and I think it age range of 6 plus is fair. The time it takes to play can vary and be almost double the 15 mins stated on the box, but I think that was mostly because some of our players were taking their sweet time to decide their next move.

I think my one and only criticism is the numbers on the cards are only at the top and we wished they were also at the bottom, like in a pack of playing cards. Or alternatively more definition on the back of the cards so we be certain they were all being shuffled the same way and not getting boxed. But when all said and done it’s just a minor inconvenience to turn a handful of cards the right way around in your hand.

We did like the like the addition of the different tiny rune symbols for each colour, helpful for anyone like my other half whose colour blind and sometimes struggles to distinguish colours. In short Odin is a really great easy to learn game but still with lots of tactical potential.