OBJECTIVE OF ZEUS ON THE LOOSE: Be the player holding the Zeus figurine at the end of the round
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 5 players
MATERIALS: 56 card deck, Zeus figurine, instructions
TYPE OF GAME: Adding card game
AUDIENCE: Ages 8+
OVERVIEW OF ZEUS ON THE LOOSE
Zeus on the Loose is an adding card game in which players are trying to be the one holding Zeus at the end of the round. Steal Zeus by making the discard pile total a multiple of ten, play powerful Greek god cards, or be quick and sneaky by cutting in with a matching number. Whoever holds Zeus at the end of the round wins, and the first player to win four rounds wins the game.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
The fifty-six card deck contains four copies of each number 1 – 10. It also contains sixteen Greek god cards including: 3 Poseidon, 2 Aphrodite, 2 Ares, 2 Athena, 2 Hermes, 2 Apollo, 2 Artemis, and 1 Hera. Each of these Greek god cards has a special power. There is one Zeus token as well.
Shuffle the deck and deal four cards to each player. Place the rest of the deck face down as a draw pile. Put the Zeus figurine next to the draw pile. The Greek god card powers are described on the cards, but it will help to familiarize yourself with them before playing for the first time.
Zeus on the Loose is played over a number of rounds. The first round is started by the player whose first name begins with the letter closest to Z.
During your turn, you will play one card from your hand to the discard pile which is called Mount Olympus. Add the value of your card to the current total value of Mount Olympus and announce that total for all to hear. This total starts at zero, and whoever goes first simply announces the value of the card they play. From that point on, the new total must be figured and announced.
If you play a Greek god card rather than a number card, complete the actions described on the card. Then, announce the total value of Mount Olympus.
After playing a card and announcing the total, end your turn by drawing back up to four cards. There is a penalty for forgetting to draw – you must play with a smaller hand size.
The goal is to be the player holding Zeus at the end of the round. There are three ways to take possession of the figurine during play. First, making the Mount Olympus total value add up to a multiple of ten. After announcing the total, grab Zeus and place him in front of you.
Second, you perform a same-number sneak (cutting in). At any time you have a card in your hand that matches the number of the top Mount Olympus card, you can cut in and play that card. Be sure to announce the new total. If you cut in, the players you passed over are skipped, and play continues from you. You cannot cut in on your own card if you have more than one copy of the same matching number. Take the Zeus figurine after performing the same-number sneak.
Third, you play a Greek god card that says steal Zeus on it.
GREEK GOD CARD POWERS
Aphrodite calls for you to round to the nearest 10 (either up or down depending on the total). Apollo lets you steal Zeus and keep the Mount Olympus total the same. Ares forces the Mount Olympus total to 50 regardless of its current value. Artemis has the same power as Apollo. Athena allows you to skip the next player and keep the Mount Olympus total the same. Hera forces the Mount Olympus total to 99, and you get to steal Zeus.
WINNING ZEUS ON THE LOOSE
Whoever has the Zeus figurine at the end of the round wins that round. There are four ways a round can end. If you make the Mount Olympus total exactly 100 on your turn, you steal Zeus and end the round immediately. Perform a same-number sneak that makes the total 100 or more, and you steal Zeus as well as end the round. Play any number that makes the total more than 100, and whoever is currently holding Zeus wins the round. The draw pile running out of cards ends the round, and whoever is holding Zeus wins the round.
The player that wins the round earns a letter: Z-E-U-S in that order. Continue playing rounds with the deal passing left for each one. Spell ZEUS first to win the game.