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Elysium - Board Game Box Shot


| Published: 2015
43 7 5

Take on the role of an ambitious demigod who is trying to claim a place at the summit of Mount Olympus. Recruit heroes, acquire artifacts, undertake quests and earn the favour of the gods. When your allies fulfill their destiny, they enter Elysium, and contribute to your legend. Once all the tales are written, a single demigod will join the Olympians.

The goal of the game is to earn as many victory points as possible. Victory points are won mostly with the legends that players will write through the cards that they have transferred to their Elysium, but also by employing the powers that they have assembled throughout the game by the means of specific cards.

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Gamer - Level 2
43 of 48 gamers found this helpful
“Set collection with special powers - a gift from the gods!”

Time and Complexity
Looks more complicated than it is. Took about one hour to teach and play my first 2 player game.

The game is definitely more on the medium/heavy side as far as decision making goes but mechanically it is fairly simply.

The game’s beauty is that it gives you a lot to think about in neat and quick package !

Game Play Mechanics
Here is the game in a nutshell. On your turn you discard one of your four pillars and take one of the available cards or a quest tile. Cards give you special powers and score you points, quest tiles enable your cards to score and give you gold. At the end of each round you will have taken 3 cards and 1 quest tile. Cards score in numbered sets (i.e. sets of all 1s, 2s, or 3s; or a “straight” consisting of a 1,2 and 3 for the same god – [i.e. suit]).

One of the unique aspects of Elysium is that when your cards are in scoring position they do not give you any special powers and you can only move a limited number of cards into scoring position each round. Thus, the timing of when you move your cards into scoring position and how long you decide to take advantage of each card’s special power is an essential tension the game forces you to grapple with.

Thus, at its core, Elysium is a game about balance. What column you discard when choosing cards impacts what cards you can obtain in future turns, how long you keep a card above your Elysium (i.e. outside of scoring position) will determine how long you will get a benefit from the card but also reduce the chance you will be able to transfer it for points in later turns. Also how you organize your sets matter – whether you go for straights or duplicate cards- straights are easier but worth less points duplicates can be worth more but are more expansive and harder to obtain.

All-in-all lots of good decision making in a fairly quick game (a two player game is under an hour).

The hardest part for beginners is getting down the iconography – and there is quite a bit of it, however once you start planing it becomes intuitive. One of the nice things is that each card’s ability is also printed on the card – however, one minor complaint is that the print is very small.

Great art and components !

Overall, this is one of the best set collection games out there because it offers so much more than set collection. Special powers, card selection, player interaction, great art and components, and a cool theme bring this game to a 9 ! It was also a worthy 2015 Kennerspiel des Jahres nominee.


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