Thumb up
4 Posts

Pyramid Arcade» Forums » Variants

Subject: Lockpick: A Solitaire Pyramid Arcade Game rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Nicholas Vaccaro
United States
flag msg tools
Hi all!

If you've gotten this far, you have a good idea of what Pyramid Arcade is as a game system. It's a way of making accessible the gamut of Looney Pyramid games. But it's also more - something indicated by Andy Looney at the back of the rulebook.

In the final pages, Looney describes a game called Glotz: the game that hasn't been invented. The challenge is simple; the box contains everything you need to make your own game. His specific challenge number 2 has the budding designer use a specific die, a deck of cards, and some specific pyramids to make a game.

Below is my first attempt at a Glotz game. This game, which I call Lockpick, is a solitaire game utilizing the game pieces outlined in Glotz Challenge #2.

If you've gotten this far, I sincerely thank you for reading. I am interested in feedback. My goal is to ensure that there's always another Glotz on the horizon.



Players: 1
Time: Medium
Complexity: Medium

The Color Die
One regular die
Zark City Cards
One pyramid trio from each color on the Color Die


Lockpick is a solitaire game in which the player attempts to hack through a complex firewall using their homemade software named “Lockpick.” The player attempts to break all of five different colored locks before the system detects the hack.

* Firewall: The set of 15 pyramids representing the security system to be broken.
* Tumblers: Individual pyramids representing the different parts of the firewall. Tumblers are Frozen when cards are added to their respective Lock Stacks.
* Code Stack: Face-down cards representing the available codes. Cards are Popped off the Code Stacks.
* Pick Stack: Face-up cascaded cards representing possible codes. Cards are Pushed onto or Jumped between parts of the Pick Stacks.
* Lock Stack: Face-up cards representing correct codes. Cards are Locked Into the Lock Stacks.
* Detected: The hack is detected by the security system when all Code Stacks are depleted.

Freeze all three tumblers in each of the five firewall locks before the hack is detected.

Place all pyramids standing in a line grouped together by color, ordered Red > Yellow > Green > Blue > Violet. Separate the deck of cards by suit, shuffle each stack together, and place face down in front of the same-colored trio. Leave enough space between each stack and the pyramids for another stack of cards.

How to Play

Begin each turn by rolling both dice. Choose one of the below actions based on the state of the decks. If the player rolls a wild (atom) on the color die, choose any one color for the action.

* If there are any cards left in the Code Stack for the rolled color, the player must Pop cards off the Code Stack and Push them onto the Pick Stacks.
* Pop: Take a number of cards off the Code Stack for the rolled color equal to the rolled number into the player’s hand. If there are not enough cards in the Code Stack, take as many as are available.
* Push: Place one card onto the top of any of the Pick Stacks. Ensure that the cards are cascaded so that the values of all cards are visible. If a value of two or more was rolled, choose a direction, left or right, and place one card onto each stack moving in that direction.
* Push Details: The order in which to play cards from the player’s hand is up to the player. If there is not another stack to the left or right of the last stack and there are still cards to push, wrap around to the other side. See example below.
* Lock In: If, after pushing all codes, any Pick Stacks have three adjacent cards forming a Set, the player must Lock In these cards into the Lock Stack. Take the cards from the stack and place them into the Lock Stack for the same color lock. Then, Freeze one Tumbler by placing a standing pyramid on its side.
* Set: Three cards of a single value or forming an ascending or descending run of values. Runs of cards can wrap around between the King, Ace and 2. Sets do not have to contain all cards of the same suit.
* Lock In Details: The cards do not have to be on top of the stack to be locked in. If, after performing all available Lock Ins, others Lock Ins become available due to cards being pulled from the center of the stacks, they must also be performed.
* If there are no cards left in the Code Stack for the rolled color, the player may optionally Dig a card in the Pick Stacks.
* Dig: From the top of any of the Pick Stacks, count a number of cards less than or equal to the number rolled. If there are any cards matching the rolled color, the player may take that card into her hand and place it on top of any Pick Stack, including the one from which the card was taken. After placing the card, Lock In any cards if possible.
* Dig Details: The card on top of the Pick Stack is accessed with a roll of one or greater. If a stack has 7 or more cards, the player could not access any beyond the sixth without removing some from the stack.

Example Pop and Push
The player rolls red and 6. There are 6 or more cards on the Red Code Stack, so she pops 6 codes (takes 6 cards) from the top of the stack. She decides to place her first card on the Green Pick Stack and move left. The next cards go onto the Yellow, Red, Violet, Blue and Green (again) stacks.

Example Dig
The player rolls blue and 4. There are 7 cards in the Red Pick Stack. Counting from the top, the third and fourth cards are Blue. The player chooses to take the third card from stack and place it on top of the Yellow stack. Removing the card from the Red stack causes three cards to form a run in the center of the stack. The player Locks In these cards.

How to Win

Freeze all Tumblers to win. If the final card is Popped from the final Code Stack, the player has until the end of her turn to Freeze the last Tumbler. Otherwise, the hack is Detected and the player loses.


* Popping cards and Locking In are mandatory actions when possible. Jumping is optional.
* If all three Tumblers of a color have been Frozen, cards are still Locked Into that color’s Lock Stack.
* If the player notices a Set of cards they failed to Lock In previously, she Locks In the cards immediately, even during another action.
* If the player rolls a wild, they may choose a color which allows them to Pop cards or Dig cards, whichever are available.


Below is a picture (potato!) of the setup of the game. The face-down stacks are the Code Stacks. The Pick Stacks go closer to the player and the Lock Stacks go between the Code Stacks and the Tumblers.

The remainder of the images are dark, but the details are there. These show an example turn.

Third move - a yellow and a six. This shows the cards popped into my hand.

Third move having pushed all 6 cards onto the Pick Stacks. I started with the third (green) stack and wrapped around to the right, placing one card on each stack.

After pushing the cards, the green stack had a set of 3 cards. Those automatically locked in a green tumbler. I moved the cards up to the Lock Stack and knocked a green pyramid over to denote.

 Thumb up
  • [+] Dice rolls
msg tools
Savings this for later. I've been looking for more 1 player games.
 Thumb up
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Boyers
United States
flag msg tools
I just tried this tonight. Thanks for posting it!

I ended up with five tumblers in three colors. At times it felt rather random, but I think there are definitely some strategic options available, especially when the code stacks start running out and you can start digging.

Are you able to win consistently with a few more plays under your belt?
 Thumb up
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Vaccaro
United States
flag msg tools
Hey. Not sure if the geek was down last time I tried replying. Hoping this goes through. : )

Thank you for trying this! I'm currently ending up around a 67% win rate. I think this game, like many solitaire games, can sway heavily with luck either way, and that skill can mitigate most losses.

So far I've found that draining a single color when given the option is a good move. Also, knowing when to build a garbage pile as opposed to spreading out bad plays over many stacks.
 Thumb up
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.