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Joshua Van Laningham
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Rulebook:
Colorful and rich with examples in relevant sections. It is also rich with text, though this is a fairly involved game, so this is fine. Everything is explained in as efficient a manner as possible. with each part of the game getting its own section. The flavor at the beginning is short and to the point, and the game setup is laid out in conjunction with the board so that setup is easy to go through. There is also a separate quick reference guide for gods and mythical creature abilities which is also good to see.

Box art:
A flourishing Greek city is attacked by a Cyclops and Kraken, while land and sea troops muster to drive away these vicious foes. The back is pretty standard, with card are and text in some different languages, which allows for less overall flavor and game text than I normally see on box backs, not that this is too big of a deal.

Gameplay:
Players fight for the Gods favor as they try and gain two metropolises to gain victory. The central mechanic here is bidding for the Gods favor, which allows one to gain troops, mythical creatures, and other things, as well as determining the turn order on the next turn. Going first isn't always the best on a turn, since other players get a chance to out bid you or see where you will place, though if you bid enough you can potentially lock other people out before they get a chance, so it is an interesting dynamic. Winning the first God's favor can also be important, as you get access to their abilities first as well as getting a first pick at whatever mythical creatures are on the board.

On the topic of mythical creatures, they all seem fairly useful, though some are more situational than others (Harpy) and others seem very powerful (Kraken, Pegasus, Chimera). These effects are mitigated by the bidding aspect and their position on the board, so skill can help gain you better effects, though some luck is still involved. Gods are wholly mitigated by this mechanic, as they all have their uses, and none seem particularly better than the other, though one could argue that sea and land troops can be crucial to gameplay and shouldn't be outright ignored. The nice thing about this game is that is allows for many different strategies, and comebacks are indeed possible. One could wait for another metropolis to be built and take it or one could build it themselves, though buildings or philosophers. The three player mode is quite interesting as well, since only two Gods are available at a time, and they are randomized every 2 turns so you have to plan around not having potential access to any give God at one time. All in all, this game has good depth and strategy. While some things might be considered overpowered, the game's mechanics help to mitigate this as best as possible and provide and interesting and competitive experience. 4/5

Target audience:
There is a fair amount of reading and depth of mechanics involved, so younger audiences may be turn off from this, though the Greek setting with monsters and Gods could grab their attention. Fans of this mythos may also enjoy this, as well as people who just enjoy bidding games and strategy.

Replayability:
A good amount. Gameplay varies some depending on the number of players, with the board being bigger or smaller and the God placement being slightly different depending on this. Since Gods and mythical creatures are randomized, there can be a different experience every game. Couple this with the large amount of strategies you can employ and you have games for days. If this is not enough, the Hades and upcoming Titans expansions adds another God and board respectively, as well as more mythical creatures, etc. for even more gameplay.

Fun:
If you like strategy games, bidding, and fighting with others to build a metropolis and sway the Gods to help you in your time of need, this game may be for you.

Personal opinion:
While the initial game ran a bit long (about 3 hours or so) I had a lot of fun devising strategies in the meantime. The bidding mechanic was very fun also and I found myself wondering whether or not to save money for next turn or fight for a God's favor now. Money also always seemed very tight, even with large amounts, so every move is crucial. Combat being partially determined by dice is a nice touch also. It made me feel that fate still had a hand in victory, even against more overwhelming odds. Overall a pretty fun game that I would be content to play again sometime. 3.5/5
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