Coming in April 2011 from French games company Ystari and designer Phillipe Keyaerts is the new board game Olympos, which will let players create their own mythical civilization and vie for control of ancient Greece.
These types of "civ in a box" games have become increasingly popular over the years and Keyaertes is no stranger to success in this area, having designed both Vinci and Small Wonder, games that rested firmly on the choices of players to decide their newly created civilizations would expand or decline.
Olympos is based on the same concept and is intended to be played in 60-90 minutes, with players doing a number of things to build up their budding civilization
First up, the game board:
The Olympos board: it's all Greek to us.
Players begin in the top left corner of the game board and move around to the end based on action points, but the main development portion of the game happens in the middle map section. At the beginning of the game, each player starts with a civilization that has nothing more than the ability to move around the map at its disposal. Over time and through conquering unoccupied or natively held territories, players will gain resources which they can use to do a number of things.
A player may choose to research a new technology in order to give their civilization the edge in a certain area or they can choose to develop a Wonder to help their civilization grow - either way, a player has the choice when their turn starts as to how they would like to proceed, based of course on what players before them have chosen to do.
There is an element of randomness to the game, however, in the form of the Gods. There are a number of "lightning bolt" spaces on the outer edge of the board and should a player land on one an Olympos card is drawn from the deck and the Gods take a hand, either by helping those who are the most pious or punishing those who are not. Piety and disrespect are signalled by how many lightning bolts a player has accumulated, either by holding Olympos itself or by making discoveries, and half of the cards in the Olympos deck will help the player with the most bolts while the other half will punish those that have the fewest.
The Gods of Olympos: some are not so happy.
As you can see, not all the Gods look friendly.
Olympos has the potential to a big hit with a good dose of world building in a streamlined platform and we'd recommend either giving it a try or staying out of large electrical storms for the next few months.
Source: Board Game Geek