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Primary Name
Looney Pyramid Games
Alternate Names
Icehouse Pieces
Icehouse Pyramid Games
Icehouse Pyramids
Looney Pyramids
Treehouse Pyramid Games
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Description Edit | History

Looney Pyramids are colored pyramids that are used in many published and user-created games. They were originally part of the single game Icehouse created by John Cooper, and until 2011 they were generally called Icehouse pieces or Icehouse pyramids. The original game, Icehouse, is based on a fictional game Andrew Looney described in a story he wrote.

The general utility of the pieces: They stack and can be laid on their side and pointed in a direction, and their general cool look, gave rise to people creating many other games that use them. Some need nothing but the pieces, others use the pieces along with other generic easy-to-come-by gaming equipment like dice, markers, or checker/chess boards.

Looney pyramid products have evolved over the years:
1989-2005: In the early years, pyramids were made of a variety of materials as boxed sets of 60 pyramids, primarily to play Icehouse, Zendo, or IceTowers. The injected plastic hollow pyramid with rank pips became the standard in 1999. Fan-made games for the system were at their most prolific, with a tendency towards hard abstracts.
2006-2015: During the Treehouse era, less became more. Treehouse and IceDice became the dominant product, with 30 pyramids or less. Designed for the casual gamer as an impulse buy, the game system aspect was downplayed, and more games included dice. During this era, the name was changed from Icehouse pyramids to Looney pyramids, and production was moved from Maryland to China.
2016-present: Pyramid Arcade supersedes all other pyramid products, offering a "greatest hits" anthology of rules and components.

Stashes cut from semi-precious stones are independently available.

Looney Labs encourages fan-made pyramids (called "piece-nicking") for personal non-profit use.

The book Playing With Pyramids was published containing 12 of the more popular games; the book 3House reprints two of those games and introduces another. Pyramid Primer #1 was published in 2012.

Official fan community is at the Facebook Group "Starship Captains".

More Information Edit | History

Packaging and availability history:

  • First 100 set (1989): Four solid, resin-cast stashes in red, yellow, green, and blue in a black box. Each has a unique number assigned to it. These pyramids tended to stick together, and have brittle tips. Instructions for Icehouse game included. These are rare and collectible today.
  • Paper IceHouse (1991): Die-cut foldable cardboard sheets for assembling four stashes in standard colors (red, yellow, green, and blue) or neon colors (purple, orange, lime green, and hot pink).
  • Xyloid IceHouse (1992): Solid wood pyramids, stained with color. Four stashes in red, yellow, green, and blue. Sold in a black embroidered cloth drawstring bag.
  • IceHouse: The Martian Chess Set (1999): Clear acrylic box containing four hollow plastic stashes in red, yellow, green, and blue. Included rules for four games: IceTraders, Martian Chess (1995), Zarcana (1996) and IceTowers (1999).
  • Black Ice (2000) (expansion for I:TMCS): Included black and clear pyramids (first appearance for both colors), and a chessboard bandana in a hemp drawstring bag. (The coupon can be redeemed for a free copy of the book 3House).
  • Giant Pyramids (2001): Limited run of 8X scale pyramids in cardboard.
  • Monochrome Stash Tubes (2001-2006): One stash of hollow plastic pyramids in a clear plastic tube. Available in red, yellow, green, blue, black, clear and new colors purple, orange, and white.
  • Root Beer & Watermelon (2001 and 2004, respectively): These one-of-a-kind stashes were accidentally created as a manufacturing error, and sold on eBay.
  • Zendo Boxed Set (2003): Cardboard box containing four hollow plastic stashes in red, yellow, green, and blue, plus rules and accessories for Zendo (2001).
  • IceTowers Boxed Set (2003): Cardboard box containing four hollow plastic stashes in purple, clear, white and new color cyan, plus rules for IceTowers (1999) and the Empty City novel. (Cyan later became available as a monochrome tubed stash).
  • Treehouse (2006-2010): One Treehouse set of hollow plastic pyramids, five nests in five different colors, in Rainbow (red, yellow, green, blue, and black) or Xeno (purple, orange, cyan, clear, and white), plus a custom Treehouse die and rules to Treehouse (2006). Used the same clear plastic tube as the monochrome stashes.
  • Gray Pyramids (2007): Set of five small gray pyramids sold as a Volcano (2000) accessory. (Full stash available briefly on the website).
  • Pink Treehouse (2008): An all-pink Treehouse (2006) set (which is a full stash of pink, plus the Treehouse die and rules) of translucent, hollow plastic pyramids in this new color. Sold in a cardboard box, with some of the proceeds going to breast cancer research.
  • Electric Yellow (2011): One stash of hollow plastic pyramids in new color electric yellow. The color was a production error, so it's a limited run sold only through the website.
  • IceDice (2011): Two Rainbow Treehouse (2006) sets of hollow plastic pyramids in a blue pyramid-shaped zippered cloth bag, with dice and rules for IceDice (2011) and Launchpad 23 (2011).
  • Treehouse (2nd edition) (2012): One Rainbow Treehouse (2006) set in a green pyramid-shaped zippered cloth bag, with dice and rules for Treehouse (2006) and Paraoh (2010).
  • Pink Hijinks (2012): Nine pink plastic pyramids in a pink pyramid-shaped zippered cloth bag, with a die and rules for Pink Hijinks (2012).
  • Pyramid Arcade (2016): A box set containing 90 pyramids in 10 colors, the rules to 22 games (6 of which had not been previously published), and the boards and other accessories needed to play the games in the set.
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