WBG Score: 7.5/10
Player Count: 2-4
Published by: Helvetiq
Designed by: Philippe Proux
Distributed in the UK by: Coiledspring Games
This is a review copy. See our review policy here
Philippe Proux likes making games with lovely bits of wood. I like playing games made of lovely pieces of wood. Seems like a pair made in heaven! There is something so satisfying about the tactile experience of holding a well fashioned piece of wood in your hands. But is this game any more than that? Let's get it to the table and find out.
How To Set Up Elios
Place two yellow discs into the central playing area, leaving the others to the side, and place one beam of each colour around them. The beams can be placed in any order but a nice grading of colour may be more satisfying to your eye. Then give each player one white Joker piece each (two in a two player game) and depending on player count, either 16, ten, or eight other randomly drawn pieces from the bag, for a two, three, or four player game respectively. Each player will then place the beams they draw in front of them in groups of one to three. A group can never contain two beams of the same colour. The last player to finish this process starts. You are now ready to begin.
How To Play Elios
Players are looking to get rid of all of their pieces in front of them, placing them onto matching colours in the central playing area. You can never place a piece on a level higher than the central sun, and when needed, you can use your white pieces as jokers.
On your turn, players will carry out one of three actions.
Place all pieces in a group. If you can, players can place up to three pieces at a time onto matching pieces on the middle. Making sure to not place higher than the current central yellow discs. All beams must be placed onto the same level.
Place one central yellow disc from the reserve onto the yellow discs in the middle to raise the level.
Split one of your groups. You can turn a group of three into two separate groups of one and two. Or a group of two into two single pieces.
The Jokers can be placed on any colour, and any colour can be placed on the Jokers. The first player to place their final piece is the winner.
In a four-player game, players play in teams of two, working together alternatively to try and place all of their pieces.
Is It Fun? Elios Board Game Review
Elios is a thing of beauty. Both to the touch and to the eyes, the game just oozes class, feels wonderful, and looks bright and cheerful. To play, the game is incredibly simple, but wonderfully satisfying. Games are fast, and often played for us in sets of three of four. One game is never enough. Especially if you lose quickly!
It can be frustrating to be forced into placing another central yellow disc when you are out of options elsewhere, and simply helping the other players. It has happened on occasions where a player has placed a yellow disc on their turn, only then for the next two players to take full advantage of this and leave the player who played the yellow disc no other options on their next turn that to place yet another disc!
You can always split your groups instead of doing this, but if you groups are fully split, it may be your only legal option. Looking to your opposing players available colours you will see that you will be setting them up for a very good turn. This can be annoying.
However, this is uncommon; and if you plan ahead, mostly avoidable. And the satisfaction gained from looking ahead, predicting your opponents moves correctly, and slowly placing all your beams is very satisfying.
The beams do feel wonderful in your hands too, and everything just looks and feels so joyful. There is a tactile pleasure and satisfaction to this game that certainly elevates its score for me. I enjoy playing with pieces like this and find it does increase my own sense of enjoyment.
I would recommend this game to any family who enjoy quick, fun, simple games that can be played with minimal fuss or preparation. I can imagine this be problematic for those with colour blindness though, there are no symbols or shapes here. Just solid blocks with different colours.
Elios has captured my heart with it's pure and honest pleasures. It offers a solid and robust production, clear and simple rule set, and hours of fun and satisfaction.