IceDice - Board Game Box Shot

IceDice

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Ice Dice Game

IceDice is a fast-playing, easy-to-learn dice game with great press-your-luck action that'll keep you playing over and over again! Your goal is simple: collect 3 matching sets of pyramids. If the piece you roll is gone from the bank, you get to steal it from your opponent!

Rules to a bonus game, Launchpad 23, are also included, along with a colorful 24 page Guide to Looney Pyramids promoting the game system and 11 other games that can be played with the pyramids.

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“Appealing... Addicting... Alluring... Pyramids!”

Anyone familiar with Looney Labs games knows about their Pyramids, and IceDice is the latest of their Pyramid games. In fact, IceDice includes rules to another pyramid game: Launch Pad 23. So I will briefly review both games in this space.

Before I get to that, for those of you who don’t know about Looney Pyramids, I’ll explain. Looney Pyramids can best be described as multi-functional game pieces and were invented by Andrew Looney. They are 3 dimensional pyramids in 5 different colors, and in 3 different sizes. They can be stacked small to large, forming a “nest” and large to small forming a “tree”. They each have values, (1-3 pips depending on size) and are used for over 100 games designed by Andrew Looney, the company’s owner and many other fans. More on these later, but for now let’s focus on IceDice and LP23.

Style/Components: (Strangely …appealing)
Well, this is the central attraction of Looney Pyramid games! These little pyramids are colorful, and just plain appealing to play with. They look cool and are completely versatile. With IceDice, you get 2 “Rainbow Stashes,” or 2 sets of 5 colors of Pyramids in the three sizes. 2 IceDice dice are also included. They are easy to read and sturdy. The game includes a Launch Pad 23 game card as well, which is simply functional. This all comes in a nifty, pyramid shaped carry bag.

Gameplay: (Quick and quirky)
In IceDice, players roll two dice and place matching pyramids into a central area called the “counter.” When a player chooses to stop rolling, they place those pyramids in their “vault.” If a player rolls the same color as they already have in the counter, they “bust out.” You can steal pieces from your opponent’s vault as well. Capture 3 trios of the same color and you win!

In Launch Pad 23, using the same pieces and the game card, players roll the dice in an attempt to build a 5-stage rocket on their launch pad. In this case the dice results allow you to move pieces around a small factory and land them on your launch pad. Once a player has 5 pyramids, all the same size, each of a different color on their pad, they win.

The gameplay of these two games, and several of the other pyramid games are extremely tight. The mathematics used in constructing the games is obvious, and abstract strategy at its best. But the addition of the random factor of dice makes the games very enjoyable. It’s true, your success on each turn depends on the roll of the dice and feels random, but multiple plays allow you to change your strategy to accommodate for this, and even allowing a player to decide on an overall strategy from the outset and then go for it. As the games progress, your options become fewer and luck plays a more integral role. But you feel great satisfaction in a victory with this blend of tactics and luck.

Value: (Through the roof)
The replay value for these two games is high, thanks to the multiplicity of game outcomes. The pyramids included in the IceDice set can be used in several other of the pyramid games. So, for $20 you essentially get the components to play 5 or 6 pyramid games. And with an inexpensive addition of more Rainbow Stashes, and a few dice, or a game board, many more are accessible.

Audience: (Seekers of fun!)
Pyramid games have a wide appeal. They are very Family friendly, and also provide a fun challenge for Avid and Casual and Social gamers. Strategy gamers will enjoy these games as well, and will appreciate the simple streamlined mechanics, but only if they allow for some luck to be involved. Power gamers may not get the “point,” but Ill bet they are entertained just the same.

Instructions (One page…‘nuff said)
Concise. Simple. The instructions for these game and other pyramid games have a common theme: to get you playing as quickly as possible. You will learn the game in minutes.

Overall Review: (Appealing and Addicting)
You know you are on to something when you invent some game pieces, and it spawns literally hundreds of games and fans. That’s the affect Pyramids has had on the game community for the last 20 years. The games are light on rules and expansive on game play experiences. You can play over and over again and seldom have the same end result. More complicated strategies appear as you play. And this is always the mark of a great game: simple to learn difficult to master.

That said, these games are not for everyone. They usually have a random factor involved, and the abstract strategy of many of the games, including the roll/move/capture mechanics of IceDice and Launch Pad 23 either appeal to you as a player or not. Abstract strategy is what it is.

But those little pyramids are just so darn appealing… Come on… you know. I really recommend you try IceDice, or other Pyramid games. You can find the full compliment of Pyramid games rules on the Looney website. And once you go Looney, you may never want to stop playing.

 

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