Once upon a time, there were 12 mighty gods living atop of mythical mount Olympus: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes and either Hestia, or Dionysus. Zeus was the ruler of all. Relationships between the twelve gods were always tense and some of them even wanted to overthrow Zeus and become the one and only King. Zeus, apparently decided that a fighting contest would be held in order to decide who is the mightiest god and the most suitable to rule Olympus. All gods would be able to use their special skills to prevail in this contest. Well, at least that is the story behind the new card game coming from Greece, titled OMG (Oh My Gods!).

OMG is a card game designed by a new designer, George Christofidis who has collaborated with artist Tony Tzanoukakis, responsible for the card art. OMG can be played by two to six players and lasts about 20 minutes. Its only components are cards. The board game market is actually full of such little card games, packaged in small boxes and costing about 10$, so the competition to face is great. Let’s see if OMG is up for the challenge.

OMG’s rules are remarkably simple. At the start of the game all cards are shuffled and each player is dealt six cards. The rest of the cards form a deck from which players will be drawing cards during the game. Each card depicts a god and also has a number and a color. The card may also have the god’s special ability or not. Cards can have four possible colors: blue, red, green and black and four numbers, 1 to 4. Designers have provided for color-blind people and have included a small symbol on the bottom right of each card, related to its color: red is represented by a fire symbol, green by a leaf, black by thunder and blue by waves.

Players are taking part in the fighting contest that Zeus announced by helping the gods strike blows to one another. The goal of OMG is simple: be the first to get rid of all the cards in your hand. Each player during his turn, must play a card face up, on top of the last face-up card at the center of the table. In order to strike a blow, the card played must match either the number or the god of the last played card. If that is the case, then it’s the next player’s turn. If neither the number nor the god is matched, then the player takes a penalty and must draw some extra cards, their number depending on numbers on the two cards (the one played and the one already at the table). If the two cards have the same color, the penalty is equal to the difference of the two numbers. If the color is different, the penalty is equal to the difference of the two numbers plus one.

If the card played has an ability on it, then after checking for a penalty, the active player gets to perform the special ability of the god. Special abilities may enable the player to get rid of cards, force other players to draw cards or make a player skip his next turn.

The game is as simple as that, so let’s see how it scores in our usual scoring categories:

Components:

As I said before, the game’s components are only cards. The artist’s approach to the theme of the twelve Greek gods is a very light and fun one. Each god is depicted in a comic way, emphasizing on his general known characteristics. For example, Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, appears as Miss Olympus, admiring herself in the mirror while Poseidon, god of the sea, holds a trident which is bitten by a naughty-looking fish and Hephaestus, god of blacksmiths and craftsmen, stands before his anvil having accidentally hammered a finger. The cards have beautiful colors and they are fun to look at and play with. They are made of quality cardboard and should best be sleeved due to shuffling. One problem about that is that the little box that hosts the game includes a paper insert and in the middle of it there is space for the cards to be placed in. However, when the cards get sleeved, they don’t fit anymore in this space and you must get rid of the insert so to accommodate them all in the box. This way, on the other hand, the cards are spread all around the box and get pretty messed up.

Inside the game’s box, a small rulebook can also be found that fulfils its role of explaining the simple rules of the game, has some examples of play and meticulously describes all the gods’ abilities with clarifications on points that may be unclear. A small description for each god and his/her main characteristics is also there, which is a very good idea and enhances the theme of the game, although not really related to the actual gods’ abilities. 7/10

Gameplay:

There are many card games out there that require to empty your hand in order to win. However, OMG introduces a refreshing theme and some interesting new mechanics tied to it. If the case was only to match the number or god of the card last played and take a penalty for not doing so, the game would be over-simplistic. The introduction of gods’ abilities gives a new twist to the gameplay and makes it more unpredictable and more interesting.

Luck of course plays a big role in this game. The cards dealt to you at the start of the game may be all you need to win under certain circumstances and there are games that will last no more than 10 minutes. The decision with which players are faced are pretty simple and the strategy to follow is clear enough as well. Of course, if you have a card that matches the number or god last played, this is the one to play and if you don’t, then you will try to play a card with the closest number, in order to draw a minimum amount of extra cards. If you have to choose between two cards that have the same effect, then you’ll have to put some more thought in it and probably try to think cards already played. Maybe your best option will be to play a god that has already been played several times before so that opponents will have more difficulty finding a match for him. The same approach of course could be taken, if you think about numbers having been played in previous turns. That is to say that however simple the rules of a game may be, there is always some room for extra strategic thinking.

