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A long-haired hippie named Andrew Looney came up with a way to play a wargame using the utensils on the table at a restaurant. Decided it would be better if there were regularly-shaped pieces instead, and pyramids are groovy, and like waiow man. He called it 'Icehouse.' The original 'Icehouse' game didn't really take off, but the pieces captured gamers's imagination and a shitload of games have been made using Icehouse pieces. Some of the new games have even won awards.

Icehouse Games[edit]

These are only a few examples; there are shitloads of Icehouse games. Some of them are kinda lame or unfinished; some of them are made of win.

Won the Origins award for "Best Board Game" in 2007

Every player has three pyramids stacked: small, medium, large. In the centre is the target set of pyramids: large pointing left, small pointing up, medium pointing right. Object of the game is to make your pyramid arrangement match the target arrangement. On your turn you roll a die which tells you how you can change the pyramid arrangements... and you can either change your own pyramids, OR change the target pyramids.

Icehouse (the original)

Played real-time; the match is over when any one player empties their stash. Each player has a stash of 15 pyramids of one colour (5x small, 5x medium, 5x large), on a mousepad or plate. Simultaneously, every player (using only one hand) can place a pyramid from their stash to the table. A pyramid pointing up counts for points, unless enough pyramids on their sides are pointed at it, then it gets captured. Pyramids pointing must be unobstructed, so other lying-down pyramids can block it, but you can only place lying-down pyramids when they are attacking standing-up pyramids. Moving already-placed pyramids is not allowed.

Won the Origins award for "Best Abstract Board Game" in 2003

It's "New Eleusis" with icehouse pieces instead of playing cards. Better for those with spatial thinking instead of just algebra. The 'zendo master' has a simple rule in mind about how pyramids can be arranged (like "there must be a large pyramid pointing up" or "there must be a small pyramid pointing at a green pyramid"). Players arrange pyramids in front of them, and the master puts a marker down saying whether the arrangement has 'zendo nature'. If a student believes they've guessed the rule, they can challenge the master, and if the master cannot provide a counterexample for their guess, they win.


Take too long to explain. It's an boardless explore/exterminate spaceship game.

Gnostica (and Zarcana)

Take too long to explain. You play with tarot cards, which become the territory the pieces move around on and explore and cards you play out of your hand to activate powers. Pyramids fight each other on the tarot spread to control territory.

Martian Chess
a five-player game of Martian Chess

Feels like chess but will bend your head. The object of the game is not to capture all the enemy pieces, but to have no pieces left on your turn. However, 'your pieces' are all of the pieces in your area of the board when your turn starts, so if someone moves a pawn into your half of the board, it's now YOUR pawn, no matter whose pawn it was when the game started. 2 or 4 player games can be on a chess board; 3, 5 or 6 player games will need special printout pieces like what's in the picture.


Board Games
Classics: Backgammon - Chess - Go - Tafl - Tic-Tac-Toe
Ameritrash: Arkham Horror - Axis & Allies - Battleship - Betrayal at House on the Hill - Car Wars
Clue/Cluedo - Cosmic Encounter - Descent: Journeys in the Dark - Dungeon!
Firefly: The Game - HeroQuest - Monopoly - Mousetrap - Snakes and Ladders - Risk
Talisman - Trivial Pursuit
Eurogames: Agricola - Carcassonne - The Duke - Settlers of Catan - Small World - Stratego - Ticket to Ride
Pure Evil: Diplomacy - Dune (aka Rex: Final Days of an Empire) - Monopoly - The Duke
Others: Icehouse - Shadow Hunters - Twilight Imperium