The majority of my playing time is spent playing games with my wife so I am always looking for some good two player games.  I also don’t mind some good co-ops.  I get tired of us always fighting it out with normal board games.  The first time I heard about The Ravens of Thri Sahashri was on The Dice Tower Podcast.  I was interested!  Two player…check!  Co-op….check!  Let’s see how it rated….

Overview

Publisher: Osprey Games

Designer:  Kumo

Players:  2

Time: 45 min.

The Ravens of Thri Sahashri is a co-operative game for only 2 players.  One player plays as a young girl, Ren, who has been in a coma but still dreams while being controlled by Ravens.  The other player plays as a psychic friend, Feth, trying to wake her from her coma by helping her remember her dreams and release her from the memory eating Ravens.  Each player has a specific role to play to break free from the Ravens.

Game Play

Each round will follow a specific phase for each player.  Each round Feth starts.  He draws as many Dream cards as he wants, no limit.  The dream cards are the timer for the game though, so drawing too many would not be wise.  There are also Ravens that will show up in the dream deck that will steal dreams through out the game.  After he draws his dream cards he then puts as many as he wants Ren to remember into the Atman.

The Atman is the area of the board that dreams are available to Ren, or the dreams Feth wants to be available to Ren.  Ren needs to complete a poem to be able to release the Ravens from her memories.  There are four lines to the poem and it needs to follow the pattern of 7,7,7,5.  Ren starts with four dream cards, the first for each row of the poem.  Ren then starts taking dream cards from the Atman to complete her poem.  She needs to complete the first line before the second and so on.  Feth does not know the number or color for each card in Ren’s poem to start the game, they are face down.  So, he needs to determine what cards he should add to the Atman and which to not add.

When Ren adds a card to her poem that matches the first card on that line, she can now flip that card over to let Feth know what to play.  This is important because when Ren finally completes her poem by having values of 7,7,7,5 her poem is complete and the cards that are left in the Atman need to have the same color as the color cards in her first position of each line on her poem.

When the poem is complete and the cards in the first position of each line in her poem match the color of the cards in the Atman, you win the round.  You collect all the cards and start a new round.  Complete the poem 3 times in a row and you win.

Once you win, you get to open an envelope and read a card that is inside.  This card adds more to the story and will tighten the game up to increase the difficulty.

My Ratings

Components: 5/5

I love the components in this game.  The box is great quality.  The art is fantastic!  The cards are a bit bigger than normal cards.  Just a well produced game!

Mechanisms: 4/5

There are a couple of interesting things to note here.  The first being the two sided play.  Each side plays differently and makes it a unique experience.  Each side makes you think differently.  I really like that concept.  The dream cards are really awesome.  They have a huge picture on them and it is divided into four quadrents.  Some are clear and some are faded.  When adding cards to the Atman you can overlap clear sections and faded sections.  You alwasy have to connect a faded section.  They also have special abilities to each card that can be triggered when the hidden card of the poem is revealed.  I really like the puzzle element in the dream cards.

Strategy: 3/5

The strategy is decent.  It seems like a no brainer that you don’t want to take very many cards from the Dream deck if you are Feth.  The strategy really comes into play because you are not aloud to talk at all during the game.  So, you really have to pay attention to what cards are being played and what cards are being taken.  Knowing what actions are availabe and when to use them is also something to keep in mind.

Replayability: 2/5

I am not suer how often this will get played.  Seems like the first time you play, it is a neat experience but then the next time how will it be different?  The obvious replayability is to play the different characters.  The other one would be to play with new players.  Not sure if playing with the same person each time has a lot of longevity to it.

Final Thoughts: 14/20

I am happy I had the chance to play The Ravens of Thri Sahashri.  I am skeptical of two player only games and the fact that this was a co-op made it even more obscure…..but I liked it.  It is a game that I have never played before and a one of a kind.  I just don’t know if I will be playing it a lot.  There is just something missing that keeps me from wanting to play it again and again. Maybe it is playing the same game three times to win.  When I play 2 separate games, I am actually playing the same game six times, unless I am really bad at the game and lose on the first round.  For now, I will keep it for a quick puzzle when the wife and I don’t have a ton of time to play a longer game.  I also think this would be a great mental excercise for children.

-Tim