My boys and I spent last Sunday playing a three hour game of Age of Mythology. We’ve had this board game for years — since the oldest was about 8 years old (he’s now 19) — but it had been years since we’d played it, and our youngest (the 7 year old) had never joined in. We figured it was time to let him give it a go.
If you’re not familiar with Age of Mythology, it’s a resource gathering, strategy, race to the end type game. There is a really fun computer version and the equally fun (but challenging in a different way) board game version. Our family plays both.
For the board game version, each player chooses between the Norse, the Egyptians, and the Greeks. Your goal is to end the game with the most Victory cubes. You earn cubes in various ways: winning the last battle, having the most buildings, having the largest army, and building the Wonder. On each turn, players decide if they want to explore, gather (resources), battle, build, or advance to the next age. Strategy is key, as you have to not only think of your own short and long term plans, but also think about what your opponents will play on their turn. Game play goes on (and on!) until someone has enough resource cubes to build the Wonder. As soon as the Wonder is built, the game ends and Victory cubes are distributed and tallied.
It’s a long game. Snacks are important. Bathroom and moving around breaks are important. And making sure everyone is still into playing it as you move along through the ages is important. Surprisingly, the 7 year old did great. He had no problem staying focused and having fun for the entire three hours. Not surprisingly, the 19 year old won, but young son did well enough to come in 2nd, which left me way behind in third. I didn’t even care. It wasn’t winning or not winning that was important to me, it was spending some incredible family time hanging out, playing, and connecting with my boys. It was some of the best three hours I’ve ever spent.
Product: Age of Mythology the Board Game
What I like about it: Provides hours of family fun, appropriate for multiple ages, would appeal to families who enjoy gaming, introduces players to the gods/goddesses from the three playable cultures, requires strategic thinking, teaches the importance of planning and resource gathering, and more.
Availability: the game is available on Amazon, though at $99.95, it’s pretty expensive to purchase new. I think it’s worth the price just based on how many times we’ve played (and will continue to play) through the years. But if you aren’t sure about it, or if it’s a budget-breaker, there are used copies available for a lot less!
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