Our preview post below was published on July 16.
Oros is a 1-4 player worker placement game in which you play as a Demigod, creating mountains out of the sea to build sacred sites in which your followers will be able to gain knowledge. It will launch on Kickstarter on July 20.
In the solo mode, you play against two card-driven automata. You alternate turns with the automata until one player ascends to the top of the “Ziggurat”, which plays a role akin to a scoring track. Then, all Knowledge Points (KP) are immediately tallied up and the player with the most points wins, ties being decided in favor of the player highest on the Ziggurat track.
The game is played on a central board featuring a grid in which land tiles (numbered 1-4), mountains, volcanoes, and buildings are placed and moved. Each player also has a character board on which they will perform actions by allocating workers (named “followers”). All actions are associated with a specific column that is a “wisdom track”. Your current position on each of these columns is marked by a wisdom cap. When you take the action, you can benefit from all unlocked features below the wisdom cap. To move up the wisdom cap and make your actions more powerful, you must spend wisdom points that you will earn in various ways during the game. You also start with one follower pawn on the main board.
On your turn, you can take up to three actions, by allocating followers to their corresponding slots on your board. You can first shift an entire row of tiles, knowing that the board “circles onto itself”, that is, a tile being shifted out of the right border will emerge in the same row at the left border. By upgrading this action, you can shift the row by a greater number of spaces, shift rows with mountains, or secure endgame bonus points. Second, you can move land tiles. When two land tiles collide, their numbers add up to form a new land tile. If two 4-land tiles collide with each other, however, a mountain is formed on the map. Mountains are critical, as they allow you to build sacred sites. As a third action, you can either place volcanoes or make them erupt. When you erupt a volcano, lava flows and fills the board with land, according to the volcano level. Lava first flows on the tile on which the volcano sits, and then flows as you wish on adjacent tiles. So, if you erupt a level 3 volcano on a level 2 land tile, the land tile first becomes a 4, and you can upgrade one adjacent land tile or add a level 1 land tile on an adjacent sea space.
The next two actions relate to your followers. With the study action, you can send one follower to a study spot, either on your personal board or on a sacred site of the main board (which is also the way to send new followers on the main board). With a future use of the study action, you may also call back studying followers to earn as many wisdom points and upgrade your actions. With the journey action, you can move your followers over adjacent land tiles in order to climb up the mountains. Indeed, if you have a follower on a mountain, you can then perform the last action, building, to put a sacred site into play on the mountain. Building sacred sites gives you KP in the endgame, new places for your followers to study, and allows you to ascend the Ziggurat track.
Once you have taken your turn, the AI players take theirs. They simply draw a card from the AI deck and execute the actions written on it, in the specified locations. If they ever earn wisdom points, you must flip the card and upgrade the actions corresponding to the symbols shown.
When the game ends, you will score points from the unlocked “scoring space” in the action upgrading tracks, from your position on the Ziggurat track, and from your sacred sites. If you have upgraded all of the first five actions up to a point, you also earn bonus points.