Pyramid Arcade isn’t a single game, but a compendium of 22 games that use the same pieces – in the main, several sets of plastic pyramids in a variety of colours, but it also comes with other things such as boards and cards specific to certain games in the rulebook. As such, we can’t cover the rules of all the games here (and indeed, at time of writing we’ve not played them all).
But as a general flavour we can say that Pyramid Arcade comes as a delightful object – the design of the box and rulebook is graphically lovely, and the pieces themselves are well-constructed and look very pretty.
The games themselves will out of necessity veer towards the abstract. Although the box comes with some small boards for some of the games, the themes are extremely light, if present at all. Of the games we’ve played, they fall into two categories – short, push-your-luck games, or longer strategy games. Our favourite was the co-operative Colour Wheel, where players are simply trying to group pyramids of their own colour together with a limited amount of turns to do so. That was extremely simple on the rules, yet rather more-ish to play,
The rule book does contain the potential for an epic space battle game too (Homeworld) but in the main Pyramid Arcade skews to shorter games, and the rules tend to be pretty light – usually only a page or two.
I can’t make a real value judgement on Pyramid Arcade because I’ve only played about 8 of the games so far. What I can say is that it looks gorgeous, and is clearly made with a huge amount of care and attention to detail. I love the fact the rulebook encourages you to make up your own games as well. Of the games I’ve played, I enjoyed the shorter sillier ones more than the drier strategy ones, and my favourite was definitely the ludicrously simple Colour Wheel, which probably got played about 30 times in the first couple of weeks of ownership.
It’s a wonderful conceit that I think has been pulled off with aplomb. A box of games, rather than a game. The only caveat is that inevitably everything does feel abstract, and if you or your family love a theme – sci-fi, fantasy, or some more earthly thing such as the machinations of the German postal service – Pyramid Arcade is not that. However if you like the push-your-luck of a game like Ice Dice and the simple-but-tough stacking game of Verticality, this could be a big hit.
Variable from game to game.
Many of the games are fast-moving and silly
But one or two invite pause for thought.
The variety here is not just the gameplay, but the sheer amount of games in the box. However the group who get maximum enjoyment from Pyramid Arcade would be one who don't mind the lack of theme, as the games tend to feel very abstract.