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Why You Should Check Out Looney’s Play Pyramid Arcade

Why You Should Check Out Looney’s Play Pyramid Arcade

My first introduction to Looney Labs was seeing this silly looking tube of pyramids. I had just started working at a game store and had no idea how addicting their games were. It wasn’t long until I was addicted to Fluxx and Treehouse. And tongue-tied when I finally got to meet the creators.

Walk into the demo room at a trade show and you immediately know which tables are for Looney Labs. Adorned with a tied dyed table cloth, there is no doubt that the hippies manning it are Kristin and Andy Looney. They welcome you to their table with wide open arms and play with you (and, if you are very lucky, show you previews of games in the works). You leave the night with no doubt in your mind that they love their jobs and their fans.

Decades in the making, they kickstarted Pyramid Arcade, a huge set that includes 90 of their pyramid pieces and the rules for 22 games to play with them. Not one to let you learn the rules alone, Andy and Kristin made a Youtube video for each game, for those of us who hate fuddling over rules and want to get gaming as soon as we crack open the box.

How did two NASA engineers end up making a game company? It all started with Andy writing a story that had the characters playing a game:

My first game was Treehouse and I think it will always be my favorite. It’s deceptively simple, but gets harder the more players there are. Everyone gets a set of pyramids and are rolling a die to aim, dig, or swap them to match the House’s pyramids. If your friends are like mine, they will continually use their turn to change out the House’s pieces to keep you from winning the game.

Do you want to press your luck? Ice Dice is a fairly fast game that you roll dice to collect three monochrome trees. You roll until either you want to stop or you re-roll the same color and lose the pieces for that turn. Kristin is wicked fast on the dice snatch at the beginning of the demo. That is totally me on games like this.

Pyramid Sham Bo is one of those games that is good for a party. It’s Rock, Paper, Scissors with pyramids to keep score. Who’s the best as reading what people are going to do? Not me, I get knocked out of the running fairly easily, but it’s fun to watch my friends go after each other.

Obviously, these games are way more fun in person or with a bigger group. With 22 to choose from, there’s bound to be something for everyone in your group. Andy’s favorite game is Homeworlds. a game Kristin refuses to play with him because it’s rare to beat him. Since it was made, he’s only been beaten 12 times, and he gives a metal to you if you can win.

If you don’t believe me that these two love what they do, there is a rumor that Kristin keeps a copy of Pink Hijinks on her belt when she’s traveling. One of these days, I hope to run into her at the airport to confirm this rumor.

Far be it for me to give away all the secrets of the industry, but there is a pretty amazing one for Fluxx. The next time you see Andy Looney at a convention, ask him for his autograph. I promise, it’s so worth it.

What’s your favorite game from Looney Labs? Think you can beat Andy at a game of Homeworlds? Leave me a comment!

Featured Image Credit: Looney Labs

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