BoardGameGeek Reviewer EndersGame
OMNIA OSCURA: A stunning and artistic deck of playing cards from Italy
This deck was created by Giovanni Meroni, a freelance designer in Italy, Creator of the brand "Thirdway Industries".
In 2015, Giovanni created his "Omnia: The First" series of playing cards, which had the theme of cyclicality, and featured three decks representing different dimensions of the Omnia universe. The Omnia stories are inspired by Viking and Greek mythology, and reflect a universe and narrative that is Giovanni's own creation.
In "Omnia: The First", there are three decks, each one representing a dimensional plane in the Omnia Universe:
? Omnia Oscura is the dark side
? Omnia Illumina is the bright side
? Omnia Suprema is the plane where the gods live
The main symbol in the Omnia decks is the Uroboros, the immortal god-snake who eats its own tail, represents the beginning and the end of time. Other symbols that these Omnia decks draw on include Egyptian symbols like the Ankh, Ibis, Anubis; Norse mythology such as Odin and Freya; ancient Roman gods like Janus and Fortuna; and even the Philosopher's Stone.
The court cards don't use identical artwork, but feature subtle changes in the art, to reflect the different themes of each. In Oscura their soul is more dark, malicious, angry or sad; in Illumina they are more happy, brave and generous; in Suprema they show divine power with elaborate armors, jewels and wings.
I love the style of the artwork in these decks.It stands out from the usual artwork produced by American artists, and has both a classic and Mediterranean feel, which I appreciate. The artwork feels very different from a normal deck of cards, and yet at the same time the suits are still very clear, as are the values of the suits, so the cards are very playable and usable. I also like the fact that the number cards feature a unique style. I've seen some other artistic decks where the only thing different from normal are the court cards and Ace of Spades, and I rather like a deck which applies something original across the board for all the cards.
I also love the thematic story behind the artwork. While the Omnia universe is Giovanni's own creation, and unfamiliar to me, I can still appreciate how he is drawing on different traditions and symbols, and implemented it in different ways for the three decks of the Omnia series. Probably the main reason for your choice of Oscura or Illumina will be the card backs - the Illumina backs are almost white, while the Oscura backs are more brown. Both decks look great, however.
With beautiful and unique artwork that ties in well with a rich theme, steeped in literature and art, these decks are definitely more than just a pretty face, but have real personality and character.
- BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame