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Posted on May 31, 2016 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon Game Review – Release Your Inner Kraken!

Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon Game Review – Release Your Inner Kraken!

Rick Martin

Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon  Game Review.    Publisher: Ares Games   Designer: Leo Colovini  Price  $39.90

By Rick Martin

Passed Inspection: Great, family friendly game play. Excellent Concept. 1 hour or less per game! Easy to learn.

Failed Basic: Rules are a little unclear at times. No solitaire capability.

Ares Games should be respected for continually branching out in to new genres of the wonderful hobby of board gaming.  Best known for their amazing World War I and II air craft game Wings of Glory aka Wings of War, and for their outstanding age of sails game Sails of Glory, Ares Games has released games based upon the Lord of the Rings and Conan the Barbarian as well as science fiction, family and now Euro Games!

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Euro Games are an interesting, unique style of board games which have their roots in Germany.

Per BoardGameGeek.com :

Most Eurogames share the following elements:

    • Player conflict is indirect and usually involves competition over resources or points. Combat is extremely rare.
    • Players are never eliminated from the game  (All players are still playing when the game ends.)
  • There is very little randomness or luck. Randomness that is there is mitigated by having the player decide what to do after a random event happens rather than before. Dice are rare, but not unheard of, in a Euro. 

Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon is a family friendly Euro Game.  The box artwork and components are just beautiful!  The game can be played with 2 to 5 players. The set up is that the Trojan War is over.  Four Greek ships are trying to sail home but Poseidon is very angry at them as he sided with Troy in the conflict.  The Greek sailors feel they must travel to Poseidon’s sacred island in order to make a sacrifice to appease him as the oceans have been awash with storms, whirlpools and sea monsters.  If they can appease Poseidon, maybe he’ll calm the oceans and allow them safe passage back home. Poseidon realizes that if they can make sufficient sacrifices to him, he has no choice but to give up his vendetta against them.  So Poseidon decides to try and keep the Greeks from getting to his sacred island.One player plays Poseidon while the other players each take one or more Greek ships trying to navigate to the Sea God’s island temple.Poseidon has one game board and the Greeks share another game board.  Each board is the same and contains islands, ocean and deep sea.  There are two copies of 4 different boards.  Each board has different island locations.  The players must make sure that the board used by the Poseidon player and the board used by the Greek sailors matches up. Each Greek player has a ship of a specific color – red, yellow, green or white.

The game box is used as a shield to block the view of the Poseidon and Greek players.  All ships start on the same island locations but only Poseidon knows exactly where each ship is on the board.

At the start of the game, after the players put their ships on the board at their specific port, the Poseidon player uses one of his storm cards.  Each storm card is either one massive storm or a localized storm color coded to the color of ship it affects.  If Poseidon plays the yellow storm, it moves the yellow ship one square away from its current location. Conversely, if Poseidon plays a green storm, it moves the green ship one direction.  Poseidon also has black colored super storms which can blow all the ships on the board off course.  Poseidon only has 11 storm cards – 2 for each color ship and three black storms which affect all the ships.  When Poseidon is out of storm cards, the game is over.  When the Greek players move their ships, they tell the Poseidon player something like “my yellow ship moves one square North East. What do I see?”  The Poseidon player then describes what he sees on his map board – something like “You are in a square with a jungle island.  Around you can be seen another island, a ship, one square of deep sea and then open sea.”  It is then up to the Greek players to try and figure out where their ship is one their own board based upon what they think the previous position of that ship was before being blown around by storms and what their last move was.  Seems simple right?  Not really!

The Greek players have to successfully navigate three or four ships to the sacred island.  If they don’t, Poseidon wins the game. I’ve played several times as the Greeks and only managed to get two ships to the island although in my last game I had two more ships ready to doc at the sacred island’s port on the very next turn so we called that one a draw!

In order to alter the difficulty of the game, the Greeks can receive light houses which greatly aid in navigation and make the game easier for the petty mortals.  To make life worse for the Greeks, Poseidon can gain access to sea monsters, fog banks and maelstroms!

With extra features to modify the game and four different maps, this game has great re-playability.  You can get in several games in a short amount of time. One game usually only lasts 30 to 45 minutes; which makes it great for a lazy afternoon gaming session during the upcoming long hot summer days. The game is playable by young children and by us older kids and the great price makes it very approachable for the casual gamer.

The rules are well written and only 8 pages long. I had to read a few of the rules a couple of times to get figure them out but copious examples help and, after one or two games, the rules are easily absorbed in to even my middle aged brain.

Because of the nature of this game, it can’t be played solitaire.

The components are colorful and sturdy and will hold up to tons of wear and tear.

All in all Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon is a great addition to your gaming library and a wonderful gaming experience for the entire family!

So get ready to (wait for it . . . wait for it) “Release the Kraken!” You know I couldn’t resist!

Armchair General Rating:  92 %

Solitaire Rating: 0

About the Author

A college film instructor and small business owner, Richard Martin has also worked in the legal and real estate professions, is involved in video production, film criticism, sports shooting and is an avid World War I and II gamer who can remember war games which came in plastic bags and cost $2.99 (he’s really that old)!

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