A few days ago I stumbled across this project and honestly, my first thought was, “Are those Zendo pyramids? Please say yes!”
If that reference doesn’t make any sense to you, Zendo (designed by Kory Heath and published by Looney Labs) is a logic game where one player creates a structure using pyramids of various sizes and colours and then the other players take guesses to figure out the rule that the original structure possesses. It’s a really great game and one that is incredibly popular within my gaming group. Unfortunately the game itself is no longer in print (you can, however, buy the pyramids to make your own set from their website here and a pdf set of rules can be found here).
So when I first saw this I was excited that there was a possibility that Zendo was included in this set of games. Sadly, it is not. But that doesn’t mean that this project is lacking in any way.
What It Offers
Pyramid Arcade offers 22 individual games:
- Ice Dice
- Zark City
- Color Wheel
- Black Ice
- Twin Win
- Petal Battle
- LaunchPad 23
- Ice Towers
- Lunar Invaders
- Looney Ludo
- Give or Take
- World War 5
- Petri Dish
- Martian Chess
Made up of 117 components:
- 90 Pyramids
- 8 Mini Game Boards
- 1 Two-Sided Folding Game Board
- 2 Deluxe Plastic Boards
- 9 Dice
- 1 Deck of Special Playing Cards (with 5 suits!)
- 1 Mini Deck of Twin Win Cards
- 1 Deck of Arcade Cards
- 1 Drawstring Bag
- 1 Turn Token
- 1 Starship Captain Sticker
- 1 Instruction Book
The Games of Pyramid Arcade
Since Kickstarter campaign pages shouldn’t be excessively lengthy, it is often a nice feature to either see an intro video explaining the game or videos throughout the campaign page showing reviews or gameplay. For me, this always is a selling point and as a potential backer, it should be for you too. This campaign does a great job of sticking to this formula. Not only do they have a nice intro video that summarizes the project itself, they also include links further down the page to videos that give an overview/playthrough of some of the games included in Pyramid Arcade. This a really great feature to the campaign. Instead of having to read about each individual game, I can watch the designers go through it themselves.
The individual games seem to be varying in length and complexity. A game like Give or Take is rather simple, only requiring a roll of the die and a decision to either take or give a specific pyramid; this game could go very fast depending on your luck. Or a game like Hijinks, which also includes a die roll, but involves quite a bit more strategy to win. Overall, the levels of strategy from game to game is a huge plus for me, because I like to have the option for how much my brain will need to work to play a game (no judging, we’ve all been there).
An added draw is that some of the games included in the set are award-winning games. In 2006 Treehouse won Best Game of the Year at Origins and in previous years, awards were also won for Martian Chess and Cosmic Coasters (the predecessor of Lunar Invaders). Pyramid Arcade (as a whole) was also voted 9th Most Anticipated Abstract Games of 2016 on BGG.
Pledge Level Variety
Now, if you have been a fan of Looney Labs for a long time, you may already have acquired enough pyramids over the years to fulfill the 90 pyramid requirement to play these 22 games. The $62 pledge level offers a copy of the game sans pyramids, so if you have 90 Looney Labs pyramids lying around, this is a great option to get the game at a lower price.
The game itself is offered at a $77 pledge level. They are also printing a set of special Kickstarter Green pyramids that are included for free in both the no-pyramid game option and the full game option.
If you just want to support the campaign, and still get some goodies, you can pledge $5 and get a trio of the Kickstarter Green pyramids for your own collection. Retailers also get a similar option for the same price, but it includes some special stipulations for resale of this special colour. The $111 dollar level gets you a signed copy of the game and like the previous pledge levels, gets you those green pyramids for free.
Most backers will probably drop their money on one of the pledges I’ve just listed. However, the campaign offers some more expensive pledge levels that give some really sweet level benefits. These levels go all the way up to $10,000! The $10,000 level gives you something totally unique: Set #77. This is one of their original 1989, 100 pyramid sets that was hand poured by Andy and Kristin (founders of Looney Labs). Not only will it be signed and numbered, but it will be hand delivered, to anywhere in the world, by designer Andy Looney.
Now that is pretty damn cool. All of the pledge levels that run into the thousands are all still available, but are limited. So, if you want to snag yourself one of these you have some time before the campaign closes.
Looney Labs is a pretty reputable company, so rest assured you are getting a great set of games with great quality. You are also getting a product that is coming from veteran game designers. Andy and Kristin Looney have a lot of loved and recognizable games under their belts. These games include Fluxx (and all of its many versions), Chrononauts, Just Desserts, and many more. Aside from their games, Looney Labs holds some rather simple and refreshing ideals: “Peace, love, happiness and fun.” As a backer, I am very drawn to the passion that the creators hold for their projects and ideas. I enjoy sharing in that, and knowing that I’m helping to make someone’s ideas turn into something tangible. Andy and Kristin seem like the kind of people you could meet for the first time and feel completely comfortable just sitting down to a game with them or even just a chat. As a backer that’s a comforting thing. The campaign page also offers a brief history of their company and what they are all about, which I thought was a really nice touch.
Overall, I think that Pyramid Arcade would make a great addition to anyone’s collection. It is coming from veteran designers who have passion for creating games, it will have quality components, it has a lot of versatility, and is pretty affordable considering what it offers.
The campaign began April 5th and will be ending on May 4th. There are 12 days (as I’m writing this) left to grab Pyramid Arcade for your own collection and support Looney Labs.
Was this helpful to you? What other information would you like to have seen? Have suggestions for future Spotlights? Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.