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Subject: Gameplay impressions from pyramid newbies rss

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Chris Evans
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Hi,
I've never owned or played any of the Looney Pyramid games. However, I'm interested in the Pyramid Arcade and the idea of these pyramids being used for all these different games. I'm also a fan of many of the other Looney games like Just Desserts and various versions of Fluxx.

That being said, $77 is not the kind of price I'm going to pay for something in hopes that I'll like it. At $50, sure, I'll bite. But for $77, you better be wowing me with components and I'm not seeing that with this set. I've watched all 22 gameplay videos on the Looney Youtube page and read through part of the manual (which, by the way, it's a fantastic manual) to try to get a feel for what this might be like gameplay-wise. I'm still not ready to take the plunge, so I figured I'd ping some of you here because I'm interested in your opinions.

For those of you who are "pyramid newbies" and DID pay the $77 price, what have your experiences been? Do you feel there's real value here for that kind of price? Which games have really taken off with your game group and which have been duds?




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Mathieu Martin
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I'll admit, I got this one more because I am a fan of Andy Looney and Looney Labs than because of any interest that I had in the Pyramid system. In the end I justified the purchase by hearkening back to previous experience and knowing that backing would be a safe bet as everyone seems to want KS versions of games after the fact.

With that said - and with a few of the lighter games played - I was pleasantly surprised. The quality of the product is top notch. Also, my collection tends to lean towards the heavy end of the spectrum so the value that is provided here with the 22 games in the box and many many more available for free, it turned into pretty much a slam dunk. And this is from someone who has no love at all for abstract games.

Hopefully that helps!
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C&H Schmidt
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Interesting thread; I subscribed to see what people say!

I am a pyramid newbie who did back the project on Kickstarter (I had been interested in picking up some pyramids without yet having played any of the games, but they were not really available in Europe, so this was the perfect opportunity to get into the whole thing; enough of the games looked fun to really fun), but I do not have my copy yet.
In fact, I won't get it for a while either because I had to move abroad on short notice and my game is delivered to my partner's place, so I can only play it when I go home for Christmas.

Anyway, I'm interested in reading what others say!
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David E
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I am a Pyramid newbie and I just got my set, so I can't tell you yet, but I will once I have had a chance to play a few games.

I backed it, despite never having played any Pyramid games before, because the descriptions intrigued me, I do like abstracts, and there was a lot of favorable buzz about it. $77 for a modular set that can be used to play dozens of games seems like a pretty good value, even if only a couple of the games have replay value.
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Jack Hsu
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I got into the pyramid system so I have something to play with my kids. My oldest son (12) likes competitive gaming and we usually have a monthly gaming session (usually Summoner Wars). My daughter (10) on the other hand, doesn't like these types of games and my youngest (6) is too young to understand more complicated games. Our initial foray into the pyramid system was Zendo using origami pieces. My daughter seemed more interested in abstract gaming, so the next step was to try some of the other pyramid games on BGG and at Icehouse.org. We had fun with Treehouse, Ice Towers, and Hijinks, especially my daughter, who I could not get interested in any other games. While waiting for the Pyramid Arcade, we got 3 Xeno stashes and a Pink Treehouse set. We tried Black Ice (a big hit with my daughter) and Zark City (my older son prefers this game). With the arrival of the Pyramid Arcade, we have been playing multiple pyramid games each night and having a lot of fun. My youngest even got into the action by beating me in a game of Black Ice.

I believe the Pyramid Arcade is a great bargain for the price. The games in the box range from very easy and fast (that a 6 year old can play and have fun) to high level complexity (more for myself and my oldest). So far, we have played about a third of the games and we haven't played a game we didn't like. From my standpoint, it allows me to spend quality time with my children, especially my daughter, who is not really a gamer and normally refuses to play board games with me. She makes an exception with Pyramid Arcade games as she enjoys most of the games in the set and likes playing with the pyramids. It also engages my youngest as he likes manipulating the pyramids and rolling the dice. Hope this helps.

