On a whim this winter, while the kids were stuck inside claiming boredom of the highest degree, I purchased Zeus on the Loose card game. It turned out to be an enormous hit and I love the way it helps my 6 year old practice his math skills. Of course, I had to make it a Game of the Month.
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My sons and their friends are "into" Greek mythology these days so Zeus on the Loose has become my go-to birthday gift, replacing ThinkFun's Rush Hour and Rush Hour Jr. -- but ONLY because we've given that game to almost everyone we know already! Rush Hour still remains my #1 gift recommendation. (Hint: if you don't want a game, don't invite us to your birthday party.)
Zeus on the Loose Game Play
- The object of Zeus on the Loose is to be the player holding the Zeus statue when the discard pile reaches 100 points.
- The deck consists of number cards and Greek god cards.
- Players take turns discarding one card to the center pile, if their discards brings the value of the pile to a multiple of 10, then they get to "steal Zeus". Greek god cards include specific instructions, which may include changing the value of the pile, or allowing players to steal Zeus.
Tips for Playing with Kids
- Zeus on the Loose is recommended for kids ages 8 and up. My 6 year old plays easily because he has relatively strong math skills. If your child can create equations in which the sum equals 10, then he can probably play this game, even with a little help.
- Kids without strong math skills will enjoy playing as a partner with a grown-up.
- There is a fair amount of strategy involved with the game. We always play several practice rounds of a brand new game so younger kids can figure out a good stratey. My older son always picks up on strategy first, which can cause hurt feelings.
- Stealing Zeus is the fun part! If you are partnering with a young child, always allow him to hold Zeus. Alternatively, a non-playing child can be in charge of moving Zeus from one player to another.
- A round takes less than 15 minutes. The official rules state that the winner of the first round receives a "Z". If he wins the next round, he gets an "E". If there is a new winner, she will get a "Z". And so on. You get the idea. The overall winner is the player who wins enough rounds to spell "ZEUS." Depending on the number of players (up to 5) this can take a while. Alternatively, players can play for a predetermined number of rounds, or for a set time frame.
Have you ever played Zeus on the Loose?
- Zeus on the Loose was created by Gamewright, the same company which created another new favorite card game of ours, last month's game of the month: Sleeping Queens
- Frog Juice is a magical card game!
- S'quarrels card game
- See our favorite math games
- Past game of the month selection, Rat a Tat Cat, also practices simple math skills