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 themselves captured gamers' imagination, and now they're like a deck of vanilla playing cards in that there are million different games you can play with them. Some of these games have even won awards.
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 all players empty their stash, or time runs out. 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 can place one pyramid at a time from their stash to the table (you can't alternate hands for speed, though you can move a piece from one hand to the other). A pyramid pointing up counts for points, unless enough pyramids on their sides are pointed at it, then it scores zero, and is considered "iced". Pyramids pointing must aim at a standing pyramid of another color, and must be within a length equal to their own of the one they are pointing at. Moving already-placed pyramids is not allowed, and if you do, you must give up the piece you were holding and put everything back properly. If subtracting the score of a pyramid attacking yours from the total of the attackers would still leave it iced, you may take that pyramid prisoner, removing it from the board and adding it to your stash for later play. This happens more often then you would think, through diplomacy and clever play. If a player has seven or less pyramids on their stash, and has no standing pyramids that are still scoring, a player can call Icehouse and claim their entire stash as prisoners. A player put in the Icehouse gets zero points for the game, though they can still claim prisoners they are entitled to. Yes, the game is complicated and challenging.
- 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.
In this game, pyramids are arranged into configurations called 'koans', which, according to some secret rule devised by a player called the 'Master', either "have Buddha-nature" or do not. The remaining players, called 'students', must use inductive logic to discover this secret rule by creating koans and having the Master identify them as having or not having Buddha-nature.
At the start of the game, the Master builds two koans, one with Buddha-nature and one without, and says which is which. Players then take turns creating koans of their own. After creating a koan, the student may either ask the Master whether it has Buddha-nature, or let himself and the other students try to guess whether it does. Each student who guesses correctly is awarded a "guessing stone".
After making a koan and either asking or guessing whether it has Buddha nature, the player whose turn it is may then choose spend a guessing stone for the chance to guess the rule itself. Once this guess has been made, the Master must, after asking whatever clarifying questions are necessary, create a counterexample koan that either fits the secret rule but not the player's guess, or fits the player's guess but not the secret rule. If no such counterexample can be created, the player has achieved enlightenment and has won the game.
In 2017, a second edition of the game was released with its own new pieces instead of Icehouse pyramids, a deck of cards for generating rules, and the goofy Buddhist theme phased out. To card expansions released, which were later combined with the cards from the base set, backported for play with the classic pyramids, and released as a standalone deck.
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
Feels like chess but will bend your head. The object of the game is to score points by capturing opponents pieces. 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, and all captures give your opponent the piece you captured theirs with. If any player is unable to move, the game ends. You can also merge two of your pieces to make a more powerful piece, in hopes of being able to capture with it before your opponents can capture it. 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.
- Icehouse wiki
- Boardgame geek entries for icehouse games
- official site - (they call them "Looney Pyramids" since 2011)
|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 - Wingspan|