Ooze is also apparently a vaping product. It advertises dual quartz technology, so I guess it's twice as timely as a watch?
This name reminds me of Patient Discharge, the most humorous hospital door.

One Deck Dungeon and the Digital Giants

I mistakenly thought I might be able to tempt my daughter into a game of One Deck Dungeon. An all-female cast in a relatively simple and quick dungeon crawl seemed like it might be the key which unlocked the gamer she could become. It didn’t happen, but I can make lemonade: I now happen to own a copy of the tabletop version of a game with a much-watched (including by us) digital kickstarter campaign. So this isn’t a review of the game as a tabletop experience, but specifically a look at its fitness for digital translation.

The obvious virtue of ODD is the physical size; Asmadi Games tipped their hand in regards to this boon via the title. It’s marvelously portable and has low table real estate requirements. Consequently, a digital version is unlikely to hide anything that matters behind tooltips or in trays, nor require arcane iconography to fit everything onto a single screen. The quality of digital versions of some complicated Stately Play favorites, like Through the Ages and Twilight Struggle, might leave one reasonably preferring a meatier game, and, of course, portability is irrelevant. But the appeal of a feast need not undermine the value of a well-timed appetizer, and some appetizers are more filling than they seem.

ODD exceeds expectations by using its sole deck in more ways than any other game that comes to mind. Each challenge you face, be it a trap or a monster, tells you what you need to do to succeed and the consequences of (various kinds of) failure. It also serves as a grain of sand in the swiftly-flowing hourglass of preparation for the boss battle. Once defeated, it’s an item you gain, a skill/potion you learn, or experience points toward your next level. While the central mechanic of combat is a simple puzzle of assigning your dice to challenges, the decisions worth sober reflection mostly involve balancing these reward options. Many of us will hear echoes of ops points vs. events, and the delectable torment of foregoing the one for the other.

It’s really pretty compact–this is about as much table space as it ever needs.

The game also has a rudimentary campaign mode which may help those who prefer a sense of progression beyond the half hour or less in which a normal game is completed, but this is one of the areas in which there’s clear opportunity for a digital upgrade. Since the game is already inexpensive, portable, and low-overhead in both rules and the faffing about of setup and shuffling, it might otherwise be difficult to see the development of a digital version as warranted. But that impression is apparently just the sour grapes of a player who prefers such games on mobile devices rather than the currently announced Steam release for Windows, Mac, and Linux; it’s progressing toward its funding goal like a swarm of goblins is on its tail.

Perhaps the most natural comparison from among the games on the digital Kallax at Stately Play Manor is Pathfinder Adventures, another card-based, stripped-down fantasy RPG experience. ODD is a big step down in complexity, narrative, and characterization from PA, with simpler art and far fewer assets. If you’re looking for something cleaner, ODD’s a solid little option, and you might well be proud to help fund its creation.

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Notable Replies

  1. rinelk says:

    Apologies to Neil Gaiman for the pun.

  2. Sorry for ruining your pun by elongating the ODD acronym.

    Didn’t realize the pun until I saw your response. I’m so ashamed.

  3. rinelk says:

    Nah, the subtlety is nice.

  4. I didn’t even see the pun, just gave you a heart for the Gaiman reference.

  5. rinelk says:

    Odd and the Frost Giants was a novella of his from a while back. Very kid-friendly, but utterly charming. Upon reflection, it might be my favorite work of his.

  6. I will have to read it, but I can’t imagine it surpassing Stardust. :slight_smile:

  7. It’s always been Neverwhere for me, even more so when I moved to the UK and experienced the Underground for the first time, particularly the mazelike stations in central London.

  8. I know it is collaborative work, but who better to team up with than Terry Pratchett - Good Omens for me.

    I hate to sound prudish, but for as much as I enjoy him, Gaiman sometimes gets a little darker than I prefer, so his more lighthearted works are my favorite.

  9. js619 says:

    American Gods is one of my favorite books in and of itself, and one of my favorites of Gaiman’s.

  10. Loved Neverwhere except for the ending. Croup and Vandemar deserved better. :slight_smile:

  11. Have you tried Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book? It’s a book for kids, but I loved it. It has dark moments, but my kids read it and loved it as well, so it wasn’t that dark. Just scary enough that they couldn’t put it down.

  12. They ended up better off than me, I’ve always wanted to go to space. ;D

  13. Not yet, though I keep meaning to. My kids are 4 and 2 and I’ve been reading through Harry Potter at bedtime. The illustrated editions that they’ve been releasing yearly are fantastic editions and the pictures keep them interested enough.

  14. This way my intro to Gaiman. Really like what I’ve read that was written by him (American Gods, Norse Mythology). Though I didn’t care for his collaboration with Terry Pratchett - Good Omens. Maybe I don’t like Terry Pratchett, I’ve not read anything by him.

    Actually, I “read” the audiobooks. It is interested that they were all read by the author. I think this is the first time I’ve seen the author read his own book.

  15. My favorite Gaiman (and I think I might be alone on this) is Stardust. It’s written as a fairy tale, but all the pieces come together so well that I can’t get enough of it.

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