OMG supports up to six players and from my experience, the more players involved, the most interesting it gets and the more a single game can last, elevating enjoyment. I’ve experienced games with 2 or 3 players that have only lasted 10 or even 5 minutes, which felt a little bit disappointing and made me think something like “What the hell? That was all?”. Statistically speaking however, this happens not so frequently.

All in all, OMG, although not having to offer something truly innovative in terms of gameplay, can keep you interested and have some fun time as a filler game or a game night with the whole family. Hardcore gamers however may find it a bit too simple for their taste. 6/10

Learning Curve:

This game is one of the few games in my collection that can be explained in less than 5 minutes, making it accessible to a large group of gamers. Rules are that simple. A few gods’ abilities may require further explanation, provided in the rulebook, but basically you will be playing within a few minutes after deciding to play this game. Thus, people that are easily bored not only by reading rules but even just by listening to them, will be delighted by the simplicity and quickness of setup. 9/10

Theme:

I find that OMG’s theme is very loosely tied to the game. Yes, the images of the gods are there to remind us that there is this fighting contest going on but no further thoughts can be made upon this matter. Gods’ abilities have really nothing to do with the gods themselves, so the cards could actually depict anything and still have the same function. For example, Hephaestus, god of fire and the forge, enables to discard a card. I can’t really relate the god to his ability. That’s why I never seem to remember which god has which ability. Some other gods like Aphrodite for example may be a bit easier to remember. She is the goddess of beauty, love and desire and can make anyone fall in love with her. This way she could probably seduce an opponent and make him skip his next turn.

Another thing that baffled me about the theme of the game is that you are supposed to help a god/goddess in their fight and that the fighting contest has a winner god that becomes the new ruler of Olympus, but that really doesn’t feel that way. It seems that you are using the gods’ abilities to help yourself win the game, and not a particular god. At the end of the game, it’s a player that wins but what about the fighting contest? Which god prevails? The player who won, probably used many gods’ abilities to succeed. That question remains unanswered, though it’s supposed to be the center of the game.

All in all, the theme in OMG seems to serve only the purpose of existing, without making the players really feel its presence. However, in such small games, that is rarely the goal of the design. 5/10

Replayability:

OMG is a fun little game that can be played easily by anyone, young or old, regular gamer or not and lasts less than half an hour. That means it can easily find its way on your gaming table either most probably as a filler between more serious and time consuming games or for a relaxing game night with the whole family. Its easy rules make it easy to learn and to remember, so a game can start within minutes from deciding to play it. Apart from these facts, my experience shows that the game shows more replayabillity around the 4-6 player base, kind of serving more as a party game. Replayability will also be considerably greater among youngest ages or rather old ones, that have less requirements from a game. 7/10

Fun:

The game’s fun factor, stems from gameplay and its simplicity as well as from the funny, cartoonish-style artwork in cards. Just as you are ready to throw your last card, you may suddenly be forced to draw many cards, to the delight, of course, of your opponents. You will have the chance to laugh at them too, when this happens to them. OMG seems to have that little secret recipe to make you pass your free time enjoyably with your favorite company. 7/10

Final Verdict:

Although OMG has nothing too revolutionary to show in terms of gameplay, it can serve its cause of entertaining you with ease as long as your demands are not too high. The cards’ artwork seems to hit the nail on the head, by providing an amusing representation of the twelve gods, mixing their traits with a pinch of humor. The game’s short duration and ease of rules allows it to appeal to a large target group, especially kids and older people. Expert gamers may find it overly simplistic and prefer games with more challenging gameplay. Luck and skill have their share regarding gameplay. Although luck seems to prevail at a first glance, if you pay more attention on your plays, you will find there is a fair share of strategy also involved. All in all, OMG is a family / party game that can give many hours of fun to those who are looking for just that.

Pros:

  • easy rules
  • nice artwork
  • short duration
  • suitable for all ages and levels of expertise in board games

Cons:

  • poor implementation of theme
  • not much originality in game mechanics

Recommended for: parties, kids, casual board game players

According to our scoring system, scoring categories have different weights. Components have 15% weight, Gameplay 35%, Learning curve 5%, Theme 5%, Replayability 25%, Fun 15%. According to this system and the above scoring in each category, overall weighted scoring of the game is:

Overall: 6.65



Source by Maria Panagou