Oh My Gods!

Oh My Gods! Someone has stolen Zeus’ lightning, and it looks like it was another god who did it! Who will find the thief, and calm the God King’s wrath? Oh My Gods! is a guessing game by Gameworthy Labs for 3 – 5 players. The box says it should take about 15 minutes to play, but expect your first game to take a little longer, as you get used to the playstyle.

Oh My Gods! combines aspects of Guess Who, Clue, and Go Fish. The box contains 21 god(dess) cards, including Zeus; one lightning bolt token, a stack of clue sheets, and five privacy folders (to keep your hard earned clues secret). At the beginning of the game, each player is given a privacy folder, a clue sheet, and a pen or pencil (not included). The deck (minus Zeus) is shuffled, one card is randomly set aside, with the lightning token placed on top; this is the thief. This card is unknown to all players, and will remain that way until someone makes a guess. Next, cards are placed facedown on the table, forming Olympus; the number of gods in Olympus depends on how many players there are. Zeus is now shuffled back into the deck, and the remaining gods are dealt out to the players. The player who has Zeus in their hand immediately places him on the table in front of them and takes one card from Olympus to replace him. The player who has Zeus plays first, and play moves clockwise.

A player’s turn consists of three phases, although two are optional. Phase 1 is Gathering Clues, to do this the active player asks the player to their left a question about the cards in their hand. Each of the suspected gods has two symbols on the card: their Element and their Trait. There are three possible questions: do you have a card with this Element?, do you have a card with this Trait?, or do you have a specific named god? If the player you ask has a card that fits the question, they must show it to you in secret. If they have more than one card which qualifies, they can choose which one to show. Mark off that card on your Clue Sheet. Remember any god or goddess you see cannot be the thief. Asking for a god by name is risky, because the entire table now knows who has that card. If the first player asked cannot show a card, then you ask the same question to the next player, until the question is answered, or no one has a card that qualifies.

Phase 2, which is optional, is guessing. If you think you know the thief, declare “Oh my Gods! It was __ !” and then secretly check the hidden card. If you are right, flip over the card and you’ve won! If you are wrong, put back the card, show all of the cards in you hand to all players, and quietly leave the game in shame. Personally, I think this should be the last step of a turn, since once you commit yourself to your guess, there is no turning back.

Phase 3, which is also optional, involves using the God Power of one of the cards in your hand. In addition to their name, Element, and Trait, every god and goddess has their God Power written on the card. To use a God Power, take it from your hand, read the god(ess) name, and the description of the ability, and perform that action. Some examples of what a God Power can do include making other players show you a card, stealing a card from a player, taking a card from Olympus, or blocking another God Power. Some Powers (like blocking) can be used on another player’s turn, as indicated by a lightning symbol on the card. Each Power can only be used once, unless Hephaestus returns it to someone’s hand. The only exception to this is Zeus. Zeus has his own Power, usable multiple times per game, which is “move the Zeus card in front another player”. Having Zeus does not in itself have any negative effects, but several God Powers specifically target the player who does.

It is essential in this game to pay attention to every god or goddess you see, keeping your clue sheet up to date at all times. I am embarrassed to say that in my first game, it took me several turns to remember to take the cards in my own hand off the suspect list! It is also good strategy to limit the cards you reveal to others. There is no rule stopping you from showing the same card more than once. Finally, using God Powers can have unexpected consequences if you aren’t careful. For example, in my first game, I played Persephone, whose ability is “you cannot be asked a question until your next turn”. My friend played Apollo, whose ability is “the player who has Zeus (me) misses a turn”. Since I had not yet had a turn, I was still immune from questions.

There are a few small issues with this game. As I mentioned before, guessing the thief really should come at the end of a player’s turn, not the middle. Another issue is that I found myself frequently closing my eyes or turning my head, because it is very easy to accidentally see a card that is being shown to someone else. Finally, I found it odd that there wasn’t a bigger consequence to having Zeus in front of you. Personally, I think that having an angry god, one who is short tempered at the best of times, looking over my shoulder would affect my focus as a detective. Otherwise, I would say that this is a fun game that is simple to play once you get the hang of it.

You can find Gameworthy Labs online at www.gameworthylabs.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/OMGsGame.