Oh My Gods! is a lightweight deduction-style card game. I was given access to a print-and-play version to check out, and played a few games with my wife and kids.
At a glance: Someone has stolen Zeus’s lightning bolt, and he wants to know who! That’s the setup behind Oh My Gods!, a card game for 3-5 players where you try to find the thief by gradually learning what’s in other players’ hands and then deducing the one god not in the mix – the thief. Both my nine-year-old and my twelve-year-old really enjoyed the game, which was certainly helped by the fact that the older one studied Greek mythology in school last year, and the younger one is currently “studying” them by reading the Percy Jackson books with his mom. A typical game lasts about 15 minutes. The pledge level for a copy of the game is $20.
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- 21 God cards, each depicting a Greek god and his or her power.
- 50 Score cards, used by players to keep track of the information they’ve learned so far.
- 1 Bolt token
- 1 Rule book
Since I was working off a print-and-play edition, I cannot comment on the quality of the final components, but the Kickstarter campaign is approaching a stretch goal that would upgrade the cards to a linen finish.
How to Play
The setup of the game is very simple. You remove the Zeus card from the deck, shuffle the remaining cards, and deal one card face down as the “thief.” You set this card aside with the Bolt token on top of it. Then, deal 3, 4, or 5 cards, depending on the number of players, face down in the middle of the table, representing gods still left on Olympus. Return Zeus to the deck, shuffle again, and deal out the remaining cards to the players.
Everyone then looks at his or her hand. The player with Zeus plays him face up on the table, draws a card from Olympus to replace it, and begins the game by searching for a clue by asking the player to her left a question. Each god is identified by an element and a trait, so for example Artemis is the goddess of Earth and Spirit. So the player might ask, “Show me a god of Earth.” If the player on the left has a god matching that element, he would secretly show it to the player who asked. If he doesn’t, then the player asks the next player around the table, and so forth. There are five gods in each element and four in each trait.
After searching for a clue, the player then has the option of playing a god’s power. This is where the game gets interesting. Every card has a power, which allows players to find other cards in other player’s hands, draw cards from Olympus, target the player with Zeus or move Zeus. The downside, though, is that when you play a god’s power you have to play the card in front of you, thus revealing to all players a god who is not the thief.
When we began playing, I have to admit that I was beginning to think that this was nothing more than a card-based, re-themed Clue, but as soon as we started needing to decide whether or not to play a card, and seeing the effects of the cards, I realized that Oh My Gods! really was something more.
The third option for a player is to say “Oh my gods! The thief is…” and make a guess. If they are right, they win, but if not they are eliminated from the game. In general, I’m not a big fan of games with player elimination, but usually by the time someone is ready to make a guess the game is close to being over, so someone who guesses wrong won’t be out for very long.
The Verdict: I wasn’t prepared to like the game very much at first glance, but as soon as we started playing it turned out to be a great deal of fun. It’s easy and light, and something anyone can pick up in only a few minutes. Games are very fast, so it’s possible to get multiple plays in in a short period. And of course, the theme is immediately attractive to most kids while being familiar to adults. (And your kids are more likely to know how to pronounce “Hephaestus.”)
For more information and to pledge on the game, check out the Kickstarter campaign, which has about a week left.