My quest to make learning math facts fun through games continues with Zeus on the Loose. This one is another winner. Kids add single digit numbers on “Mount Olympus” until the total is over 100. They have to strategize to try and bring the total to a multiple of 10 in order to steal Zeus. With Zeus being passed back and forth all over the place, the game was fast-paced and fun. The rules were easy to learn and the total game play time was about 10 minutes per round, which is perfect for our family. We all loved it. My 6 and 10 year olds both said it was their new favorite game.
Zeus on the Loose Game Details
Product: Zeus on the Loose
Recommended Age Range: 8 and up, kids as young as 6 can play, but they might need help adding
Price Range: ~$10
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There is so much to love about this game. For one, our family LOVES Greek mythology. My kids are all into the Percy Jackson book series. We love listening to the National Geographic Kids Greeking Out podcast in the car. My kids enjoy watching really old Mythic Warriors episodes on You Tube. I have been a fan of D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths since I was a child, and now I enjoy sharing it with my kids. My kids are even planning to be Greek gods and goddesses for Halloween.
Given our deep passion for all things Greek mythology, I knew my kids would get a kick out of this game. The illustrations are colorful and entertaining. I think it really helps my kids feel connected to this game that they know all the featured gods backstories. For those that don’t however, the instruction booklet also contains a little blurb about each one.
The reference to Greek mythology and Mount Olympus is probably the main reason my kids love this game. The main reason I love it, however, is for the math. This game sneaks in so much math and my kids don’t even seem to mind. They are continuously adding single digit numbers to a total until the total reaches 100. For kids that do math worksheets, this will probably be really easy for them. Since I hardly ever have my kids do math worksheets, this is the exact sort of the practice they are missing when I use my Minimalist Math curriculum.
Not only do they get practice adding, but they also need to think about which numbers are needed to make a multiple of 10. Again, this will likely come easily for many kids, but for my younger ones, this is the exact practice that they need to help them gain confidence in mathematics. Unlike many games where the math is just found at the end of the round for score totaling, this one has math as a critical component of game play.
I had been thinking about buying this game for a long time, but I think I was worried it would be too “old” for my kids. However, now I wish I had bought it sooner. The box says 8 and up, but even my 6 year old can add a single digit number to a 2 digit number by counting on as long as they have a little help. My 4 year old likes to play as well, but he sits next to me and I give him hints about which card to play and add his totals for him.
The last reason why I love this game is because it’s just downright fun. Even when none of my kids need the math practice, I can still see us playing this game as a family. It is fast-paced, fun, and a great mix of strategy and luck. There is a sneak attack rule that we are currently not using, because I think it would be too complicated for the younger players in our family. However, I could see that rule making the gave even more fun when my kids are older.
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