Game Review: Zeus on the Loose

                Zeus on the loose , from Gamewright, is a fun math card game that includes Greek gods and goddesses.

                We are always on the look out for fun games to play in our household.  And I’m usually looking for some that bring in that extra element of learning.  Zeus on the Loose fills those two goals perfectly.

                It’s a card game that’s pretty much self-contained, so it doesn’t require much room to play.  It’s a great game to travel with.   It helps pass the time in waiting rooms too.  Zeus on the Loose is a very easy game to learn, with thankfully, few directions to read. Just open, shuffle, and play.

                The first goal of Zeus on the Loose is to be the player to have possession of the Zeus figurine at the end of each round or hand.  Players compete by adding and subtracting points from a central discard pile referred to as Mount Olympus.  The deck is comprised of number cards and Greek god cards.  The number cards are simply point cards that are added to the cumulative value of the pile.  Each of the Greek deity cards causes a different action.  Aphrodite, for example, directs the player to round the value of Mount Olympus to the nearest multiple of 10 and take possession of the Zeus figurine.  If Poseidon is played, the player subtracts 10 points from Mount Olympus and gets the Zeus figurine.

 

               The aim of the game is to have the central card pile (Mount Olympus) reach a cumulative total of at least 100.  Hopefully you are the player in possession of Zeus when that happens as that is how the winner is decided for that round.

                For each round, the winning player is assigned a letter:

The first player to gain all of the letters to spell “Zeus,” wins the game.

                It’s a great game for practicing mental math, place value, rounding, and strategy, all while learning the names of the Greek gods.

                There are fun twists that usually result in a gotcha moment, such as when playing Hermes, who reverses the digits of the score, or Hera, who automatically moves the score to a value of 99.  It’s definitely one of those games where learning simply happens while having fun. 

We thoroughly enjoy playing this game, often ending our day with it. 

Are there any games your family recommends that just happen to support specific math skills?

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