Review: OddVille – city filled with strange people
Most of villages and towns are weird in a manner. Remainders of streets and alleys bound them with specific and often unexpected style, lacing their heart with such ease, like a pin digs into the tip of your finger. Each city is in its heart a little OddVille.
Maybe even yours. So, why not build one such village yourself? It will happen in this OddVille game from What’s Your Game? company. Idea came from head of Carl Lavezzi, for illustrations are responsible Markus Günther and Mariano Iannelli. Just because of the latter one, you recognize at first sight, that this is a game from same company, that brought us Asgard (review).
Its dimensions, however, are far from the game about Norse mythology. OddVille is in its heart small and simple game, which we can not say about the adventures around Odin. Furthermore, despite the same graphic style, this is completely different topic. This time, you will be working together on an empty plain to build a city, but only the strongest and most successful builders guild gets paid!
OddVille is a small box format game, for example like Rivals of Catan. Roughly 15 x 15 centimeters, if you want some numbers. On the cover, you will find a vision of beautiful city and around it people, who ordered its construction. Wealthy merchants and other professions, who want to have a place to revel in their means.
So now we know where, but we still have only a remote idea of what. You’ll find a small square board for resources inside. This, together with the rules, is covering everything else. That board is divided into four squares, each corresponding to one of raw materials needed for construction – wood, clay, stone and crystals.
Rest of the game components are down below. Main pile has 65 cards of buildings, that may be raised in a square. What could attract you is fact, that there is not just an image on back of the cards, but a symbol of a gold coin. You’ll surely need one.. Buildings are connected with streets and they are very important in this game.
Second deck contains a dozen characters. Each of them belongs to one of four guilds, that ordered this city and are financing it. There are wearing symbols, for example lily flower and trio of bells.
And now we come to category of components for each player. There are four worker cards, one for each of your opponents and for you too. In the same colors (red, blue, yellow and purple) are made 36 workers (nine for each contestant). These figures we know already from last reviewed Asgard.
You need nothing more to play. Central square card is placed in the center of the table. Board for tracking resources must be put aside, somewhere in reach of all players. Everybody chooses a color and takes cards and pawns from it. Characters must be separated into four piles according to faction (in a smaller number of opponents, you will be discarding some of the cards from the game) and near it, you place also shuffled deck with buildings, coin picture side up. Top six cards are shown and creates starting offer.
As a first stage, players must use starting material. Before it must alread be clear, which of opponents will be the starting player. As part of his compensation, first chance to choose raw material is given to player, who will be last in first round and is therefore most away from the starting player. Everyone then counterclockwise selects one source of four available boxes, and puts one of his worker on it. But each location can hold only one character during setup.
And now we can finally play. Each turn, players have a choice only from two actions that can be done. Their choice lies primarily in cards in their hand and of course also in the selection of what is available for purchase. But they can choose only one of them each round.
First, we will deal with a played worker card. His skills are split into groups – gaining money, building or gathering materials. After playing a card, however, player must put it in front of him on the table. He is not allowed to take it back. Workers return only at the moment, when he has no cards in hand. Or it could done sooner, but he must pay one coin for each card, which remained in his hand.
All three options for actions are clearly shown on the card and you always know exactly, what you get for playing it that particular way. At the top, there is a few coins, raw materials are in the center and you can choose only one of available icons. Position for workers on resources board is marked and sending them costs money. Bottom cheaper part of board is limited only to few workes, while upper part can hold any number of people, but is more expensive to occupy.
But we missed the third, lower part of the card, which indicates building among line of those six revealed as offer. Player can choose among them freely only in group, which is highlighted by green color. This is typically number of cards from left. Other red ones can also be bought, but you have to pay for them with as many coins, as there are golden coins written on your action card. You can put this building in front of yourself. But you can never own more than two houses currently under construction.
As a second action for selecting during his turn, player can build a new part of the OddVille city. This means simply attaching one of your buildings to already built town. It will cost you as many raw materials, as is shown at the bottom of the card. After that, you must send there one of your workers, who will guard your district.
When you are playing cards, you must watch carefully, that city is connected through streets and your new card is connected correctly to all its neighbours – road to road, house to house. But sometimes, its not clearly visible on first sight. Playing them can be considered logical, and similar to Carcassonne. You cannot rotate cards and always need to play them only in fixed direction.
You get reward immediately after playing building – raw materials or character from appropriate house decks (according to whose building have you just built). But this also gets you bonus rewards for all the cards, with are adjacent to this building horizontally or vertically and connected through streets. This may greatly increase your profit.
Character card taken from some faction is obtained and put in front of you, and it will provide you with some advantages for rest of the game. In addition, you get a little bundle of victory points for it, in the end.
Game ends, when any of players puts his sixth worker in the city. At that moment, all add up victory points accumulated not only for characters, but also for the buildings and workers, who are actually collecting materials and are therefore located on resource board. Buildings have a different point gains, which differ mainly on how smart have you placed them.
OddVille offers players full control over play. The game surprisingly contains not a slightest dose of luck, because cards of buildings are always visible in the menu. You know them in advance and pay for that one, you really want. Characters are turned face up, and they are fresh surprise, but not as important to change your otherwise perfectly planned goal.
But you rivals do not want to leave you such easy path towards victory and they are concerned about the same buildings as well. Whole match is a battle for advantageous position and this is were all fun of the game comes from. You must plan very well in advance, what do you want to do with your cards, to put them to the best use.
It is essential to effectively use skills of your worker cards. You can not rotate continuously only one, but you must always use almost all of them. It is good to try to always play the one, which is best for the particular moment. And it is not easy to decide, which one it is, because the supply of buildings and their positions is constantly changing.
It is not easy to obtain materials as well, because you have to pay for them. You must spare every coin. Here comes nice and handy bilateral use of building cards. Thanks to this, you can be sure, that not even nearly all buildings appear in one game. That is, what makes it pretty variable.
With fewer players, there are also fewer characters available, which affects course of the game, but match also ends earlier. But even in more opponents, you do not feel of having no control over the outcome. Usually you know about what your opponents are gonna do and you do adapt to their behavior. Game time in all possible numbers moving around one hour, which is matching value for such simple card game.
OddVille is nice strategic card game. It contains an interesting (though not new or original) mechanisms, through which you are trying to correctly place cards in growing pattern. All this to get the most points. The graphics are nice, possibilities are many and various parts are distinctly different. When we ascribe absence of any chance, we got game, which will every thoughful and less demanding player be happy to own.
Review: OddVille – city filled with strange people
OddVille is a strategic card game, where you build city by putting cards together on the table. Each district (= one card) belongs to one of the houses and you get a representative of this kind. To carry out tasks, you use cards of your family. And they differ a lot with one another, but you always have to use all of them, before you can use actions again. Cards can be bought from common offer and once you place them into city, you place your figure on it. Game offers nice thoughtful options, yet matches remain easy, quick and variable. You keep track about resources on common board, where you have to send one of your pawns, instead of going with them into city. And you get rewarded also for neighbouring cards, when you score them. OddVille is simply a nice game, which will engage you..
Reader Rating0 Votes
action cards give you many tactical options
more actions to choose from each round
buildings with coins on their back
cards in menu have different price
building a city out of cards
interesting mechanic of gaining a keeping track of resources