Calvin’s Commentaries: Elios

Small box games are always intriguing.

Expectations are rarely overly high because of the limited contents a small box can hold, so the game is likely OK, or a surprise.

Occasionally though the surprise is on the wrong side of things, meaning the game came out flat.

Sadly, that is the case with Elios from designer Philippe Proux and publisher Helvetiq.

So, Elios is an abstract wooden game, which put it immediately in a positive light for this Meeple Guilder as I like abstracts and fully appreciate wooden games.

But, alas this game just comes up short in terms of depth to keep you interested.

Each player is ‘dealt’ a selection of wooden sticks randomly from a bag. The goal of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all your sticks.

You rid yourself of sticks by playing them out to piles around a central sun following a couple of very basic rules – for example, you can’t place a stick at a higher level than the disc in the middle.

The game plays two, or three, or with four where you can play in teams.

The game, as you might imagine, plays quickly — the box suggests 15 minutes — but it may go quicker because even as an abstract, there is not a lot to think about.

What you ultimately have is a game with nice pieces, that play quickly with simple rules, but that lacks any amount of depth to hold your attention beyond a couple of plays.

Certainly, Elios fits snugly into the crowded world of quick filler games, where there are many – and many of the many are simply better than Elios.

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