BTW, games played so far:
Black Ice
Color Wheel
Give or Take
Ice Dice
Ice Towers
Launch 23
Petri dish
Pharaoh
Twin Win
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sam zitin
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I'm not a pyramid newbie, in fact I've been playing with pyramids for 16 years but I have introduced dozens of people to them over the years and several of my youth group kids I advise wound up backing the kickstarter after playing games with me. I think it was a Chanukkah present for most of them but after having received their copies(and I mine) we are all thrilled with the value of the box.

The components are truly top notch, the pyramids themselves are actually nicer than their original incarnations, the boards are solid and gorgeous, the cards beautiful, the design top to bottom is truly incredible. I don't think a single publisher in the marketplace would be ashamed to call this one of their games from a production standpoint.

If you compare the sticker price to what you would have had to pay for everything in there once upon a time? You're saving actually. 90 pyramids would have cost you about $60, and a volcano board another $18, the wheel board was never even available commercially, the only version they did have was like $40 or something equally ridiculous. The deck of cards alone is awesome and I'm thinking of new possibilities for it's use.

The game quality is also wonderful. My youth group kids are constantly playing Volcano, Icetowers, Pharoah, powerhouse and verticality. We're working our way up to homeworlds.

I personally owned 180 pyramids BEFORE the kickstarter and still backed it and I don't regret it for a second. For what it's worth, Volcano is my literal favorite game of any type of all time.
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Justin Jackson
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My story when it comes to these is I am actually also fairly new- learning about pyramids when the kickstarter came along. What drew me was I like the idea of a set of pieces that have multiple applications. That alone makes it worth the price of admission but then there are many other games that were created using these by fans (plus a few I am now developing on my own) and I find its easily worth it. Its also relatively cheap seeing as the costs of the set were already discussed but if you also do it as a cost per game you are spending about 3.50 per game which is nice.
So far, we have played a few of the games included- Treehouse, IceDice, Color wheel, and hijinks (though I played this one earlier as I ordered pink hijinks before my copy of arcade came in)
And I enjoy them quite a bit. That said, the only one I am not sure I will like is pyramid sham bo.
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Jeff Wolfe
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I am also not new, but I am interested in seeing what new players have to say. I passed 1000 logged pyramid plays just before the Arcade arrived, including all 22 Arcade games. My favorite Arcade game is Volcano (especially the variant included in the Arcade) and my favorite of the "new" games is probably Color Wheel. Outside of the Arcade, it's Zendo.

Since I already have boatloads of pyramids, the appeal to me was the other components. It's nice to have a real Wheel board instead of just one printed out on paper. I also only had paper World War 5 boards before. I didn't play WW5 that much before, but I've already played it on the new board. Even the regular Volcano board is nice, since my other Volcano boards are a Mega (6x6) board and a cloth board from Treehouse. The Arcade cards are surprisingly useful for selecting a game (or games, for a throwdown). I could go on.
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E. Strathmeyer
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The Arcade becomes even more exciting if you have any interest in game design. You get a box full of cool components (not your usual d6 and spinners here!), dozens of great games using those components, and even some design challenges! (I won't spoil exactly what those are.)

Pyramids are all about playing around and having fun. Whether or not the contents of the box are worth the price is up to you!
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Lou Lessing
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It's hard to say if $77 is a good price for the gameplay you get. That's deeply subjective. You get a whole bunch of games, probably you'll like some of them but not all of them. You can get a lot of hours out of Pyramid Arcade, but you can get a lot of hours out of just about any game, including games that are much cheaper and games that are much more expensive. Buy it if you think you'll like it.

Comparing components is a lot easier, and in that department Pyramid Arcade's pretty good. $77 is pretty steep for a game, but I'd say you get your money's worth. Those are nice bits, and there's a lot of them.

