I try to get educational games for my kids for gifts because it makes such a neat way to have quality one-on-one time and sneak in some learning too. There are so many great educational games out there but they can get spendy.
Zeus on the Loose is one that I got Victoria for her birthday that was definitely worth the price. I got it for about $10 at Barnes & Noble, but you may be able to get it cheaper online.
While it does use the names of some Greek gods and goddesses, it’s not really educational in that sense. You don’t really learn any mythology other than being exposed to the names. It is educational in both math and logic, though.
The idea of the game is to be the player who’s holding Zeus when your collective point tally reaches 100. Each player is dealt a hand of cards and many have numbers on them. You take turns discarding and you keep track of your collective running total. For instance, I put down a 9 and say 9, then you put down a 4 and say 13. If the total is a multiple of 10, you get to steal the Zeus figurine.
Along the way, you can use god and goddess cards to change the total and/or steal Zeus. For instance, you might get Hera and the instructions say “reset the total to 50 and steal Zeus” or you might get Athena and it might say “Add 20 and steal Zeus.”
With all of the special cards and ways to suddenly change the tally to as much as 99 or all the way back down to 10, there’s a lot of math and a lot of strategy involved. The player that wins a round gets a letter to spell out ZEUS, and the first player to get all 4 letters wins.
I think it’s recommended for ages 8 and up, but younger kids may enjoy it too. We really like it!