Ominoes

Ominoes is an abstract game that has a lot of people raving about it. I don’t own any abstract games and this is what enticed me to play Ominoes.

Created by Andrew Harman and published by YAY Games, Ominoes is a game for 2-4 players that plays in around 15/20 minutes.

It's a dice rolling/placement game where you win by placing dice with matching faces next to each other to collect points. Ominoes became the winner of the Best Abstract Game 2017 at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham earlier this year.

Ominoes - The Game

The description given to Ominoes by the publishers is as follows:

"1864, Ominus Valley, Egypt — a hoard of 6,000-year-old game cubes is found. No one knows how to play this mysterious game — until now when this ancient game is reborn as Ominoes."

Ominoes is a game where less is more. A simple board, rule sheet, counters and dice are all that makes up the contents of the box. What content there is, is of very good quality. The main board is double sided a side for two players and one for three or four players.

The dice are wooden and have different symbols that represent gods, which are colour coded to match the player's score token.

How to play

Ominoes is a simple game to learn and play. On your turn, you take three actions, which are:

  1. Roll a Dice - Take a dice not in play and roll it.
  2. Move a dice - If the dice rolled matches a dice that is already placed move a dice of that colour three spaces. There are two other symbols that allow you to re-roll any dice or move any dice if rolled too.
  3. Add a dice - Place the newly rolled dice on the board in any empty space.

Play then moves on to the next player and you continue to do this until someone reaches the score needed depending on player count - 21 points in a two-player game and 13 points in a three/four player game.

How to play

Ominoes is a simple game to learn and play. On your turn, you take three actions, which are:

  1. Roll a Dice - Take a dice not in play and roll it.
  2. Move a dice - If the dice rolled matches a dice that is already placed move a dice of that colour three spaces. There are two other symbols that allow you to re-roll any dice or move any dice if rolled too.
  3. Add a dice - Place the newly rolled dice on the board in any empty space.

Play then moves on to the next player and you continue to do this until someone reaches the score needed depending on player count - 21 points in a two-player game and 13 points in a three/four player game.

Final Thoughts

Despite the game being abstract it doesn’t have a huge amount of ‘bling’ to it and to be honest the game is better for it. The idea is that Ominoes is a take on an Ancient Egyptian game and I do get that feeling when playing.

The rules are so easy to learn and teach, play time is spot on (around 15 minutes) and the player interaction is great. When you get to re-roll the dice or even move one it can really help you and hinder your opponents. Keeping track of where it is easier to score is necessary and stopping an opponent scoring is sometimes the only valid option which makes it a tactical affair.

When I play this game, it reminds me of a simpler version of Chess - a game I cannot understand and don’t enjoy. I do however really like Ominoes, it's simple rules were understood by my daughter (10-years-old) and she even managed to beat me.

Ominoes is a family friendly game with some hidden depth and I would recommend it to every family or gaming group.

The Good

  • Easy to learn.
  • Easy to Teach.
  • It's fun.
  • Great components.

The Bad

  • Being dice driven the tactics are limited.
  • Being abstract it won’t suit everyone’s taste.

The Good
Easy to learn.
Easy to Teach.
It's fun.
Great components.

The Bad
Being dice driven the tactics are limited.
Being abstract it won’t suit everyone’s taste.

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