Components

  • 4 each of 1-10 cards
  • 4 Poseidon cards
  • _3 Ares cards
  • 3 Athena cards
  • 3 Hermes cards
  • 2 Aphrodite cards
  • 2 Apollo cards
  • 2 Artemis cards
  • 1 Hera card
  • Zeus figurine

Object of the Game

Be the first player to spell Z-E-U-S over several rounds by holding onto the Zeus figurine each time Mount Olympus reaches 100.


Setup

  1. Before playing, take a few moments to get familiar with the eight Greek gods and their respective powers.
  2. Shuffle the deck and deal four cards to each player. (Look at your cards but keep them secret from opponents).
  3. Stack the remainder of the deck face down in the center of the playing area to form a draw pile.
  4. Place the Zeus figurine next to the draw pile.

Game Play

Zeus on the Loose is played in rounds, starting with the person whose first name is closest to Z.

On each turn, play one card from your hand face up onto a discard pile next to the draw pile (here forward referred to as "Mount Olympus").

If you play a number card, add it to the previous Mount Olympus total and announce the new total out loud to the group. For example, if Mount Olympus is 35 and you play a 6, say "41". (At the beginning of the game, Mount Olympus equals zero).

If you play a Greek god, perform the action(s) written on the card and announce the new Mount Olympus total. Either way, end your turn by drawing the top draw pile card, bringing your hand back up to four cards.

Play continues to the left.


Stealing Zeus

Grab and hold onto the Zeus figurine any time you play a card that:

  • makes the Mount Olympus total add up to a multiple of 10 (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 or 100), or

  • is an identical match to the number card on top of Mount Olympus played by an opponent, or

  • is a Greek god that says, "Steal Zeus" on the card.


Same Number Sneak

Any time an opponent plays a number card on top of Mount Olympus that matches a number card in your hand, you may immediately play the match on top of the pile and steal Zeus. (For example, an 8 on top of an 8).

This is the only time you can play a card out of turn. Don't forget to announce the new Mount Olympus total. Play continues to your left, skipping over any player who should have had a turn before you. Note: You cannot play a matching number on top of a number card that you just played.


Greek God Card Powers

Note: If Mount Olympus is at a multiple of ten when you play this card, it stays at that number.

Aphrodite

Round to nearest multiple of 10. Steal Zeus. For example, any number whose one's digit is between zero and four, round down (22=20, 64=60). Any digit between five and nine, round up (37=40, 98=100).


Apollo

Steal Zeus. Mount Olympus value stays the same.


Ares

Mount Olympus goes to 50. Steal Zeus. For example, Mount Olympus could be at 30 or 80. Either way goes to 50.


Artemis

Steal Zeus. Mount Olympus value stays the same.


Athena

Skip the next player. Mount Olympus value stays the same. (In a two player game, simply take another turn).


Hera

Mount Olympus value goes immediately to 99. Steal Zeus.


Hermes

Reverse Mount Olympus digits. For example, 37 becomes 73. Note: If Mount Olympus is between 1 and 9 when card is played, value becomes that number's multiple of 10.


Poseidon

Subtract 10 points from Mount Olympus value. Steal Zeus.



Drawing Back up to Four Cards

Don't forget to draw back up to four cards at the end of every turn or else you must play the rest of that round short of a full hand.

In other words, if you only have three cards when the next player takes a turn, you must continue to play with three cards instead of four. If you forget to draw again after another turn, you're down to only two cards in your hand, so be careful!


Ending A Round

A round may end in one of four ways:

  • If you play a card that makes Mount Olympus add up to exactly 100 on your turn, steal Zeus and win the round.
  • If you play an exact matching number card that makes Mount Olympus equal to or exceed 100, steal Zeus and win the round.
  • If you only can play a card that makes Mount Olympus add up to more than 100, the person who already has Zeus wins the round.
  • If the draw pile runs out, whoever has Zeus wins the round, even if Mount Olympus doesn't reach 100.

Whoever wins the round gets the first letter of the word Zeus. (Keep track of scores on a piece of paper if helpful). The winner then collects all the cards, shuffles and deals a new round. The player to the left of the dealer starts the next round.


End of the Game

Play rounds until someone completes spelling Zeus. That player wins the game.

For Younger Players

Eliminate the "Same Number Sneak" rule as well as enforcing penalty for not drawing back up to four cards.


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