Sometimes a game grows beyond its initial incarnation to become something more. Looney Pyramids began in a short story written by a young Andrew Looney in 1987, and over the following 35 years it has evolved through numerous incarnations to become a full fledged game system. As such, a single review seems insufficient, and so we present Looney Saturday, a regular, bimonthly, look at a different Pyramid game.
We technically started with “A Primer, Abridged” which is a great place to start if you’ve never played a Pyramid game. But for this month’s actual review, we going to look at a game packaged individually as part of the Pyramid Quartet series:
Welcome back to another review of a Looney Labs’ Pyramid game. Nomids is a game for 2-10 players, and the rules are beautifully written and well laid out for little to no confusion on how to play (you’ll notice a theme here with all the Pyramid games)
I was recently camping with my partner and Nomids was the one game I insisted on bringing for our weekend away with no cell service. My partner had never played any Looney Labs games prior to our trip and he became a huge fan with this game. We spent hours playing Nomids against each other, but also with our campsite neighbours. It was a great ice breaker and since the game plays up to 10, we were able to include everyone who wanted to play, even the children.
The whole time we played, we would be dying laughing at how “cunning” the other person would be in their plays. Whenever we got “wild” on the die, we would instantly give each other a pyramid from our own collection just to be a jerk; even when it wasn’t the best move for our game. The “wild” side of the die became a joke over the weekend, and we would always know what the other person was going to do. Our campsite neighbours quickly learned of our “strategy” and would start playing along, also only using the “wild” side of the die as a second “transfer” side, which ended up just making all of us laugh even more at this ridiculous joke and horrible game play was continued.
For Nomids you need 1 specialty “Pyramid Die” and 10 pyramid trios all different colours. The individual boxed game comes with everything you need, and I absolutely loved admiring the different colours of the pyramid trios. The die has symbols on each face all representing a specific play; deposit, withdraw, dispense, transfer, exchange or wild.
Players start by taking 3 pyramids, one of each size and all different colours, and placing them in front of them. Players then take turns rolling the die and completing the action listed on the die. The first player to get rid of all the pyramids in front of them wins.
The potential actions you’ll have to choose from are: deposit: which is return a pyramid from your collection into the pile of pyramids in the middle (or bank), withdraw: take a pyramid from the bank and add it to your collection, dispense: which is to give a player of your choosing a pyramid from the bank, transfer: give a pyramid to another player from a different players collection, exchange, which is to just exchange pyramids from your collection with another players or wild: which is whatever action you choose.
The catch of the game is whenever you have the whole trio of pyramids of one colour, you get to take a bonus action by placing the whole trio back into the bank and remove them from your collection.
The game has simple rules which is great to teach a group of new players, but the strategies and potential plays always keep this game interesting. I find with Nomids, the rounds can either be super-fast or right when you think you’re going to win, you get handed a bunch of pyramids and the tables turn in a blink of an eye. I find this a great warm-up game and fantastic to take on road trips, camping or any adventure of your choosing. The box is compact and fits into any bag with ease, and with being able to play up to 10 people, no one has to worry about being left out.