Looney Pyramids FAQ

For games not included in Pyramid Arcade, or other Looney Labs publication, please check the fan-run pyramid wiki icehousegames.org for more info, and/or contact the designer of that game. For additional answers please email us at: FAQ@looneylabs.com

Zendo (new, stand-alone box set)
Homeworlds
Looney Ludo / Martian Coasters
Other Looney Pyramid Games:
Hijinks (Pink or not)
IceDice
Launchpad 23
Martian Chess
Petal Battle
Pharaoh
Powerhouse
Treehouse
Zark City

Questions about the pyramids in general:

Q: What are the differences between the pyramids from different generations, like early ones vs. the later Pyramid Arcade ones?

A: Just before Pyramid Arcade came out Pyramid fans were curious about that newest generation of Looney Pyramids, which would have slightly rounder tips than the two previous manufacturing runs (which were themselves ever so slightly different from each other). Our goal, of course, is for all pyramids to be interchangeable and as otherwise identical to the other versions as possible, but concerns were expressed about stacking new ones onto old ones and having them look funny or something.

So, Andy put together a test set consisting of four trios from each of the three production runs, with freshly opened pieces of each type, and he carried this set around in one of those awesome round tins he’s so fond of.

These were his primary play-testing pyramids for a while, and he spent a lot of time stacking, nesting, and playing actual games using this set, to make sure the three types would all interact smoothly. He was happy to report that they’re great!

He also took a series of photos, which do reveal some slight differences:

For the purposes of this report:
G1 are the first type, made in the USA
G2 are the first set of Chinese-made pyramids, matching the first as closely as possible
G3 are from the newest Pyramid Arcade style, which are more rounded, to comply with EU safety regulations
(You may notice some odd colors in the photos: since he had some, he used G1 pieces with slightly non-standard colors (electric yellows and pinkish reds) to make them more easily distinguishable visually.)

These first three photos show that G1 pyramids do stack taller than the others, but he didn’t find that it mattered — or was even noticeable — in actual play.

The next four photos show the pyramids in mixed trios and stacks. Note that for the stacks of nests shown in the lower right photo, each nest has a mixture of all three generations of pyramids. Again, there are some very slight differences in how they stack, but it’s not something you’d notice, let alone feel is a problem, in actual use.

This last photo just shows G3 pyramids being stacked up in weird ways that, as you can see, are all still possible.

In closing Andy would like to say that, while he used to worry that rounder-tipped pyramids would feel inferior, once he actually had them in hand, he felt that, not only were they perfectly acceptable, he had to admit they were actually pretty nice. Maybe even better.

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Q: What are the dimensions of Looney Pyramids?

A: Here’s an old page for the original specifications from the first time we had them commercially injection-molded. Note that the height is somewhat less for the more recent Pyramid Arcade pieces, since the tips are slightly more rounded. Given that the height is different now, what’s more important to us is probably the angles being correct.

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Q: Can I buy your pyramids in custom quantities?

A: Short answer: No.

Our pyramids are made in a “family mold” which means one of each size at a time, so we can’t sell uneven quantities. Also, they’re made for the express purpose of putting them in our products, so we don’t just have a bunch of them lying around loose as “extras” to sell. We hope to eventually come out with expansion sets for Pyramid Arcade which would have one nest each of the ten colors, and, just as we have the sizes made in even quantity, we’d be making the sets in even quantities of the colors, and certainly are not going to want to open those up and mix and match them for people.

If you’re looking to use our pyramids in a game you’re developing, the answer is NO, see this FAQ for more info:
Can I use your pyramids in my game?

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Q: Can I use your pyramids in my game?

A: If you have an existing game from another company, and you wish to use our pyramids as interesting add-ons, substitutes, or accessories, that’s totally fine. We hear about this all the time: people using them as props or puzzle components in RPGs, for example, or subbing them in as counters or game tokens for other games.

