Sunday, October 11, 2009

The God of Cheap Game Pieces

Zeus and Hera deserve better. I think it would invoke the wrath of two of the major gods from the Greek pantheon to see that they have been reduced to poorly produced line drawings on second rate wood tiles. Especially since they don’t even seem to serve a real function. I should explain. Zeus and Hera is actually a pretty decent game, replaying it recently I realized I liked it more than I remember and the strategy involved is more complex than I had given it credit for. But the thing that really stood out the most to me were these horrendous wood tiles that serve as Zeus and Hera for the game. Every other character and effect in the game is represented by cards. Cards that work fine, I don’t think that anyone has ever played the game and felt that they were not getting the full game experience because it lacked crappy wood tiles. And if not for these two useless components the game would just be cards and could fit easily into a much smaller box, which would be an asset for the game and broaden the appeal. You can travel with it, it fits in your pocket, etc…Instead the box is mainly empty except for this silly plastic tray which is in there only to accommodate the wood tiles.

The art on the wood pieces reminds me of Stratego, sort of these strange gold etched outlines. Zeus is green, Hera is purple. Both are awful. Rio Grande games must have received an extra shipment of wood pieces and felt the need to convert them into something and Zeus and Hera drew the short straw.

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