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Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Mr. Jack Sails the Seas rss

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Dave Shapiro
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Deduction games tend to come in two forms, the Clue type where everyone is attempting to resolve the problem (usually by questions) or the Mastermind type where one player has perfect knowledge and the opponent is attempting to ‘solve the puzzle’. The Mastermind type does not have to be stagnant; there are many games in this genre that expand on the concept by including movement such as Mr. Jack, Scotland Yard or Fury of Dracula. Odyssey falls into this category.

In 1964, Avalon Hill published Midway. This was the old Battleship game on steroids. Each player received a player board where he moved his units in an attempt to locate (and destroy) enemy units. Odyssey: the Wrath of Poseidon eliminates all but the movement and deduction aspect of Midway.

The game is for 2 to 4 players but it is essentially just two sides. One player takes the role of Poseidon with perfect knowledge of the location of the player’s ships. The opponent(s) are attempting to reach the sacred island with their ships. Poseidon can (and will) alter their course so the players must track where they believe their ships to be. Very much like Mastermind or Mr. Jack, players move and then the Poseidon player provides some information. The tough part for the Poseidon player is trying to locate the ships in a position where the information he must provide could apply to more than one location.

There are four different boards (2 copies of each) as well as extra markers for the travelers to designate possible locations. There are four variants included with the game to increase the difficulty: Fog Banks, Lighthouses, Maelstroms and Sea Monsters. Two provide a small advantage for the travelers and two aid Poseidon. The travelers win if they manage to dock 3 of the 4 ships on the sacred island - otherwise Poseidon wins.

If you enjoy games in the Mastermind genre but want something more then Odyssey should fill the spot. Though there is movement, Odyssey is less than Scotland Yard or Fury of Dracula. I would equate it with Mr. Jack.

Depending a player’s personal style, the game can be played in as short as 30 minutes.
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