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Mark Jackson
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my wife and i and some of our friends got pretty into playing Zendo with some paper pyramids i made a while ago, so we backed this kickstarter to get some actual pyramids. plus my wife and i really like playing little games on our porch (when the weather permits), and this set appeared to have a lot of good potential porch games included.

so far we have very much enjoyed everything we have tried, though we haven't played many games yet. i can foresee us getting a lot of mileage out of this box, and i wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who likes the look of it.
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Chris Evans
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Thank you all, this is helpful!
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sam zitin
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For what it's worth, if you are a Dicetower fan, I think Tom's video review is one of the most telling on the product that I've seen.
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Peter S.
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Still waiting on my copy, though as someone new to the Pyramids I can say I had been aware of them for a while, and when I first heard about a potential Kickstarter I decided that would be the best way to get on board. Really, I want them because they are pretty and appear to be pretty fun; I look at my board game collection as being for the guests I have over as much as for myself, and this looked like something attractive, inviting, and with games spanning the gamut of time and complexity.
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Jason Webster
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sammyz wrote:
For what it's worth, if you are a Dicetower fan, I think Tom's video review is one of the most telling on the product that I've seen.


I 2nd this
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Blake Cetnar
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First and foremost.

You can't think of Icehouse/Treehouse/Looney Labs pyramids (however you refer to them) as a 'game'

This is a GAMING SYSTEM, similar to how you would treat a deck of cards. You can play a HUGE number of different games with this set and more games are always being developed.

Also there is a GREAT online resource at https://www.icehousegames.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

The What Can I Play section gives you a sorted list of what you can play (by numerous criteria, like how many players, or how many stashes of pyramids you have, etc). And the Community Games section is where the player-made games (either finished or in a building/testing state reside).

I've made several myself. I have around 15 stashes of pyramids so that's ... uh ... 200+ pyramids. So I guess that makes me a fan of the system.

But the thing is ... there is something in here for everyone. There are very simple games that are quick to learn and play with just a few pieces and there are others that are very strategic and take a while to play and numerous pieces.

If you can't find at least a couple of games that sound interesting on that wiki page I would be VERY surprised.
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Jeff Wolfe
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Topgun505 wrote:
You can't think of Icehouse/Treehouse/Looney Labs pyramids (however you refer to them) as a 'game'

The current preferred term is Looney Pyramids.
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Richard Hutnik
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I wasn't going to do a video for my YouTube channel on it, but I was so impressed by how the pyramids stored, I did an unboxing video on it:



It is more of a reveal of the insides than a pure unboxing, because I went through the box prior to doing the video.
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Chris Evans
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Ok, update is due!

So several weeks ago, thanks to a Marbles Groupon and another coupon from Marbles, I was able to obtain Pyramid Arcade!

What a great collection of games! We've spent the last month or so playing several games from the collection such as Icedice, Pyramid Sham-bo, Color Wheel, and Give or Take. We've yet to even try several others, but I'm excited to at some point soon begin checking those out. We've really played the above games the most and the kids love Icedice especially (so much so that we, with the help of a person from the Starship Captain group, tracked down an original copy of Icedice). My 10-year old finds Color Wheel to be a fun challenge and I was happy to see her setting it up on her own one day because she wanted to try to beat her previous high score.

My 6-year old looked at the pieces and took out the hijinks board and said "daddy, we can play tic-tac-toe with this" so we had fun doing that even. The kids both sat down and wrote down an entire page of rules for games that they made up, which I thought was really cool to see their minds working in that way. There's a ton of potential for game creation in this box.

Of course I then had to track down the Kickstarter Green pyramids and the pink pyramids and the extra cards, all of which probably cost me more than the Kickstarter (and no Rainbow Stashes or Xeno Stashes for me). But that's on me I guess for not being savvy about the Looney Pyramids and therefore not realizing that Pyramid Arcade was actually a good value.

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