If, on the other hand, you’re developing your own game for publication, and you’d like to use our pyramids as part of the game you intend to sell, that’s a hard NO. Our pyramids are custom manufactured for our games. They are Looney Labs items, and we would not want them included in any other product which is not made by, or officially associated with our company, and certainly not in any other product sold by someone else.

Please look into using some other-shaped piece for your games. There are a vast number of companies which produce pawns in all sorts of shapes and sizes. If you need them to stack, that quality is undoubtedly available as well.

You can absolutely use them for prototyping and playtesting game design concepts, but please make sure that the pieces in your eventual actual game are not copies of our pieces. Penguin Soccer is a great example of what you can do. It was designed with pyramids, and even shared with the pyramid community online, and later developed for publication using completely non-pyramidal pieces.

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Q: How many games in Pyramid Arcade are good for two players?

A: Almost every single game in Pyramid Arcade can be played with 2 players. Only a couple are probably still better with more (or less!), and many are 2-player only.

1-2 or more:
Color Wheel is perhaps best viewed as a solitaire game, but it’s fun to play cooperatively with two, or you can play it competitively by seeing who can solve it in the fewest moves.

2 player only:
Black Ice
Hijinks
Homeworlds
Lunar Invaders
Martian Chess
Petal Battle

2 or more, absolutely fine with 2
IceDice
Launchpad 23
Petri Dish
Pharaoh
Powerhouse
Treehouse
Twin Win
Verticality
Volcano (actually better w/ 2 than more)
Zark City

2 or more, but better with more
Give or Take
IceTowers
Looney Ludo
World War 5

more than 2
Pyramid-sham-bo (listed in the book as ok for 2, but that’s a typo. Actually really the more the merrier.)

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Q: Are Xeno stashes coming back? When will I be able to get those colors again?

A: Those colors of pyramids (cyan, orange, purple, clear, white) will be available again, but not in that particular set.

When we produced Pyramid Arcade, we switched the primary way we sell pyramids (again!) Since Pyramid Arcade comes with 3 stashes of 10 colors, we plan to make expansion sets at some point, but they will likely be in sets of all ten colors, instead of separate packages of five Rainbow or five Xeno. Also, we changed the design of the pyramids themselves, ever so slightly, so that the tips are a little bit rounder. This was so that we could pass safety testing for EU markets.

As for WHEN we will be producing expansion sets of pyramids, that will be the next time we have a run of Pyramid Arcade printed, which will all depend on how fast we sell through the first print-run.

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Q: What size are the decks of cards in Pyramid Arcade?

A: There are three different decks in Pyramid Arcade, each a very different size.

The Zark City deck is like a regular deck of playing cards, except that it has five suits and the cards are square. Measurement (roughly, using a ruler) is: 2 & 5/8″ (7 cm) on a side.

The Pyramid Arcade deck, which has a card for each game in the set, has more familiar dimensions. I believe they would be called “poker sized” (wider than “bridge sized”). These are 3 & 7/16″ (8.75 cm) tall by 2 & 15/32″ (6.3 cm) wide.

The Twin Win deck has miniature-sized playing cards which measure 2 & 11/32” (6 cm) tall by 1 & 9/16 (3.95 cm) wide.

See also: What size are Fluxx cards (or any of your other games?)

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Q: Hey, do you still have any more of those tubes that pyramids used to be sold in?

A: We regret to tell you we are long since out of the tubes. We had some left over for quite a while after we switched, and kept them up for sale for folks who liked them, even though we found that they were actually kind of sub-optimal (or years in storage had made them so). They were quite tight in the corners, and the pyramids would stick. Even with all that, and how slowly they sold, we’re completely out of them.

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Q: We think we broke the game. Are we doing it wrong?

See this answer in a video!
Little Answers

A: A good rule of thumb for any game is that if you find that you have several possible interpretations of a rule, the one that breaks the game is probably NOT the correct way to play.

Note that if you only see ONE way to play a card, and it seems broken, please do search our FAQ for known errata or clarifications*, or contact us. It could be a typo, or a new interaction that we have not considered.

*The fastest way is to search on the name of the card you’re having a problem with.

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