Monday, April 11, 2016

Pyramid Arcade is on Kickstarter

Looney Labs has just started a Kickstarter project called Pyramid Arcade, which is the largest tool kit they've offered for their Looney Pyramids.

I've been playing with their pyramids for so long that Looney Pyramids is the third name that they've had for the system. I first started playing with them back when they were called Icehouse Pyramids. Then, they were Treehouse Pyramids. I have a feeling Looney Pyramids will stick since they finally named them after the company.

Looney Pyramids aren't a game. Instead, they're a game system. Think of them as a tool box, a collection of pieces you can use in different ways to play a wide variety of different games. Just like a deck of cards, only more pointy.

I am a big fan of game systems. Not just because they are a lot of game packed into a small space but because they really let you look at the nuts and bolts of mechanics. When you take away the chrome, you get to see all the moving parts.

Although, having just said that, the colorful stacking pyramids are awfully pretty chrome.

There's a lot of different games you can play with the pyramids, ranging from abstracts to dexterity to deduction to area control to resource management to war games. Okay, light war games. I'm pretty sure that Homeworlds qualifies as a 4X game.

There are a number of reasons I think that the pyramids have become a really good game system.

First of all, the actual pyramids themselves are very versatile. Pyramids that are stackable, come in three sizes and come in a wide variety of colors can be used in a variety of ways. And they make nice eye candy.

Second, the pyramids are really just the jumping off point. A lot of these games use boards, dice, cards or tokens. Alien City uses a whole other game system, the Piece Pack. That does kind of spoil the whole game system standing in its own (Hey, take this handful of pyramids. It's all you'll ever need) but the end result is a lot of fun, different games.

Finally, the pyramids have been supported and nurtured by both a game company and design community. One way or another, it has been supported since 1989. The pyramids are a living system that is constantly being developed by professionals and not-quite-as-professionals. 

I've played about half of the twenty-two of the games that will come in the Pyramid Arcade and eight of them I'm pretty sure are original to this set. Just from what I've played alone, I know it's a good collection.

The one glaring omission to the set is Zendo, which is my favorite pyramid game. Unfortunately, Zendo would require a different distribution of colors. On the other hand, you can still use the set to play Zendo, just not using colors. Really, you can use a handful coins to play Zendo if you felt like it.

And one of the stretch goals is to work on a sequel project that would allow people to play Zendo and other older games that used the older color distribution. 

Looney Labs has already reached their funding goal. I think they might've done it on the first day. The pyramids have been around for decades and they have really proven themselves as a gaming system.

No comments:

Post a Comment