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Looney Pyramids from Looney Labs

By James Jester
Published: March 29, 2013
Product: Looney Pyramids is a game system put out by the publisher Looney Labs, probably best known for their card game Fluxx and its myriad re-themes. They have released three standalone game packs that come in pyramid-shaped zipper pouches, each containing the components for one or two games that usually support anywhere from two to four players.

Each game pack of course contains the namesake for the system, colored plastic isosceles pyramids with a hollow base. These come in three different sizes, allowing them to be stacked and nested within each other in several different ways. Additionally, all packs come with custom dice, as well as a cloth game board that fits neatly into the base of the pouch.

The games included in the aforementioned packs serve to give players new to the system a taste of what is possible with the pyramid pieces. Since there are five different games amongst the three packs, I’ll try to summarize the gameplay below:

The Ice Dice pack contains two very different games. The namesake Ice Dice is a push-your-luck game in which you’re attempting to complete three matching pyramid stacks (three pyramids, one of each size and of the same color) before your opponents, stealing pieces from other players if necessary. In Launchpad 23, you are racing to complete a five-stage rocket built from randomly determined pyramids while trying to prevent your opponents from doing the same.

The Treehouse pack contains two games. In Treehouse, you are attempting to get your stack of pyramids to match a set in the center of the table before your opponents. Pharoah is an area-control board game in which you are attempting to align your three colored pieces in the center of the board while knocking off your opponent’s pieces, with a piece able to knock off a piece of the same size or smaller.

Pink Hijinks contains only one game involving either getting all of the pyramids of a particular size lined up across your side of the small game board first, or placing all of the pyramid pieces on your opponents side of the board.

All of the games rely on the use of dice to determine what actions are available to players or what pyramid pieces can be used. This may not be appealing to some gamers who prefer to have more control and options in their games, but it can lead to some entertaining moments when the outcome of the game comes down to a single die roll.

What is most intriguing about the Looney Pyramids system are the number of other games you could play with the pyramids as well, ranging from light filler games to deep abstract strategy games. Looney Labs offers rules for many additional games either on its website or in separate print books, with each detailing how many pyramids and other additional components are needed. Any additional components are easily created or already handy, such as a deck of cards. And, of course, you can also create your own game, or play one of the many created by others which can be found on the Looney Labs website.

Marketing: The game packs are ideal for those looking for either quick easy-to-learn family games or perhaps a light filler game while waiting for others to arrive for a board game night. As such, it would work best to sell it with similar games, whether cards games like Fluxx, or other games like Bananagrams or Cthulhu Dice. The Looney Pyramids’ versatile packaging would also make it ideal as a counter promo item, since they could easily be hung in view of customers without using up counter space.

Be sure to mention the many additional games one is able to play with the pieces. Considering the price point, it would be easy to purchase enough sets to play, for example, Martian Chess, a game on par with many abstract strategy games for roughly the same price.

Bottom Line:
• Game packs contain highly luck-driven games
• System allows for potentially hundreds of different games of all genres
• Game packs make great filler or family games

Vital Stats
Product: Looney Pyramids
Publisher: Looney Labs
Stock Numbers: LOO-040, LOO-046, LOO-053
MSRP: $10–20