Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Shadi Torbey


No. of Players:
1 (2)

G@mebox Star



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

When all my gaming groups were suddenly unable to meet up during the shutdown covid years, I started playing more and more games in solo mode. What else could you do? The only alternative was to switch to online platforms (which worked suboptimally, at least in the beginning) or to take on my own family (which I did, but I didn’t succeed to play the more complex games). Compared to the online versions, the solo modes at least had the advantage that you could still use all the great material from the board games, so it still felt like a real board game.

The disadvantage of most boardgames, however, was that you more or less had to master a simulated two-player game on your own; the automated player's turn was often just as time-consuming as my own and I often forgot my actual plan for the round. Only gradually did the solo variants become more sophisticated, but many games remained multi-player games that were not optimised for the solo mode (as always, exceptions prove the rule).

Shadi Torbey and his small publishing house inPatience have taken a completely different approach right from the start. All of his games are designed excaclty for the solo player with the optional two-person mode more to be of an encore. Unfortunately, I didn't know the Belgian publisher at the time of the shutdown, otherwise it would probably have been my most favourite one.


With Cyberion, Shadi now presents the seventh title in his self-titled The Oniverse universe. The game comes in a compact, edge-filled square box and includes five expansions in addition to the base game. The rich presentation of the game immediately catches the eye, it's simply fantastic how everything has been conceived and realised to such a high standard.

But what is the game actually about? A devious cog has invaded our factory in The Oniverse and sabotaged all the machines there. And these machines are now threatening to blow up right in our faces. So I am running into the factory quickly and try to put things right with the help of our repair robots. However, there's a catch: only the robots that match the machine are able to repair it and I first have to find them in my large robot arsenal.

There are plenty of cards for this purpose. Firstly, we have 25 machine cards representing the broken machines. Five of these cards are revealed each round and show us which type of robot we need to repair (two to three robots in the basic game are normally needed). The robots also come in the form of cards, 50 in total, five of which are revealed each round in the so-called platform row. If we find the card to repair a machine in this row during our turn, we can discard them and we also remove the machine card from the row of broken machines. And that is our goal, namely at least one repaired machine per round, otherwise we have to hand in a failsafe token and we only have one of these tokens after set-up.


At the end of the round, both the machine row and the robot row are refilled and the next round begins. Of course, that's not all, otherwise the game would be a bit monotonous. However, we can unlock new skills with the help of the repaired machines. There are five categories for this, each with four development levels.

This gives you some interesting options for improving your repair abilities. For example, there are abilities to establish another row for the robots above or below the platform row. After discarding a robot card that matches the ability, further robots from the deck (top row) or from the robots already on display (bottom row) are placed in this row. This allows you to choose (at least temporarily) from a larger pool of robots, which is essential for the more complex machines. Other abilities also allow you to reduce the requirements for repairing a machine or to bring robot cards from the discard pile back into play.

Speaking of the discard pile: this is shuffled once during the game and brought back into play as a new robot deck. But, you only can win the game if you manage to repair all the machines with the remaining robots and only if you have not already failed (because you can no longer can discard a failsafe token after being unable to repair a machine in a round).


So winning is not as easy as you might think at the beginning. You must develop your skills cleverly and take advantage of them to stand a chance against the game.

In any case, the whole thing is a great fun. If you don't want a lengthy, complex solo game, Cyberion is an incredibly interesting game that should be on every solo gamer's shelf. I always played three or four games in a row, often adding one of the challenging variants. These variants can be integrated perfectly into the game, increasing the level of difficulty and complexity somewhat, but in no way making the game too fiddly. That would be a shame, because it is the straightforwardness in particular that I liked so much about the game. An all-round successful solo game (with an optional two-player rule) that deserves our Gambox Star!

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Copyright © 2023 Ralf Togler & Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany